By Surya Prakash Mohapatra, Bangalore: What is common between attending interviews and batting in a Cricket match.Well, there are quite a few things which are common. Let’s see how.
As a batsman, in a game of Cricket you face balls from bowlers. As a candidate, in a job interview, you face questions from interviewers. In Cricket, the bowlers take turns to bowl at you. In the job interview process, different interviewers take turns to interview you. In most cases the placement consultant or recruiter takes the interview first. Then comes the hiring manager. The HR manager comes at the end for salary negotiations. In between some other stakeholders also may meet you. In the slog overs, bowers try to restrict runs. In the salary round, the HR managers try to restrict your salary expectations.
Every bowler tries to tease the batsmen, unsettle them. Likewise, interviewers try to test the mettle of the candidates. Bowlers bring in variation in their bowling and have a blend of in-swingers, out-swingers, short-pitch balls and full tosses. Similarly, interviewers bring in variations in their questions with a blend of difficult, easy and not-so-easy questions. They have a blend an open-ended, close-ended, open leading questions.
What can you learn from the game of cricket and apply while going for an interview?
A batsman doesn’t go to the crease without net practice. Similarly, don’t walk into your interview without proper homework. Visit the website of the company where you have applied for a positon. Find out about their culture and values. Find out about more about the hiring manager, HR manager and other potential interviewers. Look at their LinkedIn and social media profile. Remember, a good batsman spends hours looking at the footages and video clippings of his bowlers and their bowling action.
A Talented batsman executes his shots with great perfection. He plays every delivery according to its merit. He may hit a four off one ball and then hit the next ball for a sixer. Then he may suddenly change gear and play the next ball defensively for no run and then take two singles off the next two balls. A talented batsman can score at will and the manner in which he plays every delivery speaks volumes about his class, technique, approach, judgement of the situation and so on. Similarly, the manner in which you answer questions from your interviewers speaks volumes of your class and potential worth as a future employee. Answer each question to score a point about yourself.
Let’s look an example below:-
Interviewer Question: What do you do?
1st Response: I am a career counsellor.
2nd Response: I provide counselling to students who seek help on how to choose a professional career.
3rd Response: I am responsible for identifying and analyzing strengths and weaknesses of individual students, matching them with their aspirations and enabling them to make appropriate choices about their career. In my role, I ignite minds and touch lives.
While all the three aforesaid responses to the same question are correct, which one scores a point about the candidate? I am sure you would agree it is the third one. So you must use every question from the interviewer to your advantage. Use it to score a point or two about yourself. Answer it in a manner which will draw out your strengths and highlight your qualities. After all every question is an opportunity.
SO ARE YOU GOING FOR AN INTERVIEW SOON? THEN START THINKING LIKE A CRICKET BATSMAN !! IT IS GOING TO LOADS OF FUN.
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About the Author: Surya Prakash Mohapatra is a senior management professional and an industry thought leader in HR and L&D space. He has been awarded as one of the 25 Most Talented Training and Development leaders in the world by World HRD Congress.