HR interviews have always remained a mystery in the folklore of placements.Because there are no clear guidelines..no hard and fast rules..no clear references, no measures of success and most importantly no guarantee that anything will work.
Each company,each division and each HR would have different criteria to either select or reject a a candidate.So lets get down to the basics.
There are a lot of different sites out there which will tell you what are the usual questions in HR interview, what are the most useful answers to them etc. This article is NOT going to do the same. We are not here to tell you to what to say but rather help you to know how to say the answers.
Be confident :
This is the first quality that a HR would like to see in you. Be confident. Be sure of yourself. Walk in to the interview room as if you are Shahrukh khan giving an interview to a reporter. Believe in your mind that they are here to offer their job to you.. you are just there to remind them how awesome it would be for them to have you in their company. Answer clearly and do not fumble. If you are confident your body language will show it.
It doesn’t matter what the questions are and it mostly doesn’t matter what your answers are. All that matters is how you deliver those answers. In most of the HR interviews they are not testing your knowledge, they are testing your attitude and your outlook on life and how well you can adapt and handle different situations.
So don’t go in there and fumble and drag through the interview but rather shine and lead the interview like winner.
Just before you are entering the interview room ..think and believe you are the star of the show here..you are the man of the match..you are the host of the party and go in with that mindset.
Know your Resume:
Your Resume is the source material for the HR interviewers. It provides the basic platform on which they build the initial questions. So completely know your resume.Do not lie in your resume about your hobbies or interests. Write about those things about which you are passionate and can surely talk about for some time. This will help you lead the interview.
Be completely prepared for any question based on your resume down to the minute details.Ask yourself why you have written something in there, how well can you utilize it in your interview and what are the areas where the interviewer can try and corner you.
When asked about something like a academic downfall which is visible in your resume..do not lie. Be open, free and let them know why you have faced a challenge and how you have now overcame that and became a better person. This converts a weak point to your advantage to show how you have grown.
Do not give excuses. I have been selected in all companies for which I have given a HR interview and there was not a single interviewer that didn’t ask me about my low marks or a gap in my education for long term coaching for competitive exams.
Accept your downfalls in your past and show them how better a person you are now because of those downfalls. ( case in point: Raju Rastogi interview in 3 idiots. Things like that happen in real interviews too ..trust me.)
Be aggressive bur not arrogant:
When faced with an awkward situation or a mention of some negative quality or downfall, DO NOT get defensive.Answer confidently and clearly about your opinion on the matter. When you don’t know the answer for some question say clearly that you are sorry but you do not know the answer..but do not say it in a guilty or weak tone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the answer. The manner in which you confidently convey this is important.
Be active and assertive but at the same time don’t be rude. Show that you have a high self esteem but learn where to draw the boundary. Be aggressive in your approach but kind in your words. This conveys good confidence and at the same time good control over one’s emotions.
Trick them but don’t get tricked :
There are some tricky questions and the interviewers will most certainly be asking you at least one such question. All that matters is how you handle the situation. Questions like why you will join our company when you have other offers in hand or why should we give you the job when so many others like you are out there must be answered tactfully.
The only thing that can help you in such situations is research. Find out clearly what is the company’s unique feature that separates it from the rest and also be clear in what your USP is. Do not give generic answers like this is my dream company etc which everyone knows is a lie. Be creative. Be original.
See what you can say which others wouldn’t. Find out if they have a valuable training program or they have some really cool employee welfare policies and state them as reasons to join the company.
Be precise accurate and specific in these statements.Try and use the exact names which they used in their websites for training programs etc.
Also read about what they are looking for in their employees and convince them how your USP is aligned with their interests.
In the end I once again want to remind you that what you say is of little importance when compared to how you say it. Be confident and cool.