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Here's how to crack your dream job interview

June 18, 2010 10:20 IST

Now that you have completed your education and are looking out for a good job the idea of job-hunting can be pretty intimidating. If you're feeling shy and lacking confidence about getting out there and talking to employers, you are far from alone.

Our career coach Amit Bansal answered a range of queries about interview dos and don'ts in a chat with Getahead readers on June 17.

For those who missed the chat here is the unedited transcript.

rajesh asked, What would be the my strategy if I am belong from IT field and I am not sound technically

amit bansal answers,  at 2010-06-17 15:56:47Rajesh it wll be a very poor show... you must be sound technically to attend the interview... do your best to brush up basics

zombo85 asked, how to answer your strength weakness, where you see yourself after five years wh we shouil hire you?

amit bansal answers, spend some time thinking about yor strengths and back up with examples - these should be personalit traits. When you talk about weaknesses also tell them how you are working on them. Think about your natural career progression and speak about the role you see yourself in after 5 yrs... more responsibilities, managing people etc

raj asked, MOst of the career switches in india are purely dude to compensation concerns . But why is it ever one lies about the reason for the job switch.??

amit bansal answers, Fact is you cannot state that you are moving for money. The interviewes will believe that you will join the next company offering you a little more

Seeker asked, I have been in IT for 8 yrs. Is an MBA advisable at this stage?

amit bansal answers, Please consider some of the better B schools for real value addition


amit bansal answers, Please think about your individual style of working and your strenghts. Do you have the confidence, ability and understanding of the market to drive your own practice? If so go ahead.

Keziah asked, Hi, I've finished my graduation in Commerce and have applied for the post of accountant in an organization. I have read up about the organization and also brushed up whatever I learnt in college. Is there anything else I need to keep in mind? Is there any particular dress code for interview for accountant? I'm nervous also, any idea to calm myself down?

amit bansal answers, Good preparation. Dress formally, nothing garish. take a few deep breaths before the interview. Think confident thoughts and walk-in. Good Luck!

mkmk asked, i m not having proper biodata,can u help

amit bansal answers, Please prepare one using the standardized templates available. there are a lot of free samples available on the internet. Else contact one of the professional resume writing services

abhi asked, having done mba, is it advisable for me to start a small scale business right away (by taking loan from bank) or to first join a job?

amit bansal answers, Abhi, my personal advise would be to find a job, gather some experience and then set up shop on your own. But if you have a good idea of what you want to do immediately and are confident of making it a success go ahead.

red asked, Sir even if i get amazing job how to tackle the office politics, can u tell dat too??

amit bansal answers, Dont get too involved just shrug off anything you hear and be focussed on your career.

jia asked, I've been to three interviews now and all the employers seem to enjoy taking a trip of the candidates. They remind me of introductory sessions we had in college. It has put me off interviews. Any way in which i can overcome this fear?

amit bansal answers, Jia put your best foot forward. They are trying to put pressure on you to see how you react. Dont let it get to you.

anand asked, Dear Sir,I am working in the mechanical field since from 4 years in the Analysis field.I am not interested to continue in the same filed.Is it good to do the MBA & shift to management side

amit bansal answers, An MBA would be a good means to mke the shift.

hirdayesh asked, whats should be the right answer for the question(tell us something about you).

amit bansal answers, Start with your career and then move on to academics and strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your strong points

sam asked, What could be the reasons for explaining as to why i have changed jobs at short intervals of 1 year ??

amit bansal answers, Be genuine. Explain your personal compulsions.

nm asked, I have had 15 interview calla over the past two months since I returned from Australia after completing my Masters' education but I could not get through in any one. I do not have much of an experience at 27, could that be a hindrance?

amit bansal answers, Be patient and continue to apply to good companies.

paras asked, Hello Sir, Can you please explain what kind of attire would be suitable... also some tips on body language

amit bansal answers, Please ensure you are in formal attire, light shirt, darker color of trousers. A tie... nothing too loud. Body language must display confidence. Make eye contact when you talk and enter with a firm handshake. Smile and be calm.

au asked, I am Non - Graduate In feild of IT with over 7+ Year experience what would be scope of growth w/o the degree and would doing a degree a fresh now be recomendable, would have experience count post graduation

amit bansal answers, A graduation would definitely help. Seriously consider it.

anil asked, Hello sir...i want to ask. In an interview...what is more important from the interviewer's point of view ? Concepts clearty or practical Knowledge ?

amit bansal answers, Both are equally important.

Rohit asked, i have completed Mba in marketing. i also have past experience of sales and business development engineer, in auto industry. so which type of job, i really need to look for????

amit bansal answers, Rohit, consider the auto industry as you have prior experience.

Santhosh asked, Hi Amit, Good afternoon. I have my biodata ready, but I am puzzled over by what to include in my cover letter. Since all my details are mentioned my resume, how do I write a cover letter which will not duplicate what I've written in the resume?

amit bansal answers, A cover letter will summarize the high points of the resume. only the highlights need to be covered.

imran asked, Is it good to continue is same company for more than 5 years that to in IT

amit bansal answers, If your learning curve has not dropped and you are happy with the environment there is no need to change.

sachin asked, What should a fresher do if his performance has been inconsistent in class 12 because he selected the wrong subjects, but in his graduation and MBA (from a good B-school) he has performed well? Would the interviewer feel that the student has been inconsistent?

amit bansal answers, Not neccesarily. The same can be explained.

j asked, what one should do if interviewer ask some question with objectionable word

amit bansal answers, Answer the question, ignore everything else. if it continues express your dissatisfaction at the language.

