How To Tactfully Handle An Assignment During An Interview And Get Shortlisted?

Here are 5 tips to handle this so that you get shortlisted :


Have you been asked to revert back with a project/assignment like a sales plan or execution strategy of customer experience after the first interview? These are commonly used interviewing techniques (behavourial) to get a feel of how a potential candidate would perform on the job.

It is an excellent opportunity for a candidate to showcase his/her talent and suitability through such an interactive exercise. However, for many candidates handling an assignment given during an interview becomes a challenge because:

1] There is generally restricted information shared by the interviewer. For example, a candidate is expected to revert with a detailed sales strategy, however, the market size information or actual details about the current sales status is not provided.

2] How to make the assignment effective that it cuts ice with the employer?

Here are 5 tips to handle this so that you get shortlisted :

1] Restricted information shared: 

With limited data/ information, you as a candidate need to ensure that you make assumptions on the basis of your research and this needs to be clearly spelled out in your presentation. That is important so that the interviewer is made to appreciate that your findings or recommendations are based on assumptions which may not necessarily reflect the real situation but would come closest. It is good to remember that through this exercise, the interviewer primarily wants to assess your thought process, self-initiative and interest level.

2] Focus on pain points: 

Ask questions while taking up the assignment brief and give your suggestions/ recommendations to solve the problems or improve the performance of the tasks. Accordingly, work around the presentation. 

3] Talk to real people: 

Ask for information/ inputs from the marketplace - vendors, agencies, retailers, customers to do your homework so that you get as close as possible to the real situation. 

4] Confidential information: 

Just like the employer has the right not to reveal sensitive information, you too have every right not to share any confidential data or information with the prospective employer. 

5] Revert within the timeline : 

Whatever timelines are mutually agreed upon, get back within the time frame.

Do this exercise with full commitment because it will also give you a better insight into what the job actually entails and for all you know, you may not find the job interesting as per your capability. If that is the case, you may like to politely refuse to proceed ahead.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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