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

Preparing for a job interview can make you very nervous. The key to acing a job interview is prepping yourself for all the right aspects that can help you bag the job. Arming yourself as the best candidate requires you to take important career tips and tricks into consideration. And so, to highlight all the required things that go into preparing for an interview, Career coach and mentor Gaurav Ashisha tells ETimes Lifestyle about the nitty-gritty of appearing for a job interview. Read on.

How can one deal with the pressure of preparing for an interview?
You feel less pressure when you’re more prepared and confident. That is the correlation. The more you prepare, the better you will be able to present yourself in the interview. You also need to know about the company, hence, research is the key to cracking an interview. I can’t stress enough how important is to research the company. Next, always smile when you walk into an interview. Greet your interviewers and always showcase a positive attitude. Treat it as a conversion rather than an interrogation. Also, value and treat yourself better because that way you will feel more confident and less stressed.

How can one be really confident while giving answers during an interview?
If you aren’t sure about the question at first, repeat the question while slowly analysing it. This gives you time to think. A pause will also help you. Don’t take too big of a pause though. You need to look at your interviewers’ facial expressions as well to realise if you are going wrong, or not. These are the ways you can really make your answer concrete and to the point.

What are some of the winning answers that can help people bag a job?
I believe a winning answer is the combination of two things: your skills and strength and then you backing it up with your experience and a success story. If someone asks you—to tell me about yourself, then just tell the interviewers about your relevant skills and strengths, and then back it up with a success story and then end it up with how you applied your skills in a particular situation. That would be a great winning formula.

Can you tell us some tips to curate an excellent CV?
Your CV is not a documentation of what you have done. It’s a documentation of what you have achieved and what you have, what differences you have made. One of the biggest things about making a CV is saying ‘you are responsible for this…’ —-this is not a job description. You have to make your CV short and precise. Bring something new to the table. The first half of your CV’s first page is the most crucial. If you can fit your biggest achievements and career highlights, then your CV can be a successful one. No one likes to read a long CV.

What are some of the things that you should and you shouldn’t do after an interview?
After an interview, when you thank them, look for clues that suggest if they are positive or negative about it. If there is a vibe between you both, then you may be in for the job. But if not, then it’s not going to work out. After the interview, always send a thank you note to your interviewer within 24 hours of the interview. But don’t follow up too much after that. That can be totally unnecessary. It really annoys the hiring managers!

Is it easy to switch careers? How can one switch their career from customer service to IT?
There’s no shortcut and no easy way. You have to focus on two things, upskilling yourself and building a network. The more you network and post about your skills on LinkedIn and other websites, the more reach you will have over jobs. You can go to a lot of events where you can hand out your CVs to relevant people. A phenomenal hack that I go by is reaching out to one person every day for 365 days. If you can scroll through Instagram for some time in a day, you also have the time to answer people’s messages on LinkedIn.

How can you sell yourself as a fresh graduate?
When you’re a fresh graduate, they are looking for a few things: your energy, enthusiasm, projects, self-motivation etc. You can demonstrate that by showing them how active you are on LinkedIn and in the industry you want to be in. Secondly, when you want to stand out in an interview, articulate your achievements and capabilities as a student. Tell them about your internship experience and translate that into the work expense.

What colours can one choose while dressing up for an interview?
I would say it depends on the industry you are interviewing. Reading the room is really important. So if you’re going for a tech startup, you don’t want to wear a suit and tie, instead, a nice shirt and casual jeans would suit you more. If you’re going for banking, dark colours like navy blue would be a good pick. Avoid black suits because it is too solid of a colour. Blue is a very good colour as it radiates confidence, strength and trust. If you are working in a creative or marketing industry, you can wear whatever you like. It all depends on the culture of the industry you are going to interview for.

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