Sumit asked, Dear sir, how should we prepare for internship interviews...

amit bansal answers, Read up about the company, understand the role you are being interviewed for and brush up your basics

guru asked, Sir how i can aply for companies situated in USA or abroad?i m fresher

amit bansal answers, There are consultants who specialize in this asked, I worked with the central govt before doing my masters in International Business. Is govt experience a negative in one's resume?

amit bansal answers, Governement experience is not neccesarily a negative, speak of it as a learning experience.

mumbai_ka_chokra asked, I have 7 years exp in an IT company, I cant see any groeth oppurtunities in the current company. How can i make a switch as it is recession time and How can I move on from the current company.

amit bansal answers, You can definitely move now, start applying online or through consultants, organizations are hiring now.

abhi asked, The problem with me is that I cant finalise on a particular field in which I can work. Every field seems to be filled with TARGETS TO ACHIEVE. I'm from commerce background (not at all keen in accounts). I'm in my last sem of MBA Marketing. What field should I join which will prevent me from frequent travelling & monthly targets??

amit bansal answers, Abhi, there is no escaping it, all jobs/careers come with their targets to achieve.

samr asked, Hello Sir, I finished my graduation in 2009, but since then I have been on a career break due to personal reasons. Now I planning to apply for jobs, but am worried that this career break would affect my job prospects! And, how should I respond when the interviewers ask me about this gap period?

amit bansal answers, Please emphasize on any learning you gained during that period. If possible state the reason... family or health requirements and state clearly that you are ready now.

tanniru asked, what would u suggest me, sir.. to suggest students from my rural area to incorporate during their graduation to stand ahead in the race to face the interviews by any company to the freshers....

amit bansal answers, Definitely communication skills need to be built up. Take advantage of genuine programs offered in colleges.

nirav asked, How to convince interviewer that i going to be with company for atleast 2 years

amit bansal answers, Focus on the fact that it is the period of time equired to learn and master the job.

krishna asked, Hi Amit, NOw i am working in MNC but in diffrent stream but my area of inters is in Finanace so if igo for other interview they are asking about Finance experience so how should i go

amit bansal answers, Explain your reasons for wanting to move out of finance. Gaining additional exposure etc.

ravi asked, i am having professional expereince of 17 years & now intrested to persue phd for changing stream,will it benefit

amit bansal answers, A PHD will help you gather the knowledge required to start in a new field, but unless your prior experience is related you may have to work your way up.

bim asked, Hi, can shy people and people suffering from anxiety disorders survive or make it big in fields like marketing or HR?

amit bansal answers, Yes it requires the confidence in one's abilty to do it. Sometimes the right program can help you overcome your fears

raj singh asked, Hi Amit, Employer generally ask in interview,why do you want to change your job, what should be ideal answer

amit bansal answers, Something on the lines of... my learning curve has dropped or I want to gather more experience.

Mutha asked, Hi...Sir, I left job and taken 6 months break for family reason, how do i go about for my new job application? What do I say abount my 6 months break

amit bansal answers, State that it was for family reasons

vikasmalik asked, What should be the answer to describe yourself??

amit bansal answers, Please refer earlier answers

ANURAG asked, Gud Evening, is getting a resume written by a profession expert a good idea? If yes can u suggest some source. thanks

amit bansal answers, Some online job portals offer resume writing services.

nirav asked, HI I have done BE Electronic and MMS Finance. I completed MMS Finance last year and still looking for a job.......... Feedback what i get is you are over qualified or you will not continue more than 6 months........... .......... how to go about job search....

amit bansal answers, Please be patient and continue looking. Do not give the impression that you will not stay on.

mandu asked, I have done my MBA in HR.I worked for a reputed company for 7months.The company decided to terminate me before completion of probation.Currently I am out of job for the past 7months and whenever i go for interview the interviewer asks me why I left the last job and i find it extremely difficult to answer this question.This is the main reason i am not getting selected.My career is at an all time low.Kindly help me because i always gave top preference to career and unfortunately i am in danger of remaining unemployed

amit bansal answers, A lot of organizations sacked people due to the recession or downsizing

Siddharth asked, What is the minimum period for which an individial should stay in an organisation?Assuming better offers are available in the market.Your answer may be indicative.

amit bansal answers, Short stints will not look good on your resume. A minimum stint of a couple of years looks respectable but too many of these too can cause raised eyebrows

Nishant asked, Hi Amit. Good Evening. Is it legal for a company to ask for 90 days notice period. Now a days some of the MNCs mandated this without considering employees personal obligations.

amit bansal answers, I is completely legal if you have signed the offer letter stating it clearly

sree asked, Iam currently in IT field,I want to do MS is it possible to do thru distance education. plz suggest..

amit bansal answers, There are several online and distance education courses

Panks asked, I have 9 years of experience in Operations and vendor managment in restaturants, ITES and IT Industry. I am interested to move in Project management now. Would it be good move after i clear PMP?

amit bansal answers, PMP will definitely add to your resume

vikas asked, Why is an experience with PSU doesnt add significant value in eyes of recruiters! What can such a candidate make to look it significant other than speaking smartly abt the learnings and experience?

amit bansal answers, PSU's are still seen as slow moving mammoths by some people. Do emphasize your learning experience.

rajesh_daya asked, Hi Amit.........In order to make the interviewer interact, what sort of questions one can ask to the interviewer?

amit bansal answers, Please leave it to the interviewr to interact and conduct the interview.

amit bansal says, Good evening and thank you for your enthusiastic response. We will meet again next week.

Amit Bansal is a career counselor and trainer who heads PurpleLeap (, an organisation that works with colleges to make students employment-ready. He is an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur after his engineering at PEC, Chandigarh. He has 10 years of work experience in companies like Asian Paints, Riverrun and Talisma.