It was couple of years back that my friend had written this article on my blog - Interview Questions and Answers – Perspectives of an Author. I know a lot of that content is like golden words. All of us have been through the rigors of giving an interview and I am sure many have cracked it easily. This blog post is not a rehash of what was talked earlier but an addendum to the post out there.
Coming back to the topic of interviews, it is one of the most critical and important part of every IT professional career. Everyone attending interviews don’t necessarily knock it out the park the first time or if you are a first timer you are bound to have your share of learnings from the interview. I have always considered interviews as a two way street, you show your competency on one side and learn the competencies you lack on the other side. If you go with this mindset you are sure to learn and become better in every interview you face.
In this blog post, I will highlight 3 soft competencies that will surely get your hiring employer interested in you. So here are some core competencies:
This is the easiest of the competencies to explain. When you start your conversation, make sure you bring in positive vibes. Things smiling while you shake hands, make an extra effort to add anecdotes to real life examples are just some to mention. There are always people who are naturally high on energy and bubbly in their conversations. But for those who are introverts, extra effort is needed to engage with others and not seem stand-offish. Make sure you explain and talk about how you were able to motivate the team in achieving the task and how you contributed to it. Such examples get the attention of the interviewer.
One of the other ways positive attitude can be displayed is via your confidence. Your self-confidence in conversations, examples you give, the way you are dressed, the way you shake hands, the way you approach a problem – all these make a lasting impression.
How you handle customers?
These days organizations are looking at your social skills and how you handle people. They realize that customers respond favorable if you can relate to them and if you are genuinely trying to solve their problem. Customers want you to understand them and in the process they become comfortable talking to you. I have seen, if you are candid and vocal to your customers and if you build that trust. Even if the customer is not giving business to you today, they surely will return to you in the future as they have started believing in you. So make sure you show how you have been interacting with customers and how you turned around the customer by not being unethical.
Team player in solving problems
Today’s world is all about team and this is the easiest thing to showcase in any interview. Though you can be an individual contributor from time to time, you must still instill the confidence that you can be a great team player. Show how you can easily transition from individual to team player to being a leader that motivates others. As part of this, you must show how you can be creative in solving problems when faced with tough issues. Show you can be a leader in taking ownership of problems rather than waiting for someone else to solve the same. These are characteristics that you should be able to talk and illustrate with examples in a live interview.
In my opinion these are some of the non-negotiable traits I would expect in an interview. If you surf the internet you are going to get 100 other traits like flexibility, working under pressure, adaptability, communication skills, work ethics, listening skills, time management, negotiation, corporate communication and many more. I agree all of them are important and super critical in different situations. These were just my top 3 that I felt are relevant for the current trends in the market.