Exclusive: “The first half of your CV is the most crucial” – Times of India

Preparing for a job interview can be overwhelming. The key to a job interview is to prepare yourself for all the right aspects that can help you land the job. In order to arm yourself as the best candidate, it is important to keep in mind important career tips and tricks. And so, to highlight all the essentials involved in interview preparation, career coach and mentor Guru Ashisha talks to ETimes Lifestyle about appearing for a job interview. Read on

How to deal with interview preparation stress?
When you are more prepared and confident, you feel less stressed. That is the relationship. The more you prepare, the better you will present yourself in the interview. You also need to know about the company, so, research is key to cracking the interview. I cannot stress enough how important it is to research a company. Next, always smile when you walk into an interview. Greet your interviewers and always have a positive attitude. Think of it as a change rather than an inquiry. Also, appreciate and treat yourself better as this will make you feel more confident and less stressed.

How can one be truly confident while giving answers during an interview?
If you are not sure about the first question, repeat the question while analyzing it slowly. This gives you time to think. A break will also help you. Don’t pause too long though. You also need to watch the facial expressions of your interviewers to see if you are getting it wrong. Here are the ways you can really make your answer concrete and accurate.

What are some winning answers that can help people get a job?
I believe a winning answer is a combination of two things: your skills and strengths and then you back it up with your experience and success story. If someone asks you to tell me about yourself, just tell the interviewer about your relevant skills and strengths, and then back it up with a success story and then finish by saying you’ve done something special. How did you use your skills in the situation? That would be a great winning formula.

Can you give us some tips for creating a great CV?
Your CV is not a document of what you have done. It is a document of what you have achieved and what you have, the difference you have made. One of the biggest things about creating a CV is saying ‘You are responsible for…’ — it’s not a job description. You need to make your CV short and to the point. Bring something new to the table. The first half of the first page of your CV is the most important. If you can fit in your biggest achievements and career highlights, your CV can be successful. No one likes to read a long CV.

What should you do and not do after the interview?
After the interview, when you thank them, look for clues that indicate whether they are positive or negative about it. If there’s a vibe between the two of you, you might be up for the job. But if not, it’s not going to work. After the interview, always send a thank you note to your interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. But don’t follow up much after that. It may be completely unnecessary. This really annoys hiring managers!

Is it easy to change careers? How can one change their career from customer service to IT?
There are no shortcuts and no easy way out. You have to focus on two things, self-improvement and networking. The more you network and post about your skills on LinkedIn and other websites, the more exposure you will have to jobs. You can go to many events where you can present your CVs to relevant people. An unusual hack I go by is to reach one person every day for 365 days. If you can scroll through Instagram for some time a day, you also have time to respond to people’s messages on LinkedIn.

How can you sell yourself as a fresh graduate?
When you’re a new graduate, they’re looking for a few things: your energy, enthusiasm, projects, self-motivation, etc. You can show them how active you are on LinkedIn and in the industry you want to be in. Second, when you want to stand out in an interview, describe your accomplishments and abilities as a student. Tell them about your internship experience and translate it into work expenses.

What colors can be chosen when dressing up for an interview?
I would say it depends on the industry you are interviewing for. Reading the room is really important. So if you are going to a tech startup, you don’t want to wear a suit and tie, instead, a nice shirt and comfortable jeans will suit you better. If you are going for banking, dark colors like navy blue would be a good choice. Avoid black suit as it is too solid color. Blue is a great color because it radiates confidence, strength and trust. If you work in a creative or marketing industry, you can wear whatever you want. It all depends on the culture of the industry you are interviewing for.

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