Personal Interview is an art for some and science for others... What is it for you? Personal Interviews are a part of the admission process in some schools and are mostly a part of selection process for jobs. How do you glide through some of the baffling questions during the interview?
Question 1: How should one cover up for low percentage during school/graduation/post graduation?
Answer: Sit down with a pen and paper and write down all the reasons why you scored less during school/graduation/post graduation. Was it because you had led a team and organized events or that you played at the state level. Or you were simply building a rock band for the national level festivals. There are very few instances where people do nothing! Once you have these points ready, identify 1-2 reasons which are strong enough to justify your lack of involvement in academics. When employers see bad grades, they want to test your attitude. They want to be sure that you would work well if they hire you. So if you can justify that you were not simply wasting your time in college and were doing something constructive, you've closed the deal. Do try this next time. Be confident and then speak with conviction. If you don't believe in what you say, it's unlikely others would.
Question 2: How to justify the fall in percentage in graduation/post graduation when compared to High School?
Answer: If you have done something constructive, you can simply justify by saying that during school, you focussed totally on academics. However, when you joined college, you realized that you're close to entering the corporate world. You realized that to do well in a fast paced work environment, you need to develop yourself in multiple dimensions. And doing that, you weren't able to focus too much on academics compared to what you used to in school.
Question 3: Why should we select/hire you?
Answer: This needs some basic homework...
1. Take a pen and paper and make a table with 2 columns. In the first column write the skills that you have and corresponding to that, in the next column write an incidence from your prior life where you demonstrated that particular skill.
2. Get as much information about the company and profile as you can (from net, alumni, current employees) and take a note of the qualities required to do that job well.
Now you simply need to map the skills required to do the job and the skills you possess and need to quote incidents. Highlight the qualities you have which are needed for the job and justify with examples. That's pretty much the reason why the employer should hire you, isn't it? :) Avoid qualities which are of no use to the job. For example, saying that you can play flute very well in a marketing interview would make the interviewer confused.
Question 4: Tell us something about yourself?
Answer: First of all... "Tell me about you" isn't an opportunity to tell everything about yourself. If they don't stop you, it doesn't mean you can carry on for ever. Judge when to stop. You mainly need to cover the following:
1. A little about yourself like where you come from etc.
2. What course/job you're in presently?
3. Your academic qualification.
4. Other activities/awards/achievements/hobbies
For anything that you speak in point 2, 3, 4 follow the pattern: "Job Name-Role-Achievement" e.g. Chairman XYZ Committee at ABC University-Role was to plan events for the year, see overall execution and take care of administrative work-Major achievement was conceptualization of LMN Event which in 3 years has become the largest robotics event in North India"
Be very specific with what you say. Don't give vague answers.
Question 5: What to do when you don't know the answer to a particular question?
Answer: This is a tricky question. People have their own style of tackling this. Personally I think that if you don't know an answer, its better not to bluff and beat around the bush. If the question is about a definition or concept you can honestly tell the interviewer that you don't know the exact answer but you would like to tell the best you know related to that concept. Do show the interviewer that you're atleast trying. If you have really no clue, you may also tell the interviewer that you're not comfortable in this topic and request him to ask from some other. If it's an analytical problem, don't simply give up even if you're stuck. You can request the interviewer to give some hint on how to proceed further. The basic principle here is that more than your knowledge about a subject/topic, the interviewer is trying to check your attitude of approaching a problem and solving it.