15 Best Interview Tips for Freshers
Do you have your first interview scheduled and don’t know how to prepare for it? Here, in this article, find out the best interview tips for freshers that will help you crack the interview.
What is an Interview?
An interview is typically a conversation between a job applicant and a representative of the employer. This is generally conducted to assess the qualities of the applicant to make sure that he/she is suitable for that particular job role.
Here it is very important to note that an interview doesn’t only help the employer find a suitable candidate but it also helps the applicant decide whether the job is a good fit for his/her qualifications. Therefore, every organization makes a crucial decision of hiring a candidate by the way of an interview.
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Whom do we consider as freshers at the workplace?
A fresher is a person /candidate who has had no formal experience at a workplace. Generally, new graduates just out of university or college are called freshers because they are not exposed to any work and have no formal work experience.
Objectives of an Interview
It is clearly understood that interviews are conducted to zero in on the right candidate for a particular job but it is equally important to understand as to what are the goals of an interview? From the interviewer’s perspective an interview helps to:
- Ascertain the accuracy of the facts provided by the candidate.
- Know about some additional skill set the candidate may possess apart from those mentioned in the resume.
- Understand the candidate’s analytical and creative ability.
- Establish a mutual relation between candidate and organization.
- Learn about the job role and expectations of the company within that role.
- Figure out skills that the candidate lacks such that those areas can be focused on improvement.
- Portray the credentials of a company so that it makes a mark within the employment-seeking youth.
- Follow the standard legal rules set by the country.
- Whittle down all the large groups of candidates excellently.
- Build contacts with the group waiting to attend the same interview.
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Why are job interviews important for employers?
As mentioned earlier an interview helps both the employer and the job applicant find the right thing. Some reasons as to how interviews are important to employers are mentioned below:
- Helps collect all the extra information related to the candidate.
- It is not feasible for a candidate to put little details on the job application or resume; hence interviews are a supplement to these applications or resumes where required/ missing information is sought from the candidate.
- Helps select the right/capable person for the job position being advertised.
- Helps collect useful information about past work experiences, typical work situations, etc.
- Increases the goodwill of a company/organization.
- A personal one-to-one helps in promotions and transfers.
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Importance of interviews for job applicants
- Helps provide work based on skills
- Helps candidates develop confidence.
- Helps the candidate take a wise decision about the job position (either accept or reject).
- Helps the candidates grow new contacts (most important).
- Helps sell their abilities.
- Helps candidates to gauge their career potential.
- Helps the job applicant understand the corporate dynamics.
Important aspects that the interviewer would want the candidate to have are:
- Professional behavior
- Positive attitude towards work
- Decent body language
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Good work ethics
- Exceptional technical abilities.
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Types of interviews
Interviews for several positions/work are categorized based on the following factors:
- Count of people involved
- Planning involved
- Judging the Abilities
- Type of facilities or settings
- Type of work/task involved
Within these categories, there are many different types of interviews conducted as mentioned below.
Based on the count of people involved
These are the most common types of interviews happening across industries these days. A personal interview is generally related to mid-level and high-level job profiles where both technical and analytical ability is evaluated.
A group interview is mostly observed for fresher-level job positions or mid-level sales opportunities where candidates are tested for their conversational ability and convincing techniques.
Sometimes for senior positions, there could be a possibility of a panel/committee interview where the job applicant has to make a presentation.
Based on the planning involved
This is usually called a guided or formal interview wherein the questions asked by the interviewer are almost the same for every candidate. This is a very traditional form of interview and helps to assess the candidates impartially. Entry-level positions or fresher-level positions within an organization mostly use this form of an interview.
This is generally a conversational interview wherein the interviewer has no definite pattern of questions in mind. It starts as a general conversation and slowly builds upon technical terms. Mid-level managerial positions are filled using this interview structure.
Based on the abilities
During such interviews, the candidate is asked about his/her previous work structure with examples of specific situations handled at the workplace. This helps the interviewer analyze the candidate’s future performance within any job role. This type is used for managerial and executive posts.
This interview involves either writing or orally answering technical questions related to the vacancy. Most commonly used for software and industrial recruitment process.
This is a very detailed form of the interview where every point mentioned in the resume is touched and gets conversational over a period of time. Generally, this type of interview needs a lot of time and is done for executive posts.
This form of interview is rarely noticed but could be sometimes used to check the candidate’s ability to handle a crisis at the workplace. Jobs positions related to banks have this pattern of interviews. Little things to guess if it is a stress interview are:
- Interrupting the candidate while answering.
- Answering phone calls (interviewee) in the middle of the interview.
- Enforcing the candidate’s point of view forcefully.
- Deviating from the current conversation and abruptly asking another unrelated question.
