I have helped around 2,000+ people get jobs in the Middle East. Given that no one was there to guide me, I had to learn the ropes through the tough and difficult part. And given that per job over 4,000 qualified applicants would apply with around at least 20 making it to the 1st interview, it is pretty imperative that you stand out. So these are the tips I recommend to my students and clients. See what works for you, use it and apply it.
YOUR 1ST IMPRESSION – BE UNFORGETTABLE
Ensure that you create a massive impact on your 1st impression (Please check my article on How you can create a first lasting impression to add on to the important points – Link in Footnote).
PRACTICE THE ART OF 4–7–30–3
Know full well what you will within the 1st 4 seconds of meeting the person BEFORE you say anything, 7 seconds AFTER you have said the 1st word, 30 seconds AFTER your hello and what you would say for the next 3 minutes.
THE BIGGEST SECRET TO SUCCESS
And this is what I tell all my students is RELAX. When it is your first time at anything and everything – you will make mistakes, you will mess up, you will goof up. But it is okay. No one expects you to be amazing on your first attempt. So just take it easy.
THIS IS WHAT THE 1ST INTERVIEW IS ALL ABOUT….
It is nothing but just one person talking to another. That’s it. Nothing more and nothing else. So take it easy. I want you to visualize, that you met a person down your building or outside your house and you are having a conversation with him. So chill pill buddy. However, remember this much – he is NOT your friend no matter how casual or friendly me maybe.
PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
The more you prepare yourself for the big day, the more you will get better at it. Keep practicing each and everything for the interview. When I train my student, I rehearse everything – and I mean everything. From the part, they walk in, to the shake hand, to the way they walk, talk, move, and even sneeze. And every practice we have – is ensured to be executed to perfection.
PRACTICE WITH THE PENCIL IN THE MOUTH TECHNIQUE
Being an Indian who grew up in a poor family and didn’t know English too well, I had a tough time speaking clearly and in a manner that was acceptable to a global audience. So what I used to do is put a pencil horizontally in my mouth right to the back of my teeth, clamp on it, and then without moving my jaw – only moving my lips, I would read LOUDLY and I mean LOUDLY and LEGIBLY for at least an hour. (Trust me it is NOT easy). And this is one of the secrets that helped me later on in life become a recipient of more than 800 awards in public speaking.
LEARN TO THROW YOUR VOICE
There is a difference between speaking from your diaphragm and speaking from your mouth/nose area. This is something which takes immense practice. But for now, all I want you to keep in mind is – you should not ‘shout’ but you should be able to speak clearly, and from your diaphragm. (Check footnote for article on Talk from Your Belly Button: Project Your Voice)
It is having someone play the role of an Interviewer and you play the role of an Interviewee. And sometimes may be you even interchange the roles. And this repeated practice sessions will truly help you refine your skills in mastering the art of the interview.
EYE TO EYE – TECHNIQUE
There is a tendency to look down or look nervous. Learn to look at the interviewer. But yeah do not stare and do not make it look too obvious
MANNERS MAKETH A MAN
It never gets outdated. Make sure you are very courteous, kind, polite and a perfect natural gentleman.
THE 3 E’S
Energy, Enthusiasm & Elegance will make any employer love to employ you. So make sure you are well-rested, enjoying every minute of this experience and yes – dress impeccably.
ABSOLUTELY MEMORIZE YOUR RESUME
Nothing is worse than going to an interview and not knowing the answers to the most common questions – that too on what is written in your Resume. An Interviewer can ask you anything on your Resume – make sure you know your Resume in and out.
ENSURE YOU PREPARE FOR THE TOUGH QUESTIONS
This is a list of more than 200+ questions I have prepared that you may be asked during the course of an Interview. (Check Footnote for the 200+ interview questions)
PRACTICE THE ART OF LOWERING YOUR HEART RATE
Keep this much in mind. No matter how cool, calm and collected you feel, you will nervous on the day of the interview. And even if you are not nervous, your heart rate may climb higher. So the best way to ensure that this is controlled – exercise (running) every day. And yes, the day of the Interview, make sure you burn off a bit of that excess energy before you go to the Interview
ELEGANCE – VISUAL, AUDITORY, OLFACTORY & KINESTHETIC
Smell Amazing (don’t over do with the perfume. And please don’t stink!)
Give an amazing feeling of being nice
VISUALIZE THE ENTIRE SCENE
Top athletes and successful champions in every industry always visualize something before it happens. Successful candidates play the entire movie of them going to the interview and being successful again and again and again in their minds. And on the day of the interview – you will feel like it’s Deja Vu! See how the room ‘may’ look like, hear the sounds, feel the environment in your mind. And keep reminding yourself – how would it be if you were absolutely successful?
There is nothing more horrible, worse and life changing than looking at yourself on video. Trust me. It will wake up your eyes to a whole new world of reality. If you can, take a video of you speaking or going through the interview process. You will completely wake up to a new reality.
In my younger days, I would pay some of my friends to sit around and not only conduct the interview but to sit and take notes and then give me feedback on what I could improve, what I could change and how I could be better. It is a great exercise to get different points of view.
HANG AROUND WITH THE BIG DOGS
I have always noticed this through my experience. The youngsters who hang around mature friends and grown adults have a confidence and mannerism about them that is exceptionally noticeable and undeniably attractive. Your employer would always want a grown adult working for him. Not a kid. However, if this is not something that is available to you – Don’t worry much about it. But make it a point to have yourself hang around with people elder to you. You will learn a lot.
