Monday, 13 July 2015

How to Ace your College Interview!

Interviews can be the most intimidating meetings for most of us. As it is the interview season, I have jotted down some tips and guidelines to get you through that unhurt. Start reading, here and now!

1) Prerequisites :

 First things first. Prepare yourself. There are certain efforts you need to make ‘before’ the actual interview date to get ready for your big day.

- Do a little research about the respective college. For example, what do they specifically look for in a student etc. This would make an impression on the interviewer that you are not ignorant, and that you are accustomed to researching.

- Practice preparing the answers for the most common interview questions, for the sake of familiarity and confidence, and don't just leave this to be dealt with on the spur of the moment.
Make out a list of questions you need to ask them,moment. You can enquire about anything you are unsure about, or need to know more about. Just make sure you ask it the correct and professional way, as to make a good impression. This is why, I emphasize on preparing the questions before.

2) Appearance:

It is wrongly believed by some, that an interview is merely a question and answer session and they rate you according to that only. Mind you, for that, you have admission applications, the personal and academic questions regarding you in it, admission essays etc. An interview is meant to judge you on what you really are, apart from the information you submitted. They observe your dressing sense, your demeanour, your gestures, confidence level, your manners and etiquettes.

- Take an interview as a professional meeting and get dressed in a formal attire: that is neither too revealing, nor too casual.

- Accessories. 

A lot of people get confused about whether they should be wearing accessories or not. So on that note, don't wear anything that looks attention-seeking and don't make yourself look stuffy. For instance, women should avoid dangling earrings. Accessories are not to be looked at as inappropriate for formal meetings, like this one, choose something sober though, that blends in with your attire. For men, a watch and maybe cuff links are enough.

- Wear natural make up and don't overdo it. Same goes for the cologne, be conservative regarding it.

- Finally, when you enter the interviewer's room, don't avoid making eye contact with them. Make a direct eye-contact, wear a warm smile and greet them first.

And here you go! You are done with the second step.

3) During the Interview: Ace it!

 This is the most important step for an interview. You must display the real you before the interviewer, don't play artificial because they get it all and this does not appeal much to them. However, make sure you let out the most mature, well mannered and professional side of you. Further, go through the keys:

- Don't be late. No matter how genuine reason provide, you would always be a chance of you making less of an impression.

- Be confident. They get most impressed by you when you are confident enough and trust yourself. Even if they ask you something you don't answer exactly correct, don't punish yourself for it for the rest of the meeting. Avoid being over-confident, such people seem like the most shallow and rarely seem to impress instantly.

- Act mature and modest. Smile from time to time, try not to laugh, at least not hysterically. Don't over-praise yourself, do not babble, if you are worth it, they will certainly see it for themselves. Prefer using more phrases like, 'Yes, precisely', 'I agree with you', 'I appreciate your opinions.' This would make them respect you.

- Be honest. Never say anything about yourself, which is either partially or completely not true. Because you might think otherwise, but the college staff really does research on the students' backgrounds. Tell them truthfully the jobs you are good at, your pastimes, your weaknesses. Tell them, if enquired, the other colleges you have applied to. This will lead them to value your words.

- Try to listen more and speak less, don’t babble. For example, the questions that are asked, listen to them carefully, ponder over the gist of what is really being asked, and then answer. Don't cut out the interviewer by interrupting him.

- Most of the times, they call your parents along with you, and tell them to wait outside for a couple of minutes and then call them in. To display the best of your manners, stand up when your parents enter the room and remain standing until they get seated.

- Don't forget to be thankful to the staff for taking out time to meet you, and also thank them verbally once you are done with the interview and are about to leave.

Interviews can be intimidating, but to prevent them from becoming your worst nightmares, you have to do actually very little. 

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Have more ideas for a successful interview? Please comment below.

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