With the placement season just around the corner, let me
take this moment to give you my two cents’ worth. Throughout my journey as a
Career Counsellor and an Executive Coach, I’ve seen quite a few candidates
excel in their interviews. At the same time, I have also seen several
interviewees fail miserably (including some truly capable candidates). It is
heart breaking when you see people fail despite knowing that they have what it
takes to excel. How can you make yourself stand out your interviews and land the
job you aspire? Here are some pointers that you might find useful.
Before you go into some ‘interview training’ mode and start
preparing your standard responses to the equally standard questions, PAUSE!
Explore a little bit more, introspect, and arrive at a ‘sweet spot’ that is
unique for you and shows your personality, separating you from the herd. If you
are authentic during your interview, your employers will be willing to pay a
premium for you compared to the other cookie cutter imitations out there. Please
keep in mind that the guys who got ahead of the pack didn’t do what the pack
did. They took the road less travelled and in the end that made all the
Here’s a sample
list of questions that should lead to some interesting personal discoveries:
- What are you best at doing? It is amazing how many people spend
years trying to get good at what they’re bad at instead of getting better at
what they’re good at.
- What talents do you have that you haven’t developed? Don’t say none.
- Which of your skills are you the proudest of? This often reflects obstacles you’ve
- What were you doing when you were happiest in your work
life? Could you
find a way to be doing that now?
- What are your most cherished hopes for your future work
life? What could
keep you from realising those hopes?
about these questions helps you define your ‘self-worth’ and that is key to
About the Author:
Prof Subbaraman (Subba) Iyer has spent over 30 years in
several roles across technology, business and consulting in the IT and internet
industries. Despite his success in the corporate world, his true calling is
exploiting human potential and he attempts to do that through counselling,
coaching, and inspiring people to scale new heights. As an executive coach, Subba
has helped professionals and teams improve their performance significantly by
expanding perspectives and envisioning new possibilities.