One of the most important questions asked in the B1 visa interview is “What is your purpose of visit”. Since this is often the first question of the interview, the way you answer this question sets the tone for the interview and greatly influences your chances of visa approval or denial. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into this and also look at a very simple rule to frame your answer.
Requirements for a valid purpose of visit(POV):
A good POV answer needs to have three essential ingredients:
- Clear: POV should be simple and easily understood by the visa officer
- Genuine: POV should be supported by valid proofs and documents
- Essential: POV should not be something that can be done on an email, video call, postponement to a different date, or substituted by someone else.
Appropriate answer length for purpose of the visit(POV):
A good POV answer needs to be just the right length. You cannot keep it too short and brief because you will miss out on giving important details to the visa officer.
At the same time, preparing very lengthy answers with a lot of technical details is not advisable as well. This is because visa interviews are short, just about 3-5 minutes. Hence giving lengthy answers poses the risk of being cut off in the middle by the visa officer.
The optimum strategy here would be to prepare answers which are about 4-5 sentences long, this way you can keep it concise and at the same explain your reasons clearly.
How to prepare your answer:
Here I will share with you a very simple framework which will help you arrive at the perfect POV answer. This is called ‘The three golden rules’ and this is something which I advise all my clients to use as well.
Always start with a one-line introduction about yourself. This can include your educational background, work experience and current job/ project you’re working on.
“I am a computer science engineer with five years of experience in the field of project management. Currently, I am the team lead for a US-based telecom company “
Go straight to your role in the US office and tell the visa officer why you are required to be physically present there.
“Since I am the team leader, the client wants to meet me before we start the project to finalize the project goals, timelines, and resource requirements “
Finish your answer by stating the need for a face to face meeting or training
“This is a significant and sizable value project for my company that involves multiple stakeholders and a lot of confidential data”
Putting the three golden rules together, your final answer will look something like this:
“I am a computer science engineer with five years of experience in the field of project management. Currently, I am the team lead for a US-based telecom company. Since I am the team leader, the client wants to meet me before we start the project to finalize the project goals, timelines, and resource requirements. This is a significant and sizable value project for my company that involves multiple stakeholders and a lot of confidential data”
This example is built using one particular scenario. However you can apply these rules and arrive at your answer for any scenario at hand.
Extra precautions to take:
Since POV is such an important question, it is also important to know what you should avoid using or doing during the interview.
- Technical jargons
Keep the POV simple and avoid using too many technical terms and jargons. These will complicate your answer and there is also a chance the visa officer does not understand or relate to them.
- One word / One-line answers
Many times candidates give one word or one-line answers for POV. Such as saying that they want to attend a business meeting or training. But not adding the relevant details will make it impossible for the visa officer to understand the importance of the trip for you. Hence avoid giving very short answers and use the three golden rules described above to prepare your POV.
- Lack of confidence/ eye contact
Since USA visa interviews are based on a personal 1:1 interaction, having enough confidence and maintaining eye contact is essential. Both of these things can be developed by practice. Once you have prepared your answer, practice it by saying it out aloud in front of a mirror or in front of a friend. If both of these things are not possible, you can book a practice interview session with me.
You can find more details of this here : https://shachimall.com/interview-preparation/
Hope this article gives you a very clear framework for preparing one of the most important interview questions. For more information, you can check out the other videos on the YouTube channel or get in touch with me via the links mentioned below.