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Interviews Based On Other Aspects

The types of interviews can be classified on the basis of some other parameters for the reason of their functionality and use. For example, a Behavioural-Based Interview is targeted to note the behaviour of the candidate in a particular situation. Then, there are Functional or Technical Interviews, where the interviewer might want to know the capability or knowledge quotient of the candidate and match it with the requirements of the post being offered. There is another type of interview which college pass-outs face when they finish their studies and apply for a job through campus recruitment. These are called On-Campus Interviews and generally students from engineering, management and vocational courses institutes have to sit for these to get their first professional break.
However, all these diverse ways of interviews are purpose-driven and the basic tools and tricks detailed throughout in this book help you to achieve desired outcomes. However, as these types of interviews are common these days, a detailed treatment is made available here for your use.

Behavioural-based Interview (BBI)

Behavioural-based interviews or BBIs are specifically conducted in the second-round interviews, and they mainly have questions to measure your behaviour and analyse your potential abilities which were in use during your last job or assignment to achieve particular outcomes. Since your past performance is a good enough predictor of your future behaviour, the behaviour-based interviews are important tools to effectively measure competencies.
When Tamish Mehta sits down to interview a job candidate at Kremline & Sittco Industries Inc., he has a list of very specific questions to ask, and he knows how to follow them up with more probing questions about how the candidate performed in past jobs and projects. Mehta, who earned a master’s degree in Personal Management and Industrial Relations from Panjab University, wrote his thesis on behaviour-based interviewing. Now he is an industrial relations specialist at Kremline & Sittco Industries based in Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, and he says his background has helped him understand an interviewing technique that has become increasingly popular and according to both his research and popular opinion, is more effective than traditional techniques.
“More structure and more thought has to be put into an interview, and it will help make it better,” he says. According to him, the design of the behaviour-based questions is such that it determines if a candidate possesses “key competencies”. “However, when you start any behavioural interview you have to explain the process first,” Mehta says. “I start with telling that, then I ask them details of projects they have been part of, including names of people, dates and outcomes. I ask them to tell me what they had to do in any specific project—how their role evolved, how they handled time deadlines, pressures and unexpected situations and especially how they handled any adversity. Whenever you work for companies, you get that kind of experience of industry/function-specific projects.”
According to Mehta, the best way for candidates to prepare for a behaviour-based interview is to do some spadework on their project papers. This will allow them to re-live the moments in their memory and also bring forth the issues/difficulties encountered during these projects. Candidates should select out of the projects they ­completed during summer and part-time jobs and recount the steps they took to complete them successfully. Even the school/college projects could be part of the list for the candidates applying for basic level jobs. “What is suggested is to think about the situations they have been through and anything during which they have used their skill sets to complete some project,” says Mehta. “Importantly, just doing that is not enough. They should be able to talk about it in a presentable manner, in such a way that it would look in line with the job they have applied for. It is a lot commonsensical, you know.”
Some typical BBI questions, courtesy Tamish Mehta, and good points to work on (in parenthesis) for your responses have been listed below:
1. Can you talk about a situation where you used specific reference materials to write a research paper? Tell me in detail about what topic it was and what all journals you referred to for it. (Research/written communication)
2. Have you ever confronted a situation where a subordinate ­criticized you for a decision in the office meeting? If yes, then how did you react to it and were you able to control the ­situation? Did it hamper your way of working with that ­subordinate after that? (Oral communication)
3. Describe an instance in your past professional life when you presented an idea or concept to one of your seniors. How did you take it up? Was your idea well received? (Assertiveness)
4. Do you use any particular system for keeping a track on ­various projects in your existing profile? Are you able to control the progress of multiple projects keeping in mind the deadlines? (Commitment to task)
5. Did you ever think of an out-of-the-box solution to some recurring problem in your office? How effective was that? Did it help save resources for the company? If the idea was ­accepted by the management, what role did you get to play to implement that idea in the office/company? (Creativity and ­imagination)
6. Describe any special case when you were able to outwit the competition and help your company make better business decisions. How did you approach the problem and was it a good experience? What was the overall effect of your decision to the company’s profits? (Decision-making)
7. Did you ever bring together two disagreeing partners in your team to truce for the company’s benefit? How did you do it and for how long these opposite groups were able to work ­together? Was the team able to achieve better performance ­because of your efforts? (Teamwork)
8. How many projects have you handled in the past and how many of them could not meet the deadlines? What could you have done there to arrest that float of deadline for those projects? Was that a learning experience for you? How did your superiors take it? (Time management)
9. Did you ever encounter a situation where one of your team members was not able to perform because of personal or professional problems he/she was facing? Did you help the member or did you replace him/her for the sake of your team’s performance? If you helped him/her, then tell us in detail how you did it. If you replaced him/her, then what type of replacement did you seek and induct in the team? (Flexibility)
10. You must have decided on achieving some goals in your
career. Tell us about two which you think are most important. What is the time frame you have kept to achieve these and also how are you planning to achieve these? (Goal setting)

