Perhaps the most difficult part of trying to land a job in the U.S. from India is preparing for an interview. Even the strongest public speaker can get somewhat intimidated at the prospect of answering interview questions, as one’s chances for being hired can depend on the responses given. Your challenge may seem even greater given you’ll be interviewing with an unknown employer coming from a different culture, with the prospect of relocating to a new country on the line.
How are you to overcome the nervousness inherent with interviewing? It’s simple; you just need to know the questions ahead of time. How is that possible? Even though the exact questions asked in an interview will be unique, the types of questions won’t be. Understanding the philosophies and practices that interviewers use may give you a leg up going into your meeting.
Understanding the Types of Questions an Interviewer May Ask
In the past, those conducting interviews with people looking for a job in the U.S. from India often focused on traditional questions such as, “What are your skills?” or “How fast can you pick up new concepts?” The problem with these types of questions that they are often easy for people who are adept at thinking on their feet to answer. While some job candidates may very well believe the answers they give, it’s easy to assume that someone could essentially “fake” their way through an interview comprised of such questions.
Behavioral vs. Traditional Interviewing
Recent years have seen hiring and human resource managers shift their focus to a new concept known as behavioral interviewing. This type of interviewing restructures questions from inquiring about what you think about yourself to describing what your behavior may be in a particular situation. This new form of interviewing typically adheres to the following pattern: First, the interviewers will ask you to describe a situation in your past (not necessarily work-related) where you were presented with a challenge. It could be involving a study group when you were in school, or a time when you were forced to deal with a difficult employee. In this case, the interviewers are interested in the context of the challenge itself rather than the exact details of it. Next, they will want to know how you decided to act in the moment, and then what the results were. Along the way, they may throw in questions regarding your motivations and the principles you used in your decision-making.
The reason behind this form of questioning is that it serves as a good predictor of your future behavior should you be offered a job in the U.S. from India. The hiring managers look at the way you’ve dealt with these past challenges for indications on how you may react when faced with similar situations as a member of their organizations.
Preparing for an Interview when Seeking a Job in the U.S. from India
Knowing this, you can prepare for how to answer some of these potentially tough questions. Start by reviewing different postings for the type of job you’re seeking to get an idea of the critical skills involved. Compare that list to those professional traits you’ve listed in your resume. Then, try to remember the situations that helped you develop those skills. Come up with a list of six to eight of these scenarios that you can reference during your interview. Exactly half of these should be experiences that are solely positive, such as a time when a project you led exceeded expectations. The other half should be situations that started in negative circumstances, yet your actions turned them around and produce positive results. Prospective employers may place added emphasis on such experiences because they prove your ability to resolve challenges should you land a job in the U.S. from India.
A successful interview can help win you a job. By practicing answers to common behavioral interview questions, you can present yourself as the ideal candidate for the position you’re seeking, regardless of the circumstances of your past experiences.