Based on facilities
This is the initial stage in a selection process which basically aims to trim the probable list of candidates for a particular post. All entry-level positions follow this pattern of interviews. Once a telephonic interview is cleared, the candidate is sometimes asked to attend a one-to-one interview at the company. This helps candidates staying at far-off locations to apply for positions at other places.
With video conferencing and other super technical things coming up these days, online interviews have become very common. This type reduces the need to travel for interviews. It helps save time and energy. Almost all types of job Interviews follow this pattern.
Job fair Interview
Job Fairs are held at educational institutes such that organizations pick potential candidates right after graduation. It is a combination of general and technical skill evaluation. All fresher-level jobs for decent organizations are filled through campus placements/job fairs.
Lunch and Tea Interview
Managerial and sales position interviews follow this pattern occasionally just to understand the behavior of the candidate in a less-formal environment. Mostly conversational with a decent technical tinge.
The major difference between a lunch and tea interview is the time involved during the conversation. Tea interviews are typically shorter with a structured questioning sequence due to the limited time frame. Generally, for positions in the glamour and fashion industry, this type of interview is scheduled.
Based on the type of work
Intern position interviews are basically held in this pattern where it is a formal skill-related questioning system.
Involves a fixed set of questions with a scoring system to evaluate the performance based on the scores. It removes the scope of personal bias during interviews.
Candidates seeking higher positions in their careers undergo this process to discuss possible prospects.
Within an organization when employees are given a chance to discuss their problems and possible solutions are given then it becomes a counseling kind of interview.
This is a sort of meeting where a group or individual can be questioned by the interviewer about misconduct or performance issues.
This happens when the candidate has to influence the interviewer to accept his point of view on a certain aspect.
Phases of a job interview
Recent college graduates would not have a clear idea of what to expect throughout a job interview process. Here is a step-by-step process to help understand the phase of a typical job interview.
The pre-interview phase
The original one-to-one interview is the second or third stage during the selection process. Before this, there is a pre-interview phase where the candidate is required to complete different procedures like submitting the resume, attending a telephonic round, etc. So, during the pre-interview stage, the interviewer already has some basic knowledge about the candidate and offers him/her an interview only if he finds the candidate suitable.
The interview phase
For freshers, this phase is generally with the Human resource department where the pattern of questions is the same for all candidates. The interviewer usually starts with checking on facts already mentioned in the resume.
For experienced candidates, this phase is again divided into 2 parts: one with the Human resources team and the other with the technical team.
The questions asked during this phase are divided into the following categories:
- Verification questions competency-based questions
- Situational questions
- Case interview questions
A second section of the interview phase is when the interviewer gives the candidate a chance to ask questions. Generally, if the interview is being held at the office, the interviewer can take the candidate for a tour of the office and introduce him/her to other employees.
An interview concludes with this tour but the hiring manager would never reveal the outcome of the interview immediately. The interviewer would specify a time frame when to expect a response from them, if not mentioned then the candidate should feel free to ask the time frame of response before leaving the premises.
With virtual interviews becoming prominent these days, there is no option for an office tour.
The post-interview phase
This usually comes after the interview phase and this is the time when candidates start receiving responses from the interviewer/hiring manager. Most of the companies send mails as to whether the candidate is ‘selected’ or ‘not selected’ within one or two weeks of the interview process.
Very few companies take a much longer time than two weeks. It is important to remember that some companies, unfortunately, do not send a response unless a candidate is selected and the hiring manager decides to give him/her a job offer.
There are possibilities that companies keep candidates in buffer, this kind of response is generally intimated via mail to the candidate. Also, if there are too many people that the company thinks fit into their job description then they can be asked to attend other rounds of interviews
Interview Tips for Freshers
Unlike the experienced candidates, freshers find it a herculean task to clear interviews in the first attempt. There could be many reasons why freshers have problems qualifying in interviews. However, there are some important ways/tricks every fresher should learn to ace an interview. Some of the interview tips for freshers are mentioned here:
Tip 1: Research about the firm before attending an interview.
The first and most important interview tip for freshers is to read about the company on their website to understand their growth potential. It is always a good idea to read reviews about the company to understand their internal environment, work-life balance, salaries, market reputation, etc. Also, talk to known people working in the firm to get a general overview of it. Prior knowledge about the company in-stills confidence during an interview.
Tip 2: Dress professionally
A well-groomed appearance during an interview shows the interviewer that one is serious about the interview and the job position with the company. Generally, a well-ironed light-colored dress with proper polished shoes or sandals would be the right choice for attending an interview. This interview tip for freshers is not known to many and is generally missed out or ignored.
Tip 3: Always reach the place of interview on time
Punctuality is the most important trait of professionalism. One cannot afford to be late for an interview as it would leave a negative impression on the candidate. These days interviews are being conducted online through video conferencing tools, therefore in such interview patterns, it is always advisable to log in at least 15 minutes before the meeting starts. Among all the interview tips for freshers, the one which shows the seriousness of the candidate towards the job is punctuality.
