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Toby Nwazor: 7 Types of Recruitment Test Candidates in Nigeria



The first time I wrote a recruitment test was almost two years – after my graduation. I don’t know why they call those things tests. I mean, these so-called tests are way tougher than many degree exams. But, that’s a story for another day…

Since my first time, I have written my fair share of recruitment tests. Some were very tough, while some were way too easy.

The easy tests/interviews usually come from insurance companies who don’t pay any salary. And of course, there are the drug marketing companies where you need to register with about 30,000 Naira first.

From my observation and little experience in recruitment tests and interviews, all the applicants fall into seven main categories.

Here they are in no particular order:

The Older Candidates (Agadi ekwe nka)
The tests I have been going for are usually supposed to be for entry level jobs. Yet, I see men and women who are obviously in their late thirties or early forties at the venue.

The same pattern of thoughts usually run through my head: “Ah ah! These people already have jobs, and now they want to come and use their reggae to spoil my blues.”

Well shaa, make I no pour sand-sand for another person garri. The hustle is hard, and everybody get as e dey do dem.

The Big Boiz and Gehz
These people come with their cars, and are always blasting loud playing music. They are the people sitting in their A.C cars, eating ice creams and taking selfies while everyone else is drinking cold pure water and okpa di oku under the sun.

Imagine the conconbility!

In my mind, “These ones are not serious. They never even start to dey look for job for this naija. They are enjoying life. They don’t even need any job sef.  They just want to do other people akpili ogologo” (show off). But then, what do I know?

The Hustlers
These are mainly over-sabi guys who studied engineering courses in school. They usually have the past question papers of the test and will be dishing the answers out to everyone that cares to listen.

You will always find them dressed in blue or black jeans, sneakers,  and a polo or t-shirt. They are hard to ignore as they are usually surrounded by other applicants who would be asking them questions as they brandish their knowledge.

You will find them under any tree outside the exam/test hall. If they are not standing, they will be squatting, using their fingers to solve further maths on the ground.

Don’t allow them to intimidate you sha. And don’t follow all they say. Many times, their answers are wrong.

The Spiricoco Brethren
These ones come for recruitment tests with their calculators, pens, pencils, and Bibles.

You will know them by how they look. The guys will be seen wearing plain trousers and big shirts that look like parachutes. These shirts are usually short sleeved shirts in primary colours (royal blue, yellow, red), or green.

Then of course there will be a contrasting tie, so big you can use it for a hand fan. And as a rule, they put on shoes that look like Bro. Shoekwuma’s.

As for the girls, if you don’t recognize them by their long flowing skirts, you will spot their head scarves.

They usually stand alone with squinted eyes as if they are seeing vision.

The Fresh Graduates
These ones are still fresh, enthusiastic, and very optimistic. They believe that the job is for them and them alone. They probably never had any carry over in school, so they don’t know what it means to fail a test.

They will readily tell you that if there is just one position in the organization, they will clinch it. They are fresh from NYSC and believe that they will never look for jobs,  instead jobs will look for them. So they seem very confident.

The Connected Candidates
These candidates have all the connection in the company. They start by greeting the security men at the gate, down to the receptionist. Don’t be surprised that they even know some of the HR people.

Worse still, one of the managers may walk in and exchange words with them too.

Sometimes, they got the jobs before the test/interview. Other times, they are just forming.

Ignore them! First of all, you don’t need the intimidation. Secondly, they can’t help you, no matter how connected they are.

The Frustrated Candidates
You will know these people by looking at their faces. Their faces dey always look like say smile never pass there in years.

These candidates are always laden with tales of woes. They have experience in all the recruiting agencies and firms in Nigeria. They have written scores of tests and firmly believe that all the jobs have already been given to pre-selected candidates before the recruitment exercise.

They always have negative stories to tell. From how bad the country is, to how costly a cup of garri is in the market. They share their woeful stories like ‘tales by moonlight’. They already ‘know’ that they would not pass the test/interview, but they write it all the same.

Flee from them like a plague else, they will infect you with their frustrationitis.

What do you think? Did I leave any category out? Which one do you belong to if you are a job seeker?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Steven Pepple

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups



    September 6, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I enjoyed the humouristic angle to the write-up. As for me, I have never written a job test before. But the article created a good picture

    • Manny

      September 6, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Frank Donga falls into the frustrated candidate category !!!!!! 🙂

  2. Tosin

    September 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    i’m laughing out loud, tho i can’t hear it (headphones)

  3. maryjane

    September 6, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Funny piece! So true

  4. Scared homosapien

    September 6, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Lmao @agadi ekwe nka

  5. Dr. N

    September 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Buhahaha! Nna!

  6. mey

    September 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Very funny

  7. The Buttery Hotness

    September 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Your igbo and metaphors slayed me.

    But which one should we now pay attention to? Should we flee from them all? These questions will keep me up at night, I need to know. 🙂

    Oh, I think you left out the “ahdonkiyas” (read that with an igbo accent). They don’t curr about nobody, come in filing their nails or chewing gum ichaka mgbawai and would rather be anywhere but there. Lol!

    • mrs chidukane

      September 6, 2015 at 7:07 pm

      Lmao! No be small mchaka mgbawa! Very funny article, I love it

    • Nnechi Spicy.

