India is an ethnically diverse and culturally vibrant country. If you’re thinking about moving to India you'll probably need to find a job, and with a large population and booming cities this country provides a lot of options for expats. This guide can help you navigate the interview process in India so that you can land your dream job and make your relocation abroad.
Interviews in India are a unique process, so you’ll have to do a bit of homework before the interview day. Often, that means finding information about the company and job that you're interviewing for. You can search the company’s website for information on:
- The company’s mission and values
- The company’s culture and structure
- The job’s roles and responsibilities
You’ll also want to do some research on the industry by looking at other companies in your field. Reading biographies/backgrounds of other people who have held the job may also help. It’s also good do some research on the job’s salary range, and you’ll want to map out your route to the interview so that you arrive on time. Indian interviewers won't be impressed if you’re are late to the interview.
The company you’re interviewing with might be open to a Skype interview or other video conferencing interview, especially if you’re living abroad. You should thoroughly prepare for this by doing the same research you’d do for a face-to-face interview. You’ll also want to look presentable and choose a good quiet spot to make the call with no distractions. You should also test your internet connection, headset, and microphone ahead of time to ensure the interview goes smoothly.
Your interviewers in India will probably be most interested in your qualifications and your skills. You’ll likely be asked about where you studied and your competency issues. If the job you're interviewing for is technical in nature you might even be asked to solve a problem. You should also be prepared to answer these common interview questions:
- Why are you interested in working for us?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What can you bring to the job that others cannot?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
You should prepare several questions ahead of time to ask during the interview. It’s likely that your interviewer will allow time at the end of the interview for you to ask questions, and you should have some ready ahead of time. Asking questions demonstrates your interest in the position. Some appropriate questions to ask in the first interview include:
What’s a typical day in this role?
Who does this job report to?
What are the key functions and responsibilities?
You should avoid asking about salary or any kind of benefits until you're offered the position. It can be seen as presumptuous before you have an offer on-hand.
The interviewers are likely to be very formal with you and you should reciprocate this behaviour. You probably be asked direct questions in an Indian interview, and you should give succinct and formal answers. Throughout the interview you should maintain good manners and good posture to demonstrate your interest.
You should greet your Indian interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile. Be polite and introduce yourself confidently.
Generally, men in India will wear suits and ties to interviews and women will wear suits, blouses, long skirts or saris. However, you may want to research your company’s dress code or culture ahead of time. Business casual is becoming the norm and more acceptable in some industries. In any case, you should limit accessories and keep make-up and hair color natural looking.
It’s common practice to negotiate your salary in India after you're offered the job. These negotiations can be sensitive and difficult. You should treat any salary offer with respect before you counter it. You should do research on the salary levels for your position and industry so that you can negotiate well.
Once you accept the job and its salary, the next step will be to open up your bank account in India. This can be a tricky process if you’re not already in the country, and moving money with traditional banks can be expensive. For a cheaper and easier alternative, you may want to try Wise to help you move your money abroad. Wise also offers international money transfer services that are cheaper and fairer than traditional banks, which often have hidden fees and use high exchange rates.
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You probably need a visa to work in India. Confirm the employment from your company in order to apply for this visa. You should discuss visa details with your new employer after they offer you the job. For more information on visa requirements for India, check with your government or the Indian embassy or consulate in your country.
At the end of the interview, you should thank your interviewer for their time and ask about any follow up processes. Maintain your formal and polite mannerisms until you leave the building. You should also write a thank you note to your interviewer after the interview. Indian employers regard this as a good indication of your interest, and it's the polite thing to do.
Finding the right job can be difficult, and interviewing is always nerve wracking, especially in a different country. India offers a lot of opportunities for expats looking to relocate and once you find the job that's right for you, you can use this guide to help you prepare for your interview.
A handy guide for understanding the job options in India for foreigners and expats.
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