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K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Fear or Dare?

  Published : Tuesday, 10 February, 2015 12:30 PM

Seldom does one sit for an interview where the stakes are not high.If this is not nerve-wracking,the fact that there is very little to differentiate among the candidates,who reach the interview stage,as far as ability and potential are concerned can,certainly,make one jittery.

The fight for admission in a reputed MBA institute is a tough one.Therefore,how one approaches the interview,what one says to the interviewer and how one behaves assumes great significance.The interviewee must avoid the extremes highlighted by the topic-'fear or dare' and must carve out a middle path, where he channelizes his fear and converts it into confidence.

Causes of Fear

When a lot is at stake, it is natural to be nervous. The fact that one's future prospects hinge on how well the interview goes,can cause a great amount of stress in the aspirants. The stress mainly arises from the pressure to perform,the fear of losing out or the fear of something going wrong.These are factors beyond our control, yet we fret over them for so long that our preparation is ruined. Also, being psychological in nature, these factors obstruct us from thinking clearly. As a result, we hype the interview to an extent (almost transforming it into a monster) that we start fearing it and ruin the opportunity.

Tell signs of Fear

Fear is a negative energy, which reveals itself in the interview through various signs,such as sweating,fumbling,trembling,fidgeting in the chair,using too many fillers ('like', 'um', 'you know'),parched throat,drawing a blank even when asked basic questions,not maintaining eye contact with the interviewer and so on.

So do we dare?

To dare does not mean to be aggressive,dismissive,to challenge or take liberties with the interviewer or behave casually.However,to dare in an interview means to overcome one's fear,to be confident,to be positive and to be in control of one's gestures.It concerns more with an attitudinal shift,from being nervous to being confident.This comes about when the aspirant is convinced that he/she deserves the coveted seat,has tremendous self-belief and has a good hold on his/her subject. Thus,'to dare' should be taken as conquering the inner demons as well as the interviewer.

How to carve out the Middle Path?

Prepare-Constant practice (or mock sessions) helps in removing our inhibitions and fear and create a sense a familiarity with the interview process, which helps us in being at ease during the actual interview. Also,it is advisable to practice your response to expected questions,such as “Why do you want to pursue MBA?”,“Why do you want to join this institute?”, “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” and the like,as this will enable you to build up confidence during the interview and be ready for the tricky questions.

Respect the interviewer-Respecting the interviewer will ensure that you don't slip on the wrong side of 'dare' and value the opportunity offered to you.

Breathe-Often, the candidates forget to breathe properly due to fear/anxiety. So,regulating your breathing patterns is a good way of easing the anxiety and maintaining your focus.
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