      September 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      bwahahahaha…. @ chewing gum ichaka gbawai.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      September 7, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      The Onomatopoeia a.k.a “Onomantipia” a.k.a “nsinuuda” of ‘ichika gbawai” killed me..hahahhahahahahahaha. I love bellanaija comments.

  8. tilewa

    September 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Thank u for this article. It made me laugh so hard. The “Spiricoco” brother’s outfit, the sqinting as if seeing vision & the Engineering graduates solving further math were sooooo very funny.

  9. Adewale

    September 6, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Now I’m laughing hard……..

  10. Nne

    September 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    LMAO! This is a funny piece. Hmmmm, I will say I belong to the ‘adonkiyas”, I get to the test venue and I am just indifferent, no enthusiasm. I settle down in a corner and just hope we get it done with on time (which is not always the case). It’s been 5 years of writing recruitment tests….. this too shall pass!

    • Cleo

      September 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      @Nne I prophesy over your life, in this month of September you shall receive good news!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 7, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I join my voice and faith with yours, in that prayer for a miraculous change in @Nne’s story – AMEN!!!

  11. stella

    September 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Very funny

  12. Fola

    September 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    What category r [email protected]?

    • newbie

      September 6, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      GBAM!!! Na im I want ask am. Bros, you didn’t tell us which category you fall into. We are waiting.

  13. fabulicious

    September 6, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Look at all the mess people go through and some are throwing shade at that beauty queen aka billionaires wife. That girl aint gat no business with these categories……hahahahahaha.
    Abeg make una hustle ooooo.Na joke I dey.

  14. glow

    September 6, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Nice and humorous write up…thanks for making me smile..

  15. Her

    September 6, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    You are hilarious Toby!! I love your articles. Keep it up!

  16. Nnechi Spicy.

    September 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    bwahahahaha…. @ chewing gum ichaka gbawai.

  17. OLutundy

    September 6, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    LAUGH WAN KILL ME DIE (The Spiricoco Brethen)……..lovely write up. No categories was left untouched.

  18. Mimi May

    September 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Toby, u r real 042 guy. I grew up there. I laughed so hard… Still laughing o. You’ll not kill me o. Another scenario of this was during my NYSC days @ Abeokuta. I saw all these categories. Chei. Thumbs up Toby.

    • Toby Nwazor

      September 8, 2015 at 4:46 am

      mimi may, I really need to connect with you, seriously. I served in abeokuta too. Ita-eko to be exact, though I lived in Olomore. What about you?

  19. chifire

    September 6, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    So true.

  20. Miss Mo

    September 7, 2015 at 1:10 am

    LMAO at “use their reggae to spoil my blues”.

    Funny article. lol

  21. doyin

    September 7, 2015 at 7:40 am

    The talk o spiricoco brother and sisters,stop generalizing no all dress awkward,mind you Christianity is not against looking good,I sure say some spiricoco go dress well pass you

    • Toby Nwazor

      September 8, 2015 at 4:44 am

      Hey Doyin, Chillax. It was a parody. I didn’t say anything bad about christianity, I was just calling out people I referred to as spiri-coco (my term by the way)

  22. Chizzy O

    September 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Toby Nice one
    I belong to the fresh NYSC category.
    I believed the jobs were waiting for me and indeed, they were.
    I got my 1st job same year after NYSC. Your dominant thoughts are translated into reality

    • Toby Nwazor

      September 8, 2015 at 4:42 am

      I can relate. Enthusiasm works like magic. Got mine just two months after passing out from NYSC. And still got a second one three months later, though the second one was insurance hustling. Story for another day.

  23. S

    September 7, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Lol, yeahh, I fall into the fresh NYSC category also.
    I’ve never failed in school, I’ve an ok job, never attended an interview/aptitude test which made me fly all the way to Lagos to have an experience in writing an aptitude test at Deloitte.
    And yes, I saw a babe ”studying past questions” .

    Guess what? A sisteh failed the test. :(((

  24. Peaches77

    September 7, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Haha !Funny guy

  25. Nne

    September 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Amen! ! ! @cleo. I go come share testimony soon☺

  26. Abena

    September 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I’m actually laughing like a fool here. I believe all Africans can identify with this!
    I’m not Nigerian but I have seen all the description above at aptitude test/interviews.
    Sometimes I fall into the connected candidate and sometimes the big boys and gehs. I have moved past the fresh graduate phase.
    Dope article

  27. Naijasinglegirldotcom

    September 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I am the Agadi Ekwe Nka. SMFH. Long time no BN

    • Toby Nwazor

      September 8, 2015 at 4:49 am

      hahahahaha @ NSJ. I am a fan. When I grow up, I will start writing like you. Still can’t forget your open letter to MTN. Lolz. Whats up naw?

  28. bee

    September 7, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Toby, Did you write this as some guy named Femi Adebayo is passing this off as his/her work on facebook

    • Toby Nwazor

      September 8, 2015 at 4:39 am

      Hello Bee, sure it is an original content. If anyone is passing it off, they definitely copied copied it. Thanks for watching my back

  29. Ms.Xee

    September 7, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    There’s also the category of tho who come for the tests dressed like they’re going for an interview with the CEO. Before someone says they’re probably coming from work, how do you explain that kind of corporate dressing on a weekend??

  30. wiseone

    September 11, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Hilarioussssss. spot on. great job mehn you just made my friday

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