The greatest hurdles Nigerian youths face are gaining admission into university and securing decent job after graduation. With the proliferation of university in every village today, the former is no longer a big problem as the latter. The latter challenge also comes in two folds – getting invite for job selection process and scaling the process. The scaling process in most cases also involves crossing two bridges – tests and interviews.
You’re almost there. Your resume landed you an interview and now it’s time to seal the deal. So what’s the best way to prepare?
The job interview is probably the most important step you will take in your job search journey – it’s your best chance to show the company and hiring manager that you’re the best person for their job. To help you land your next job, we’ve arranged our job interview tips based on the interview stage you’re in.
Below you’ll find the 9 best tips to help before, during and after your interview
Research the industry and company.
An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company’s position in its industry, who the firm’s competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.
Be On Time
Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there. Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
Dress appropriately for the industry; err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
Be Prepared for common interview questions.
Every “how to interview” book has a list of a hundred or more “common interview questions.” (You might wonder just how long those interviews are if there are that many common questions!) So how do you prepare? Pick any list and think about which questions you’re most likely to encounter, given your age and status (about to graduate, looking for a summer internship). Then prepare your answers so you won’t have to fumble for them during the actual interview.
Make your selling points clear
Focus on Accomplishments and Value-added
If asked to talk about yourself during the job interview, focus on your accomplishments, experience, knowledge and the value-added you bring to the table (for example, you may have a lot of industry contacts).
Don’t bury your selling points in long-winded stories. Instead, tell the interviewer what your selling point is first, then give the example
Bring copies of any relevant documents
I always recommend bringing some extra copies of your resume because you never know when things will go so well that the hiring manager will have you interviewed with others from the department or with the hiring manager’s boss. They might also ask you to leave one or two copies for HR personnel. It’s always best to have more copies than you’ll need.
Courtesy and Respect
Don’t sit until you are asked to. This is a formal procedure you must observe. Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.
Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions. And other things like knocking at the door before you enter. Don’t just barge in. it’s not your house.
Be Confident without Ego
Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer. Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer’s name and the correct pronunciation. Also Just do much of the listening even if you are talkative. Answer only when you are asked questions.
Many of the people I’ve interviewed for job openings over the years had a nasty habit of talking too much. I would check my watch to signal my boredom and try to hurry things up. But to no avail, they kept on talking – and talked themselves out of the job.
So, dear applicant, it’s all about your creativity.
Don’t give up!
If you’ve had a bad interview for a job that you truly think would be a great fit for you (not just something you want badly), don’t give up! Write a note, send an email, or call the interviewer to let him or her know that you think you did a poor job of communicating why you think this job would be a good match. Reiterate what you have to offer the company, and say that you’d like an opportunity to contribute. Whether this strategy will get you a job offer depends on the company and on you. But one thing’s for sure: If you don’t try, your chances are exactly zero. We’ve seen this approach work on numerous occasions, and we encourage you to give it that last shot.