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How to crack Personal Interviews and Group Discussions

If you are expecting to appear for a job selection process at any time in the near future then you must bear in mind that preparation for Personal Interviews and Group Discussions must start many months in advance. Experts who are people from Industry with years of experience in recruitment can provide practical tips on how exactly to prepare for these selection processes, and equally importantly how to conduct yourself during Interviews and Group Discussions. This input is critical especially for those who are facing job selection processes for the first time.

PRINCIPIUM ADVISORY, a coaching company provides exactly this kind of guidance to fresh graduates and young professionals, so that they can negotiate selection and elimination rounds during Campus Placement and elsewhere. The Company has organized a Webinar on “How to crack Personal Interviews and Group Discussions”, being held on August 27, 2021 from 4pm to 5pm. This one hour investment could vastly improve your chances of selection for your dream job.

Webinar details

How to prepare for a job interview

So, your Resume gets shortlisted by a recruiter during your Campus Placement process, and you have already cleared the written test and group discussion. Now the final round – the Personal Interview is about to happen. In order to be sure of landing with a job offer, you need to prepare yourself before the Interview. Here are some tips on how to prepare sufficiently well, so that there is no chance of NOT making it to the final list.

1. Review your Facebook and other Social Media postings

In today’s world, recruiters may look at your Social Media profiles, particularly LinkedIn. Some may even look at your Facebook page. So, what you need to do, before the actual recruitment process begins, is to review your social media posts, your profile write up, to make sure it is consistent with what you are going to talk about in the interview in terms of your qualifications, skills and career aspirations.
Also, take care to remove any content on your social media like posts or pictures which may be embarrassing or could put you in a negative light.

2. Research the Company

You must do a reasonable thorough research on the Company who is going to interview you. Go to the Company’s website and read and understand as much as you can about the Company’s business, products, factory and office locations. Make sure you click on sections or pages titled “About Us” or “Our Team”. Going through the section called “Press releases” is also a good idea. Finally, Google search for the Company’s name, and go through whatever information is available about the Company on the Internet.

3. Think of all the questions that might be asked

Whereas it is difficult to make a guess about what the interviewers might ask you, there are some standard questions that most interview panel members ask. Some of these are

  • Tell me something about yourself
  • What are your career aspirations OR Where do you see yourself 5 years down the road?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Are there any questions you have for us?

In a separate article I will cover the typical answers to the above questions that you may want to rehearse, that are acceptable to the interviewer.

4. Participate in Mock Interviews

It is important and helpful if you participate in mock interviews to prepare for the actual one. These could be conducted with friends or relatives, but it is a good idea to seek help from professional coaches or trainers who are experienced people from Industry. Make sure some of the questions listed above, as well as some ‘offbeat’ questions are included in the mock interview so that you get an idea of where you stand in a situation which is unknown. Lastly do ask for feedback about your communication, clarity of thought and body language
(We at ‘PRINCIPIUM ADVISORY’ offer professional coaching for Personal Interviews. Please visit www.principiumadvisory.in for more details.

5. Dress Appropriately for the Interview

This point cannot be emphasized enough. From all my years of experience, I can confidently tell you that the first impression is created by the way you dress.The right way to dress is to dress formally. For men a formal wear means lounge suit with a matching tie, socks and nicely polished shoes. For women formal western wear or a saree is good enough. Jewelry or excessive use of cosmetics is avoidable for both men and women.
Take care of as much detail to your dress as possible, to ensure that formal dress is not worn or carried through in a shabby manner. For instance, shirts should be tucked in tightly, the tie tightened right up to the collar button of your shirt (and not too long or short – the bottom end of the tie should just about reach your trousers’ waistline).

6. Arrive on time
It’s good to be early and wait as close to the premises of the interview as possible. It is likely that the final round of the selection process is a Personal Interview with the senior management of the Company, at the Company’s Corporate office, and NOT at your Campus. Therefore, make sure you leave sufficiently early to reach the destination in time. IF you arrive late, your mind will also be tense and that is not good just before the interview.

7. Keep all important documents with you
Carry your important documents like your qualification degrees or any other certifications that you have mentioned in your Resume. Documents should ideally be carried in a folder that in turn is inside a good clean office bag. Organize your documents inside the folder so that you don’t fumble or take time searching the folder, when asked to show a document.

How to succeed in the Group Discussion Round

If you are planning to apply for a Company’s Campus Placement selection process, chances are that you will have to go through a Group Discussion round, which is usually an elimination round. This means your performance in the Group Discussion round will either eliminate you from the selection process or shortlist you for the next round.

Therefore, it is extremely important to be prepared for the Group Discussion round. Preparation actually starts many months prior to the actual process, the essential areas of preparation are such that mastering those aspects takes time.
There are mainly two broad categories where preparation is required.

The first one is General Knowledge or General Awareness. If your awareness about things, facts, issues, people, events etc. around you is fairly high, you will have no problem being able to speak intelligently on any topic allocated to your Group during the GD round. Preparation involves a lot of reading – newspapers, magazines etc. and watching Television for news and editorial opinion related articles. This will help you keep abreast of all events around the world, and improve on your ability to form an opinion around these events.

The second aspect about preparation for GDs is working on your communication skills. This involves gaining a good command on your spoken English. Remember, most GDs WILL take place in English, so you don’t really have a choice.
Listening to others is as important as speaking. You have to not only listen to another person to understand his point of view and then respond correctly, your body language has to convey the fact that you are listening – like eye contact, frequently nodding your head etc.

It’s a good idea to have mock Group Discussions with the help of your friends where you can practice speaking in front of people, in English, on a particular topic of discussion. Taking feedback on your performance at the end of the session is important.

It is extremely useful to seek professional help in preparing for  Interviews and GDs. There are experienced coaches who have years of expertise in recruitment and selection, who will conduct mock sessions, guide you through corrective action steps and review.
One such centre where you can get professional help is ‘The Career Excellence Hub’ of Principium Advisory – a company engaged in helping students negotiate the selection process during Campus placement.The upcoming event details are :

Topic : “How to crack Personal Interviews and Group Discussions”
Date : Friday, August 27, 2021
Time : 4pm-5pm
Mode : Online through Zoom
To register for this webinar, please click on this link :  https://imjo.in/RdzKQ5

In this Webinar, you will learn practical tips on how to prepare yourself for Interviews and Group Discussions, and how to conduct yourself during these selection processes to ensure that you get selected in these rounds.

Article Credit : Principium Advisory.

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