It’s the time of the year when many at the end of their studies would be appearing for their campus placements. This is the most crucial time for students, when they battle it out amidst intense competition. More than anything, it can be a frustrating period filled with anticipation and restlessness until you land a job.
So how do you prepare for the battle?
There’s the usual preparation for all types of Aptitude tests, Group Discussions and Personal Interviews.
- The ones that are easiest to prepare for the aptitude tests – since you have many fine sources to prepare from; some even give you the format and sample of the tests used by top companies.
- Group discussions are slightly harder to crack, since there is some uncertainty associated as to how the discussion might be conducted and the criteria for being shortlisted is more restricted.
- But the one that is most uncertain is the personal interview, because no matter how much you have prepared for it, it never seems to go your way does it?
If you’re among those who perform well in your skill tests and GD but somehow miss out in the end, it’s time you start focussing on your interviews. There are people who have solid knowledge about their subject and excellent communication skills. Yet they lose out in the last round of interviews.
Why does this happen?
Probably because there’s something they’re either doing (or not doing) that doesn’t complement and match what they say.
It’s called body language.
There’s a saying that goes “If you don’t have the knowledge to do your job, you can learn it but if you don’t have the right attitude to do a job, you’re not fit for it.” This is exactly what recruiters look for in a candidate during their personal interview.
It’s obviously desirable to prepare for the possible questions you might be asked and to read up on the company. But what they’re really looking for is if you have the right attitude and whether you would fit the role and the company by observing your body language.
Most often you might be saying all the right things and may mean it completely but your body language gives away the truth. Most experienced recruiters can easily read your body language and feel you’re not being honest and decide you don’t have the right attitude for the job. This can even happen if they don’t get to see any part of your personality, because you’re not expressing enough.
How can you exhibit a good body language to impress the recruiters? Here are three tips
Communication isn’t limited to speaking. In fact, there are three parts to communication – Words, Tone and Body Language. Body language is super important – because it’s what is nearly impossible to mask. Body language is all about using the right gestures. They can help you depict three important things about yourself:
Most recruiters try to read body language when they ask you situational questions. They want to see your honesty and clarity
The ideal gesture to show enthusiasm and clarity is using your hands while talking. Try to use your hands and move a little while talking, all the while maintaining eye contact – this exhibits confidence. Expressing with your eyes is another important gesture. For instance when someone talks about something they love or their passion their eyes light up instantly. This is why it’s advised to always answer truthfully – they say it shows in your eyes. The next time a recruiter asks you what is your passion go ahead and tell them. It can be cars, books, dance or anything under the sun.
2. Presence of Mind
This might come across as a surprise, but sometimes this can come to your rescue. Your interview is primary about convincing your recruiters that compared to others, you are a better fit for the role.
How can you do this?
Your recruiters already know that you have the technical skills, which is why you may have gotten through the previous rounds. In the end, they’re looking for that one candidate who has the right attitude for the role. During the interview, your recruiters will observe you. But you can do this too! This is where your presence of mind comes in.
For instance, let’s say the recruiters ask you five questions. You feel they weren’t convinced by the first answer by observing their reactions. You can always pause to take a few seconds and change the way you answer the next questions and save what might be a sinking ship. It is very important to be aware of your recruiter’s reactions, and more importantly about what you are saying.
3. Be a Monk
Stay calm even when you know the interview is not going your way. It is alright to be a little nervous, but work on not letting it show on your face. Particularly, don’t let it hamper your thought because you must have a clear mind. If something about the interview venue is making you uncomfortable – for instance if it’s too hot or cold, let the recruiters know. The most important attitude that will help you stay calm is to tell yourself that “it’s just an interview and it’s going to be a conversation to get to know you.”
When you’re answering a question, focus on what you are saying and complete what you want to say. Move on only when you feel you’ve convinced the recruiters. It’s best to be honest and use the “I don’t know” answer instead of taking too many shots in the dark. Another important tip to stay calm is to be prepared. Read up on the company and recruiters if you know who’s going to interview you. This would give you an idea about the personality of the interviewers. The best trick to crack interviews is to be yourself and be spontaneous.
The simple trick to making your body language work for you rather than against is to become aware about yourself – your habits – do you unknowingly play with your hair when you’re nervous or do you fidget with your clothes? These cues might seem unimportant, but these are the ones that can either portray you as a confident, reliable future asset for a company or a novice who can’t even handle themselves.