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Soft Options

MOST recruiters already know what you want to say about yourself since, if they are reasonably diligent, they will have passed a scrutinising, if not gimlet eye over your curriculum vitae. The reason they haul you in for an interview is because they need to know several things about you that (a) perhaps you don't know about yourself, (b) you don't want anybody to know about you and (c) whether you will fit in with their attitudinal and social requirements. Not everybody with the right qualifications and good marks may find themselves a slot, not because of a lacuna in their knowledge but possibly because of a blanked out `soft' side.

They want to know if you are someone who can fit in with their requirements of being able to contribute effectively to your team, your bosses and the organisation in general. They want to know if your innovative and creative skills are what they want and whether you can `vibe' with the people who populate the organisation. Merely saying that you are a good communicator is hardly convincing. You have to sound it and perhaps even look it! And this can be discovered only when they have you on the hot seat in front of them.

Talk Write

You might have been the whiz-bang in school and college, and perhaps you're weighed down under the weight of the gold medals you received for academic performance. All that will not get you the job; that gets you only as far as the interview! What you need to demonstrate is that you can tell people what's on your gold-medalled, diamond bejewelled mind! Can you tell people effectively and efficiently what you know and better still can you write it down so that others can understand it? If you can, good. If you can't learn! Quickly! Otherwise you'll swell the ranks of unemployed. Can you talk in public? No? Attend a course or something, but whatever it is, if you have something worthwhile in your mind, be prepared to share it with the whole company, and if that sends you up the spout, make sure you get over the terror soon and are able to manage it quickly. Public speaking is like yeast, it helps you rise! One or two things that you can do on your day in the hot seat is to be able to give a good, oiled, and slick description of yourself in two minutes flat. Don't start, as millions of others before you have with, "Basically, my name is... ." Or, Basically, I come from... ." They don't want to know those basics; it basically shows that you have poor communication skills! Take it easy, talk slowly, measured tones are in, breathless husking isn't! Do not get nervous, and think before you say anything. Show that you are thinking even if you are in a flat spin. Your ability to be cool in adversity is being noted!

Peer Pleasure

You need to display that you can get along with people. Because this matters to every organisation (except perhaps the Lighthouse Authority!) How you deal with people will be what gets you hired. You need to display obvious leadership qualities, even if you aren't looking at a leadership position as yet. The objective is to show potential. Perhaps you could talk of something you did in school or college, which shows these qualities. Perhaps you were a prefect, or the secretary of a society or perhaps you were involved in setting up a college event.

All these things show how effective you can be in a leadership role! Have you ever poured oil on troubled waters in the past, even if it was among friends? It wasn't a waste of time! This is a good time to use it to get yourself hired! Conflict management is a hot subject with recruiters.

They don't want troublemakers, they want trouble-breakers! With all those gold medals you might have been on school/college committees, it's a nice time to mention it!

Trouble Scooter

If you have ever worked out tricky solutions to worrying problems in college or even if you are good at crossword puzzles, you might be able to leverage that skill too. Companies love to be thought of having `creative' and `innovative' people working for them, because somehow their clients seem to always want creative and innovative services. Ergo, if you are these, you will be the flavour of the year. Try and develop your innate skills in innovation and creativity. This is not something that you attend classes to learn; it's a skill that you develop by exercise. I don't mean by doing a sixteen-kilometre jog and three hundred push-ups. You have to use your mind to solve logic puzzles. Its not physical training but mind training that you need. Lateral thinking is what will provide you with this, and the best is that you can develop this by sitting at home and reading. Read about different ways to approach problems and different ways of looking at things. Before long you'll have the skill to bust open any problem by latching on to the crux of the matter and coming up with the right answer - every time! Have some examples to tell the recruiter how you solved a particularly tricky problem.

Do-all Always!

Always be ready to do whatever is given to you and never mind if it's not in your particular field of expertise! Show that you have varied skills. Do you know that one of the success indicators of Knowledge Management implementation in an organisation is the reduction of subordinate staff? That means that everybody should be able to do virtually everybody else's work! Not only that, its essential for everybody to do several things at once! Very few of the senior people in organisations have secretaries. They have executive assistants, and these luminaries are supposed to do everything, with a finger in every pie! Actually its all about your being able to do several things at once, which you must have done sometime in your life, and recruiters are dying to know about it. Tell them! And get hired!

S.RAMANUJACHARYA

professor1@sify.com

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