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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Winning a Job Interview: 10 things You Must Know

Many job seekers fail to secure jobs due to high competition or lack of adequate skill which the employers are looking for. In this article, I will share tips on how you can position yourself above other candidates during job interview. The list is endless but these few are some of the ones I have observed overtime.

1. Arrive the venue early

There are many reasons why you need to get to the venue early. Aside the fact that there may be delay on your way due to traffic, arriving early helps you to relax your mind before the commencement of the interview. It also helps you to familiarize yourself with the office environment and probably ask any necessary questions ahead of the interview. Most recruitment firm also considers arriving early to the interview as a sign of seriousness on the part of the job seeker.

2. Good dress sense

It is not enough to wear good dress; you need to wear it appropriately. Dressing well is not all about wearing expensive wears; it needs to fit the occasion. For example, wearing patterned tie on pattern shirt looks odd. Also, wearing patterned shirt on patterned trouser is inappropriate. No matter how expensive the dress is, if it is not worn appropriately, it can put off your interviewer. 

For ladies, excessive makeup should be avoided. Interviewers most times decide whether to give you attention based on your outlook. No matter how intelligent you may be, when you dress inappropriately, your interviewers may lose interest in what you have to say. Here is my recommendation; you can wear a dark coloured suit or any cool coloured shirt on dark trouser or skirt as the case maybe. Being formal most times is preferable. You can however, visit the organization prior to your interview date to see how their employees dress during working hours.

3. Don't memorize your answers

Most times, people buy books on job interviews. The next thing they start memorizing answers to the most common interview questions. This is not only wrong; it can also affect your performance. The essence of those books is to give you an idea on how to answer question not for memorization. You are not to quote the answer word for word. Always put your answer in your own words. As much as possible, relate your answer to the position applied for and avoid telling long stories as these may bore your interviewer.

4. Research the company

Most times when I place a job advert, people send CVs without even finding out what the company does. Having good knowledge of the company is very vital. It is like making a proposal. Prior knowledge about the company will enhance your performance during the job interview. Since most companies have websites, Google.com is a ready and free tool you can use to look up the website of the company. Find out about their vision, mission, core values, product/services, their competitors, track record and other necessary details.

5. Learn to define yourself appropriately

The most difficult question to most people during job interview is “Can you tell us about yourself?”. The question may look simple but most people answer it wrongly. In fact  how you answer the question can determine whether you will be hired or not. In your response, avoid unnecessary details such as the number of villages in your hometown, the numbers of your sibblings and their position in the family, the favorite movie you watch on television or names of your best friend. 

What the interviewer wants to hear is who you are (brief account such name, institution attended, course of study), what you can do (your skills) and what you have done(relevant experience) that relates to the position applied for. For example, if you are applying for a post of Marketer, and you were asked “tell us about yourself”. You can say something like “ My name is Wale Olajumoke. A graduate of Computer Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun state. I have great passion for marketing, as a result, I have worked as Sales representative for Finem Ventures. I was able to increase sales by 80% within few weeks. (Please don’t memorize this response, remember Rule 3)

6. Be confident

Many people fail exam not because they are not brilliant, but because they are afraid. The same thing happens during job interview. Employers are interested in employing someone who is confident. You can show confidence by maintaining eye contact, firm handshake, and good dress sense. Avoid sitting sluggishly or resting your back on the chair like a pregnant woman. Looking at the floor or panting while answering questions is a sign of lack of confidence. You need to know that confidence is attained overtime. Looking at your friends eyeball to eyeball, appreciating yourself while facing the mirror at home, listening to your favourite music when going for interview, volunteering in your community, knowledge of your field and praying are practical ways to build confidence.

7. Make eye contact

As much as possible, make eye contact with your interviewer. You need to have it at the back of your mind that your interviewers are human like you. They are only opportune and privilege to interview you. This consciousness can help to build confidence. Even if you are scared of their face, you can look above their head. Most interviews are done by one to five persons as the case maybe. Look at the face of the particular person interviewing you. Be audible and don’t rush your words as you try to respond to questions.

8. Don’t lie, you may be caught

People lie about their age in their CV, forge certificate, overshoot their years of experience and many other things. I believe sincerity is the best policy. If you don’t have particular qualities, it is better to let the employer know how you can compensate for them. You can share similar skill you have or your ability to learn fast on the job and so on. Also, I recommend proper preparation for interview as this will give you enough time to plan.

9. Smile! Smile! Smile!

A good smile appeals to people irrespective of race or background. Smiling brings out your beauty and communicates positively to your interviewer. Especially when it is genuine. Learn to smile always. Focusing on positive things and maintaining good attitude about life can help to strengthen your spirit which will indirectly reflect on your countenance. A smile can win you a job provided you have other skills and experiences required.

10. Remember rule 1 to 9

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ABOUT THE AUTHOUR

Wale Olajumoke is the CEO of Concise Value, a career management company, in Lagos, Nigeria. He is passionate about youth empowerment and Nation building. He has facilitated training on personal development, business, career, and leadership at various Corporate Organizations. He loves engaging youths positively on social media during his leisure.
www.facebook.com/waleolajumoke2

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