Soft skills required for a personal interview
A personal interview is carried out between two parties, with the intention of enabling both parties to understand each other through face-to-face interaction. Needless to say, in an interview, (for a job or for admission to a B-school) it is not only the knowledge of a prospective applicant that is judged, but an assessment is also made of his/her soft skills, especially those related to work ethics, attitude towards work, communication, time management, self- confidence, articulation, tactfulness, sense of humor and the like - qualities that are not easily conveyed through a CV/ resume. Listed below are some of the soft skills that are assessed by interviewers:
Employers are always on the lookout for people with exceptional work ethics, especially those who go out of their way and beyond the normal course of duty to ensure that a task is "done". Good work ethics would include being reliable, productive, cooperative & dedicated among other things. This trait is not a one-time activity, rather it is a style of functioning that shows that an individual cares about the mission and vision of the company and puts in the very best of efforts in meeting the goals of the company, thereby ensuring success for self and the enterprise. Candidates should be able to cite examples that showcase their positive work ethics and explain how positive work ethics influence their day-to-day activities. These ethics are required not just at work, but also in a b-school over the course of your MBA.
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Candidates should exude the right quantity of positivity - neither less, nor more. Carrying a positive attitude is an asset and candidates should exploit this to their advantage by explaining to interviewers how this attitude helped them succeed in their studies/ work and become successful at people management and task management. Those with a low-key demeanor should nevertheless make an attempt to appear positive and engaging.
This is one of the most important soft-skills. Candidates should demonstrate their skills and command over a language, not only in the written form but also in the spoken form and wherever possible, with appropriate examples. It is also a good idea if candidates can alter the tone and texture of their voice depending upon the question that has been asked in an interview. If possible, candidates should also cite humorous incidents or crack a relevant joke in order to lighten up the atmosphere for everybody. They should appear natural even if they are stuck with a question and find it difficult to answer. Such an approach conveys that they are genuine and not artificial. In fact, communication skills is a crucial factor for selecting prospective MBA students, since effective communication is needed for good business!
Time management is money management and employers understand this well. Similarly, completing your MBA involves a lot of multi-tasking and juggling of time. Candidates should display their time management skills by explaining how they view work and what their approach is of having it completed, so that the effort is minimum is, and the results are maximum. Time management is important when working in start-ups or with limited resources. And yes, turn up for your interview on time!
Body language plays the most important role here. As per experts, 75% of self confidence is reflected through body language and only 25% of it is reflected through what one says. Candidates should sit confidently in front of the interviewer and look into his or her eyes when answering any question. They should try and speak slowly and in a voice that commands authority. Candidates should also make a sincere attempt to look their best on the date of the interview.
Research shows that it is the first 5-6 seconds after seeing a candidate that an interviewer is able to form a perception about who a candidate is and what he/ she is capable of doing. It is this perception that influences his or her subsequent interactions with the candidate. If the candidates' personality is poor, chances are that he/ she will be rejected, even though the candidate might be very knowledgeable. Therefore, candidates should try and project a confident image.
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