Has it ever happened with you, that you had applied for a job, appeared for the interview, nailed the interview process and thought that your prospective employer is going all the way to hire you. But after all that you didn't get the offer, in some cases you may not even get a callback from HR department for follow up. After dreading for a few days, you convince yourself that they didn't deserve a candidate like you and a better offer is waiting for you. Eventually, you're back to applying for a new job.
If you are actively looking for a job change and think that you only need to be presentable at the time of personal interview, it means you are not doing it right. There are number of candidates applying for a job and as economy is not very good all the time, the competition is very tough even for entry level jobs. So just appearing in a formal suit on the interview day is not going to work for you anymore.
As a prospective candidate, you need to ace your game and increase your credibility. Here, I would like to suggest you to divide your Interview process into 3 parts and then start preparing for each part.
1. Before the Interview: Yes, an Interview process start from the second you look into a job opening and send out your resume for that. So, go through below mentioned points and follow them while applying for a job.
a. Read the Job Description: It is a very basic point and it does not need to be mentioned here, but it is most important thing that is frequently done wrongly. It has happened many times when applying for multiple openings and we apply for all the opening with the title "Software Engineer" without bothering to look into the JD.
b. Applying for a Job: It is crucial and important part, just sending your resume is not enough. If you are mailing your resume to different companies, in subject title always mention the position for which you are applying. If possible, write up a cover letter.
c. Telephonic Interview: When you receive a call from HR department please make sure to excuse yourself from other task. If don't wish to receive call during your work hours mention your preferred time at which you would like to be give telephonic interviews in your job application.
d. Scheduling Personal Interview: - When HR department calls you to schedule your personal interview always schedule for the day you wish to come for and you're more likely to get a leave easily.
2. During the Interview: After going through all the above mentioned points you definitely want to create a good candidate persona in interview as well.
a. Arrive on Time: - It goes without saying that you always need to arrive 10-15 minutes before the schedule time but if due to anything you are getting late for interview just call the HR and tell them you are going to be late.
b. Dress to Impress: If it is not particularly mentioned what to wear in an Interview always go with formal even for informal work setting, just don't go overboard by wearing 3-piece suit or chinos! and always wear light colors.
c. Interview Process: - Each company has their set standards for selecting a candidate and it includes various steps like giving technical written test, machine test and in some case 2-3 round of personal interview. Don't show your arrogance by saying that you are an experienced candidate and not need to give the test. Trust me you are not James Bond even if you think you are.
3. After the Interview: - When you are done with interview it doesn't mean you are the only candidate who had appeared for the Interview and so you need to be one step ahead from others.
a. Follow-up: After 2-3 days of Interview always give a follow up call to HR showing your Interest in getting job with the company just don't do it too much. One call is enough to make your point.
b. Not getting the Offer: Even if you are not selected you can always call back and ask what went wrong and what you need to improve for next interview.
Dynamics of Interview process are changing rapidly and because of this, things that were in your favor in last interview may not work for you anymore. So, you need to update yourself for each interview. Only apply for the jobs where skill set match with your expertise and are aligned with your long-term career goal.