Mantra To Crack Job Interviews

Cracking a job interview is our first step towards fulfilling our dreams and ambitions. Based on my experience being on both sides of the table of the interview, I have formulated these points to focus on in order to crack your next job interview.

Cracking a job interview is our first step towards fulfilling our dreams and ambitions. One mistake (knowingly or unknowingly) can shatter everything and push us back into frustration. Based on my experience being on both sides of the table of the interview, I have formulated these points to focus on in order to crack your next job interview.

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your CV
  3. Know them
  4. Perform
  5. Persist

In order to comprehend all the steps and phases, I have abbreviated them as K3P2 over P as every phase needs a lot of practice.

Mantra To Crack Job Interviews
The image posted here may be confusing, but it simply summarizes the whole job interview process. The five Pillars are K3P2 and the rope tied with each pillar indicates practice associated with each stage.

Now, let us explore each point and crack the next job interview with a sure shot at success. Based on my experience, I have mentioned a probable percentage of being asked each question/work items. This article covers only the behavioral aspect and doesn’t sabotage the technical importance in the interview process.

Know Yourself

Tell me about yourself? [99%]

This is the most common and most probable question to start with. It gives the interviewer a chance to understand you and your resume and the interviewee to get comfortable. With a 99% chance, we need to prepare this very well. It works as an icebreaker for the whole interview discussion. A few points to take care of,

  • Don’t say your name again as the interviewer knows this.
  • Take this as an opportunity to sell yourself so be prepared well in advance.
  • Focus on the chronological order of your relevant experience with high-level exposure.
  • It should not talk about your family and personal background and interests.
  • Conclude with the reason for the job change.
  • It should not go on for more than 90 seconds.

Your strengths? [60%]

While talking about your strengths never boast and try to showcase the same with the examples. Some examples are like –

  • I am a quick learner and always open to learning new technology. In my project, I worked on Angular for the first time and delivered the project successfully.
  • I take the work aggressively and try to finish asap as I have seen many colleagues initially don’t take the deadline seriously and later struggle with the deliveries.

Your weaknesses? [80%]

In answer to this, sometimes we say I am over dedicated etc and that may sound arrogant and could go against you. Keep one thing in mind that your weakness is never negative until you give up or you don’t try to overcome that. Some sample answer could be –

  • Initially, I begin slowly as I spend more time to understand the subject thoroughly.
  • I had some issues in delegating the tasks to my subordinates, but I am working on it. (They may further ask, how?)
  • I am working on my communication and public speaking skills, (if applicable)
  • Working to improve my domain (mention the specific one) knowledge.

Your career goal after 5 years? [50%]

The answer to this question shows your research and knowledge of industry and hierarchy. Be prepared with your target position based on your current experience.

What do you like most about your day to day job? [60%]

This question is to assess your interest in the job and to show that you are NOT doing this job only to fulfill your life necessities. You can say that you like this job as it provides an opportunity for continuous learning and excellent career growth.

PRACTICE – Here, you can practice all the above questions multiple times in front of the mirror, with friends, and in all other possible ways.

Know Your CV

Have a fantastic CV? [100%]

Get your CV very well organized and concise. Keep it updated and don’t make it too big. No one is going to read through all pages so better mention all highlights in the first 2 pages.

Your recent/current assignment? [100%]

Prepare very well and have all technical and functional insight into the project. Depending on your experience with the project and industry, you may be asked to explain the architecture and domain in brief. Remember, having good knowledge of the project domain is good but you are not supposed to be business experts, they will have SME/BSA in their organization.

Your favorite project? [95%]

If your association with the current project is not very long, then you can propose to talk about your favorite project considering all the points explained in #2. 

Your Achievements? [70%]

  • Gather at least 3 highlights of your career and professional achievements.
  • At least 3 challenges in your professional life and how you successfully handled that.

This may or may not be other than your employee excellence or similar award.

