India Job Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. Job search in India requires more than just the obvious India cover letter and India CV writing and translation. You need to pass the India job interview.
You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in India. Do not underestimate the impact work in India can have on the end result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to India are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against Western interests and civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the Indian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current and valid and secured in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals. Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
Prepare yourself for the India job 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 and cover letter 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 one of the most important aspects of being hired for available jobs. So, check the India 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 Indian 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 Indian man, but not normally to others. Traditional Indian women may shake hands with foreign women but not usually with men.
It is polite to use a 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.
In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
However, you should manage your online presence. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. The online CV should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Do not sit until invited. The India job 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.
At the job interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
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. 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 a couple that had less than favourable outcomes but were learning experiences.
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."
When listening to an Indian talking in English, it is very important to nod showing that you are listening 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. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).
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 India Job Interview Info
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 India job interview!