If a candidate has to reach a place/company for the interview then he/she should have 30 minutes of buffer time to reach the place early.
Tip 4:Prepare a resume well
This is a pre-preparation stage when one is looking for a job position. This is the only thing that can get a candidate the much-needed interview with the company. A resume should always be customized to show the competencies of the individual that are in line with the job position being advertised. One of the most common interview tips for freshers is always related to resume building.
Tip 5: Always try to have a mock interview before attending the original
It is always a good idea to convince a family member or friend to create a mock interview for the candidate before he/she attends the original one. Doing this helps the candidate practice effective ways of communication. Apart from communication, the candidate would also research the formal questions that could be asked during an interview and prepare the answers accordingly. This is considered as most uncommon interview tip for freshers but proves to be very beneficial when followed.
Tip 6: Answer the questions clearly and directly.
Never deviate from the question asked, it is always advisable to put forward one’s ideas clearly and in minimal understandable words. One can always support the answer by giving examples. One should never use complicated words and sentences during an interview, communication should be simple and to the point.
Tip 7: Always be confident and sound confident during an interview
Making an eye-contact with the interviewer is the best way to demonstrate confidence. Good sitting posture, not looking around while answering, making sensible talk, and speaking with conviction are all ways to display confidence in an interview room. One of the finest interview tips for freshers is to avoid making too many hand movements that can easily convey nervousness.
Tip 8: Be a good listener during an interview
Always remember to let the interviewer finish the talking/asking the question. To display this one needs lots of patience and this comes by practice. There will be enough time for the candidate to speak, so never be in a haste and interrupt the interviewer during an interview. It is also believed that one who is a good listener can produce a relevant response to the questions asked. Therefore, the wisest of all interview tips for freshers is to listen carefully and reply relevantly during an interview.
Tip 9: Answer to the point and also try to be polite
Try to be soft-spoken and polite during an interview. Generally, polite people are stereotyped as dull but remember that polite people have a great mind. In an interview be calm, patient, and speak politely with firmness in the tone to create a great impact on the interviewer.
Tip 10: Learn to be curious in an interview
Asking questions during an interview is an important way to show curiosity. After thorough research about the firm/company, always prepare questions that could be asked in an interview. Curiosity reflects interest and readiness to work for the firm which is a positive thing during an interview. One of the most important and best interview tips for freshers is to learn about what kind of questions could be asked as an interviewee. E.g., what are the day-to-day activities of the current position being advertised?
Tip 11: Do not argue with the interviewer
When a candidate or job applicant argues during an interview, it shows that he/she can be a very weak team player. Therefore, this could leave a negative impression on the interviewee. If there is a point of view that the interviewee doesn’t want to agree upon then he/she should try to put the argument forward politely.
Note: Of all the interview tips for freshers, this tip can be handled well only out of practice and patience.
Tip 12: Keep previous work samples handy
It is understood that in most interviews there is a lot of abstract talks involved without many proofs. For experienced candidates attending interviews, it is wise to compile their best work samples and keep them handy to present during the interview. Similarly, from among so many interview tips for freshers, it is a great idea for them to keep their samples of project work and internship handy.
Tip 13: Always be prepared to answer one typical question
Most of the questions for freshers remain the same for all candidates. One of the smartest interview tips for freshers is to be prepared for some common questions asked during fresher interviews. E.g., why should we hire you?
Tip 14: Switch off the phone or put it in a silent mode
It is very unprofessional to be disturbed by phone calls and unnecessary messaging during a serious interview. One of the focused interview tips for freshers is to remain relaxed and undisturbed.
Tip 15: Be original and be a part of the firm
Candidates should always try to be natural in front of the interviewer. Freshers should never try to copy the accent.
One should always try to align their interests with the requirements of the company. This can help the interviewer understand the candidate’s future goals and his/her productivity in the company. These interview tips for freshers are hard to remember and follow but can earn a lot of self-confidence when put to use.
Conclusion on interview tips for freshers
Attending an interview as a fresher or experienced candidate is never a waste of time. If a person fails to get the job then as a fresher one should take it as an opportunity to practice interview skills and be prepared for future interviews. Similarly, if an experienced candidate fails to ace an interview, then it would be a great chance to understand the pattern and type of questions that firms ask to check the suitability of the person for a certain job role.
Individuals should understand the fact that with a growing population there comes great competition. There could be thousands of applicants applying for the same job role. At that point, it becomes extremely important to stand out from the crowd with some excellent skills. One great suggestion as a part of interview tips for freshers is to keep attending as many interviews as possible until one finds the right job.