Indian Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. A job search in India requires more than just the obvious Indian CV writing and translation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to get jobs in India.
Do not underestimate the impact they can have on the end result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to India are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Prepare yourself for the Indian interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice your few-sentence "speech" about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Be positive. Do not show anger. Smile.
Remember, the same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only do you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to communicate effectively about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.
Always bring with you to the interview copies of documents, like educational degrees, testimonials, references and visa documents. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important aspects in not being hired.
So, check the Indian dress code
Your first interview may be the introduction to a series of interviews with senior personnel.
Punctuality is expected. Allow extra time to get to an interview, as traffic jams, poor directions and the unexpected occur more often in India than in many other places. So arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the job interview and switch off your cellphone. If no one is available to introduce you, greet everyone and introduce yourself.
The traditional way of greeting someone is “namaste”, both hands are joined together with a slight head bow, is appreciated and shows respect for India customs. Men shake hands with men when meeting or greeting.
Men do not touch women when greeting. Western women may offer their hand to a westernized India man, but not normally to others. Traditional India women may shake hands with foreign women but not usually with men.
It is polite to use person's professional title and last name in introductions. Always present a business card when introduced, as Indias are very conscious of the protocol. Try to demonstrate some knowledge of Indian history, politics and culture.
Do not sit until invited. The Indian interview starts often with some informal small talk. Do not stand close to Indians, as they generally allow an arm's length space between themselves and others.
Maintain (brief) eye contact while talking with someone. Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers.
Prepare for all kinds of questions about yourself, your qualifications, skills, experience and hobbies. Listen carefully to the questions and answer them directly in an organized manner avoiding yes and no answers.
Indian interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.
During the Indian interview you do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, "In my country, that would be a strange question."
Do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
When listening to an Indian talking in English, it is very important to nod showing that you are listen and understand the speaker. Ask for clarification if you do not understand the question you have been asked.
Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process.
When an interview ended shake hands with all present when leaving.
Do not forget to write a thank you letter. Subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call.
Other Indian Interview Info
We hope that your Indian interview has been successful. Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Good luck with your Indian interview!