Technical Interview

Technical interviews are specific interviews for technical jobs and mostly people only with adequate experience are invited. Here, the technical heads are the main interviewers and the interview involves detailed questions about specific technologies, development theory, problem-solving approach and a host of other topics.
Typically, the questions in the technical interview consist of practical questions designed to measure your analytical skills as well as your grip on the practical aspects of the job. The recruiter might also want to know how well-versed you are with the changing technology in your domain, what types of trainings you have achieved in the field and if that matches with the on-going or future need of the company. ­Questions will also focus on your particular technical skills, teamwork, leadership and practical knowledge of the job for which you are ­applying.

Campus Interview

The campus interview is one in a series of steps in the recruiting ­process when one is straight out of college or in the final semester/year. A lot of companies rush to recruit the best fresh-out-of-college talents available in the industry every year. They throng the premier ­institutes, but students from other institutes are also getting on-­campus jobs these days.
The campus interviews are just like any other interview, but there is a small twist to your advantage. Firstly, the company is at your doorstep and lined-up to recruit the best amongst you. Secondly, you are fresh to the industry, so the interviewer will always keep this is in mind that you have marginal or nil experience of working in an office. Thirdly, you will be judged along with your fellow students who may be having minimal industry specific skill-sets, apart from theoretical/conceptual knowledge.
These aspects also make it difficult for you to ‘get-noticed’ in the bunch of similar-looking candidates and you have to devise a strategy to do well and being counted right from the first casual interaction with the interview panel.
Set the stage with a good first impression : All the interview tips regarding the interviews that you have read in this book till now, will come handy in campus interviews as well. Do not forget that though it is a campus interview, it is a job interview and you have to prepare seriously for it. Many college students do not appreciate the gravity of these situations and turn up unprepared and not properly dressed for the interview. This really puts-off the recruiter and if a noticeable chunk of students show such non-serious approach, chances are the recruiter may not be there in your campus the next season. By doing so, you are not just spoiling your chances of getting a decent job, but also bringing disrepute to the institution’s name. Instead, dress for each job interview properly, make eye contact with the recruiter and meet with a firm handshake. Dig out information on the company and its various projects. Be aware of its brands, their positioning alongside competition and build some sort of ­opinion of the industry as such. Try to come out with some logical and well-rehearsed answers to the common interview questions and you are already on the recruiter’s radar. Some of these common ­questions are: “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “What ­interests you most in this job?” or “Why do you think you are the right candidate for the job?” So, do yourself a favour and get the basics right.
The process in the campus interview may include a small written test on general awareness and aptitude, language and communication skills, and also on subject-knowledge. Various information-technology companies rely heavily on the technology-specific tests which cover the college syllabus as well as the topics on emerging technologies. This is followed generally with a group discussion, and/or a presentation round and finally an individual interview. It is important to note that your verbal and non-verbal conduct is being noticed by the recruiters at all these stages.

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