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 How to really prepare for Interviews in Nigeria

How to prepare for interviews

a. Background research on organisation
Nothing can take the place of arming yourself adequately with information about a company where you are applying for a job. You might also want to visit the company’s website and social media pages to read about their operations, goals and other crucial details. It’s also important to come up with questions based on your research

b. Matching your qualifications and skill-set to job requirements
It’s time to take another look at the job description, your qualification and experience and match these with the requirements of the job.

This would go a long way in helping you establish where exactly you might fit into the organisation. We don’t think you would have much fun in an organisation where you look like this:

Out of place - Jobberman (1)

c. Anticipate questions and prepare responses
Naturally, this would be a smart thing to do. There’s no way you can anticipate a prospective employer’s interview questions 100% except you have an insider who leaks it to you but you should do your research on how to respond to that popular question:

Tell me about yourself - Jobberman

 

How to answer the question
Below are a few pointers on how you can answer this question when asked at a job interview:

  • Keep your answers concise and not longer than two minutes.
  • Highlight your achievements especially the ones you are proud of and deliver it in a cohesive statement.
  • Reveal one or two things that make you stand out from other applicants.
  • Don’t answer this question using a monotone voice – Let your passion and experience be felt
  • Let your interviewer understand how your experiences make you the best candidate for the job
  • Write down your answer and practice it if you have to
  • Learn to start with basic information like where you’re from and how your experiences have helped shape your career choices and decisions.
  • Give an insight into your educational background; the course you studied in the higher institution and how this relates to your career goals.
  • Let your interviewer in on the point you took a decision on the career path you chose. Endeavor to create an interesting story about how you ended up with your current career.
  • Shed light on things that interest you and things you are passionate about in life. Take a few seconds to explain why you think these interests give you an edge above other applicants and how they will be beneficial to your prospective employer.

d. What to wear and what to avoid
It’s an interview so we expect your dressing and accessories to be formal and professional except in cases where a dresscode is clearly spelt out.

e. Quick tips on what to wear and what to avoid for an interview

i. No headphones/earphone
While you can use them on your way to the interview. It’s best to take them off before you step into the venue of the interview

ii. No excessive perfume
Of course it’s cool to smell nice but depending on what cologne you’re wearing and how much of it you’re wearing, you could leave your interviewer wondering:

“Can’t you smell yourself? Your perfume is killing me.” Hope you get the message?

iii. Don’t wear outdated clothes and shoes
No matter how stuck stuck on vintage fashion, don’t wear old school clothes and shoes. They look good but not appropriate for an interview with the exception of interviews where this is expressly spelled out.
iv. Don’t be excessive
Always strive not to over impress as this could turn around to haunt you.
For instance, you might really love leather shoes but for God’s sake, don’t go to an interview wearing this:

Weird shoes - Jobberman 3

 

v. Avoid excessive make up
A job interview is not a runway fashion show so keep it simple. Try to go with an ‘everyday ‘formal look for an interview.

vi. Avoid tacky ties
It’s okay to be creative with your ties but don’t get this creative:

Bad tie 1

 

vii. Avoid excessive accessories and sunshades
If you insist on wearing one or more of the accessories below to an interview:

Rings
To your interviewer, you are as good as looking like this:

Too many accessories

 

f. Things to take to an interview
When going for an interview, you should ensure you have the following:

  • A detailed description to the venue
  • bus/cab fare or enough fuel in your car as the case may be
  • Name, designation and phone contact of person to ask after upon arrival
  • A copy of your CV and cover letter
  • A functional pen and paper
  • Minimum of five questions for your interviewer
  • Mental reference of work you’ve done in the past
  • Medication (In cases of prolonged interviews)
  • Mints (You might not have halitosis but you want your breath being clean when sitting directly opposite an interviewer).

 

You don’t need to pack this much to an interview:

Filled luggage 2
…It is not a vacation

g. Pay attention to non-verbal cues
Please be very attentive during an interview. Non-verbal cues speaks volumes. In addition to being attentive, you must learn to manage reactions as facial expressions give away your feelings.

h. Remember to follow up with questions
For those who might not know, a lot of interviews end with the interviewer asking:

 

This is a very good time to ask questions and you really should. Prior to the interview, prepare 5 to 6 questions to ask the interviewer.
In your questions, avoid asking for information that can be found on the company’s website. For instance, you won’t look smart asking:

“What is your

Mission statement

 

Some questions you might want to ask include
In your opinion, what makes this organization a great place to work?
What do you consider the most important criteria for success in this job?
Tell me about the organization’s culture.
How will my performance be evaluated?
What are the opportunities for advancement?
What are the next steps in the hiring process?

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