Your mistakes and failures? [60%]

Try to collect at least 3 instances in your professional life

  • When your approach failed.
  • You looked inward
  • And corrected and improved that.

Be very careful that you DO NOT talk up any of your silly mistakes. If you are speaking about any of the mistakes, be prepared to justify that in that set up like work pressure, deadline nearing, over loaded with tasks.

About your current job [60%]

Never show any negativity about your current project, management or the organization. It will leave a drastically negative impact and never take anyone’s name in a negative sense. It points to your loyalty so try to be high on that.

Why are you changing the job? [70%]

Of course, you are not happy either with your project, management or organization that is why you are looking for job change but never put any negative impression about your current set up. You can reply as looking for new challenges, new learning, it was a support project and nothing much to learn and similar statements.

What did you enjoy most? [40%]

Alongside your daily job responsibilities never forget to mention your additional work, extracurricular and volunteer works. This implies your leadership traits.

Know your resume. [100%]

Make sure whatever you are mentioning in your resume, you are well versed with that and you should be able to explain and justify them honestly.

Your online presence [60%]

Do mention your contribution towards the community, blogs and online technical forum, and appearance as a speaker.

Since an employer may scan your social media profiles refrain from posting controversial opinions and be decent there.

PRACTICE – Here you can keep you preparation around above questions well in advance.

Know Them

You are going for a job. So, you need to be very familiar with the following points about them.

Interview Process [100%]

It is very important to know all the interview rounds and prepare accordingly.

Company profile, what are they good at? [40%]

Try to find the main business and their expertise and how they are relevant to your current profile. Don’t forget to Google about their recent positive reason(s) to be in the news.

How are they better than their competitors? [20%]

This shows your serious interest in this job.

Match with Job Description [90%]

As part of preparation do diligent mapping of the job description and your experience. It will also help you to answer why you are the best fit for this job.

Your fit [70%]

As covered in #4, also try to get some information about the working culture and justify your eligibility with your experience and behavior both.

Know your interviewer [40%]

In case  you know who is going to interview you, have a look at his or her LinkedIn profile. Since LinkedIn shows who visited your profile, don’t hide this from interviewer and mention that you liked his  or her expertise. This will give you a fair idea about their background. Also, you can request your friend to visit their profile, on your behalf.

Do you have any questions? [100%]

Never refrain from asking any question at the end of the interview. Not asking may leave a big negative impact. At the same time, don’t bombard the interviewer with too many questions either but asking two will leave you in a better position. Some sample questions could be like,

  • Any specific technology to learn before joining.
  • Ask about the project and team structure.
  • Anything about the company that you had researched and you want to know more about.

PRACTICE –These points are specific to a particular organization. You can NOT do this in advance but it is good to acquire fair knowledge about them and it will make a very good impression on the interviewer.

Perform

Attire [100%]

Always dress one level up from normal in the organization. It means – if they wear casuals, you choose formals. If they wear formals, you go for formals with a tie and if they get a tie in their dress code, you should put blazer also with you.

Things to bring [100%]

  • 1 or 2 additional sets of resumes.
  • One notepad or a few plain papers.
  • Properly working and leak proof pen.
  • Visiting card, if you have any.

Important – Normally, in job interviews, we are explicitly asked to bring all documents. If not mentioned, ask and confirm with your point of contact or recruiter. Never carry all your certificates in the original as any misplacement can lead to a lifetime of trouble. 

Timeliness [100%]

Arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time considering the traffic, public transport and normal entry protocol of the venue.

PERSIST

Now that you have performed, it's time to relax and keep you enthusiasm high.

Persist [1000%]

If the other 4 points are pillars for success in an interview, then this is the most important and strong central pillar to succeed and be encouraged and stay positive for the future endeavors and next interviews.

To keep your moral high, believe in karma theory here, as you have done your best and honestly put all your efforts, but the result may be affected by many parameters which are not in your control at all.

PRACTICE – Practice if you need a counter offer, better offer, keep the whole process on going.

Try this for the next interview and please share your feedback.