A quick search on how women today could interview better, landed me on a page teeming with tips on “what to wear for an interview”, “how to choose the right interview outfit”, basically suggestions of the similar order. It made me realize that no matter how much the global business scenario has changed certain stigmas with respect to women in business remain.
As future business leaders, we need to understand that it is way more than just dressing well. A professional demeanor and being presentable while interacting with various companies is indeed imperative but what is most important is how you bring out your story and how you keep the interviewers engaged and interested. I have been interviewing with a few companies throughout January, and have drawn a few insights from my personal experiences which I would love to share with you all:
· BEFORE THE INTERVIEW:
è Know yourself – One month into interviews, I have realized the importance of all those “Discover” sessions by the GCS. Self-awareness in terms of knowing your strengths and weaknesses is crucial since all your stories are embedded with them. Not only is it an important element that interviewers look for in a candidate but is also a supplement to your confidence.
è Know your interviewer – An interview is nothing but a conversation, and a conversation cannot be memorable unless you connect with your interviewer! From my experience, I have benefited by reading the company’s 10-K before an interview to get a better perspective of the company, and expressing that knowledge and more, with the interviewers during pre-interview dinners. Asking intelligent but interesting questions go a long way!
· DURING THE INTERVIEW:
è Keep smiling – I have had two stress interviews till now and trust me to have tried my best at holding on to my smile! In such situations, a voice inside you keeps telling you the extent to which you are bombing your interview, but it is best to ignore that voice and steer the interview ahead.
è Keeping track of the conversation – At times women find themselves in situations that play out their gender instead of their skills during an interview. It is on us to not sway from the conversation but continue to emphasize and focus on our skills while relaying how great a fit we are for the particular industry/company.
Urvashi Marda, Class of 2014
· AFTER THE INTERVIEW:
è Stop mulling over the interview and replaying it in your head – It is important to give yourself a pat on the back for having done well! Send your thank you mails, and go on with planning your next day! Just remember – HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS! And yes, you can secretly keep your fingers crossed.