DID YOU DO THIS – DO IT BEFORE YOU GO THERE…
A smart candidate always makes sure to go through Industry Journals, the newspaper, industry magazines, and business news to keep himself abreast with is happening. Now if you are a youngster I obviously do not expect you to understand what is going on or to memorize the entire history of the industry – but being knowledgeable about what is happening – is always good.
I used to practice talking while someone would rub ice on my back, sometimes I would practice delivering a perfect speech with noise, disturbances, and people irritating me. And there have been times I even wore sweaters and went into a hot sauna to see if I could handle the pressure of physical stress. (DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT SUPERVISION). In as much as I would not recommend this, it does help you on the day of the interview.
This is something which people will notice easily. If you can run 10kms every single day, you will have a strong heart and lungs. And this will help you control the physical stress you may feel during the day of the interview.
EXERCISE THE ART OF BREATHING
This is one habit that can really help you calm yourself down – especially just minutes before being called into the interview. It is simple. Practice this every single day – Breathe 30 time deeply through your mouth – every day. when you do it the first time – you will feel dizzy. It is normal. However, with time, as your lungs capacity grows, you will be able to take in oxygen and calms yourself down.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
The more practice you have the better you will feel. Always practice your skills and get better at them. Even in terms of interviews. Keep going for more and more of them until you actually start to enjoy them.
ALWAYS TAKE FEEDBACK
When I was younger (much younger than I am now) I would take advice from each and every person I knew. The reason being – I wanted to hear what people had to say and what feedback they had for me. This kind of helped me because it gave me a perspective of how I was viewed by others.
REMEMBER YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES
Here’s the deal – you will mess up. You will make mistakes. You will forget something. You will say something you shouldn’t have said. You will also forget to say what you were supposed to say. It’s all part of the process. Just take it easy. Make mistakes. However, do not repeat them.
DRESS TO IMPRESS, COMMUNICATE TO EXPRESS
You do not need to have an Armani Suit. But you must have decent dress sense. A simple clean white shirt and a Strong colored tie, with a black trouser, black socks, and black shoes are what will always do the trick. Avoid Jazz and yes – too many accessories. And please – if you are male – no earrings
LEARN THE ART OF CLAIMING THE SPACE
Once you walk in, stop acting like a sheep. But don’t act like a bully either. Be strong. Be confident. And yes claim your space. Make sure you walk up confidentially to the place where you have to sit. Ask permission to sit and then start the session
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
There are some interviews where the Interviewers like to Roast or Grill or laugh at the expense of the candidates. I have gone through this in my life. There are these ones of rare cases. Just be mentally prepared if you get someone who suddenly for no reason shouts at you or is rude to you or makes you feel uncomfortable. Remember – it’s just an interview. Relax.
THE 5′C’s TO SUCCESS
Be Calm and
THE BIGGEST FACTOR TO GET SELECTED
If you are likeable, the interviewer may even ignore most of the drawbacks you possess. So try your best to be likable – but don’t be a slave and keep nodding your head. You are not a tea-boy. So don’t be overly nice like a footrest but at the same time – don’t be too rigid either. Being someone whom everyone likes will always help.
NEVER EVER EVER DO THIS…
Don’t assume you are smarter than the Interviewer
Don’t lie to the Interviewer – they can catch you easily
Don’t think you are can impress the interviewer
Don’t put on an accent
Don’t be fooled by the Interviewers kindness
Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’
This is a mistake I made early on my career. I used to watch other candidates who were better than me and try to copy their style. Don’t do that. Always be you. And the best you can be. Never imitate anyone.
After the Interview ALWAYS asks for the Interviewers card or details. Normally, they will not give you the email of the decision maker because they do not wish to be flooded with spam and unwanted calls. The purpose of doing this is to ensure – immediately AFTER the interview call – you call them up to thank them for their time. ALWAYS make sure you send a one liner to thank them for giving you an opportunity and yes – do make it a point if possible to ask them for their feedback
90% OF THE CANDIDATES NEVER DO THIS
Ask for the job. After the Interviewer asks you the questions. After he has asked you if you have any more questions and before he finishes off the interview – make it a point to ask the Interviewer for the job. Tell him how interested you are in the job and let him know the 3 reasons why you believe that you are the right candidate for the job. If you do ask for the job – I can assure you – most probably he will consider you!
YOU FAILED – SO WHAT?
There are very high chances you will fail. And it is very possible. And so – if you do – remember it is not the end of the world. In my case – for the 1st two years after I decided to get a job – for 2 years I went about and never got offered a single job. 2 years. It was enough to crush anyone. But thanks to a few kind souls – I got the encouragement I needed.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Even though this should have been the 1st point – I didn’t put it right at the top because something believing in yourself too much – may end up giving you a false sense of pride and that would lead to arrogance. Just as too much sugar is never a good thing – too much confidence and no one would ever want to employ you. So make sure you believe in yourself but to the point, it helps you get up when you fail and fall – not make you feel you are high and mighty
HAVE A MASTER MENTOR
There is nothing more powerful in the world than having someone who can guide, mentor and lead you to success. Have someone who is a person whom you look up to and someone who truly wants you to succeed. If you can get such a person – you will succeed no matter what.
PS – If you liked this article and felt it added value – please do share it with others so that people who cannot afford – especially youngsters can benefit from this article. And if you have any questions – let me know. I wish you all the best boys! Go and conquer the world!
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