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Walk into a job the right way

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ABDUL LATHEEF NAHA

How different are walk-in interviews from the regular ones? Whatever the difference, it is important to come up with your best and get the basics right.

The job market is widening by the day. Even as people with specialised skills flood this market, new jobs in various sunrise areas are being thrown open. In fact, the number of jobs currently available in the world is more than the number of people who can fill the vacancies. Therefore, a job is not a problem; but landing one is.

Most people will have to undergo various screening processes before they land a job of their liking. Some undergo written tests followed by interviews, and some others undergo only the latter.

The final gate

An interview is one of the most dreaded situations in professional life because it involves evaluation and possible rejection. It is the final gate to any job. So cracking an interview has become much more important than cracking an examination today.

The true evaluation of a person takes place in an interview; but it is not possible in a written examination, however complicated it is. There are exclusive organisations that equip people to appear before an interview board with confidence.

With job fairs becoming increasingly fashionable, prospective employers as well as employees find them as a launch-pad for various careers.

Human resource managers of companies that take part in job fairs have begun to show more interest in resumes left by students, because the number of vacancies are on the rise.

Learning the art of interview is important to helping oneself get a job. There are many kinds of interviews, such as resume-based interviews, case interviews, technical interviews, stress interviews, telephonic interviews and so on. They befit a variety of jobs with differences in skill requirements.

Walk-in interview

Walk-in interview is a genre we have been hearing more often today than before. With companies recruiting candidates in bulk, walk-in interview is the screening process many of them resort to.

“Appointments for most entry-level or low-level jobs in private sector are today made through walk-in interviews. Almost all call centre jobs are offered through walk-in interviews,” says a Kochi-based human resource consultant.

However, rarely do companies fill crucial posts through walk-in interviews. Because, during a walk-in interview, neither the employer nor the candidate gets the time required to understand each other thoroughly. Most jobs offered through walk-in interviews require some basic skill sets that can easily be developed through training.

When a candidate meets the interviewer during a walk-in interview, both will usually have no previous knowledge about each other. Whereas in a conventional interview for which the applicant has been called for by the employer, both the interviewer and the interviewee have an idea about each other.

The employer has had time to screen the candidate based on his resume and his application. And the candidate has had time to prepare for the interview and make up his mind about the job he/she is offered. But the case is different in a walk-in interview, where the candidate will have to completely sell him/herself.

Wailana Jabir, a second-year student of BA Communicative English at St. Teresa’s College, Kochi, says the candidate has certain advantages during a walk-in interview.

“People attend a walk-in interview usually without much expectations. Therefore there is no room for nervousness and worries,” says Wailana.

When Wailana attended a walk-in interview for a radio jockey’s post a few months ago, she felt an unusual cool because it was a job readily available for people with certain skill sets. She landed the job, and later realised that it was not exactly her cup of tea.

But HR managers may not agree with Wailana. They say a candidate has to be extra cautious during a walk-in interview.

Because within the three or four minutes a candidate gets to be interviewed, he or she should be able to make a good impression. In other words, the candidate should sell himself or herself best within that short time.

HR managers advise candidates to learn in advance about the companies that interview them. It is always better to have a good knowledge about the job for which the applicant is being interviewed.

Non-verbal messages

Non-verbal messages play a more significant role in determining a candidate in a walk-in interview than in a conventional called-for interview.

Non-verbal language speaks larger than words. It is better to start it off like a winner, giving a firm handshake, a pleasant smile and a positive and confident attitude. Erect posture is important. There is nothing worse during an interview than candidates playing with their hair, clicking pen tops, tapping their feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body. Looking away from the interviewer can help a candidate lose marks.

Listen carefully

Gesturing or talking with one’s hands is very natural, but keeping it in moderation is important. Experts advise students to be a good listener during interviews. “Look at the interviewer directly, but don’t get into a stare down! Sit up straight. Try to relax. It’s okay to take a few notes if the questions are lengthy, or you need to remind yourself of something you want to stress.”

Avoid nervous mannerisms, they say. Pay attention to nervous mannerisms. Everyone is nervous to some extent; the key is to appear calm and composed.

Speak clearly. Use good grammar and a friendly tone. Never answer just “yes” or “no” to a question. Always clarify, but be sure not to go on rambling, they say.

Experts advise candidates not to discuss salaries at the initial interview. This, they say, can be discussed when the company is definitely interested in the candidate.

Honesty pays

Honesty pays, and especially during interviews. It is always better to state the truth than beating about the bush. If the candidate does not know something, then it is better to state the fact. There are thousands of applicants for a good position in any company. And hundreds of those people are well qualified for the position.

What decides who gets an interview? Hard to tell but an ‘extra something’ can help.

A sample of the candidate’s work should serve as that extra something. It is always better to carry a portfolio of one’s work for an interview.


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