Connect with us


She Leads Africa: That Interviewer Never Called You Back? 5 Things to Note for Next Time



dreamstime_l_44342825Over the last couple of months, I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to hire new talent for SLA. It’s been brutal. I often hear young people talking about how they can’t find jobs. They always blame the system.

They don’t want to hire new people. They didn’t like my face. They don’t like people from different tribes.

After 3 months of looking at applications and interviewing a bunch of people, here’s a thought I’d like you all to consider…. Maybe you’re the problem. Maybe you went about getting a job the wrong way. Maybe you played yourself and set yourself up for failure.

I know… I’m mean right? And I’m not meant to be mean because I cofounded SLA and we’re meant to be this cuddly organization that helps women. Hell – we probably spend our evenings braiding each other’s hair and giving group hugs as we sing kumbaya.

WRONG. My job as a founder of SLA is to keep it all the way real with you and turn you into a corporate beast. Someone who’s going to go out and crush it all over Africa.

So in the spirit of keeping it real with you, here’s a list of the dumbest things to note for an interview.

Don’t ask basic questions
A couple of weeks ago I was searching for a new program manager. One of the prospective candidates sent me a question asking whether or not we charged people to be members of SLA.

Needless to say I didn’t even bother to look at her application. Why you ask? Because she asked a basic and frankly stupid question. All she needed to do to get that information was to go onto the SLA website and do her research. Yet she decided not to and instead came off looking like the Founder, CEO and Chairman of

When you choose not to take any initiative in learning about the company or gaining basic, publicly available information, you show that you actually aren’t that serious about the company and they shouldn’t take you seriously either.

Don’t overhype yourself
This one is so obvious that I’m actually sad that I have to write it down. One person who we interviewed called herself “an innovator from birth.”

Is that so….? From birth huh?

The best thing you can do when applying for a job is to be honest and straightforward about your results and what you’ve actually been able to deliver. All the grammar in the world won’t help you if you can’t show that you know how to get things done.

Don’t overhype your qualifications
A couple of weeks back I was talking to a girl who said that she graduated from Harvard Business School. On further investigation, it comes out that she just did a course there for a couple of weeks.

Her CV went straight into the dustbin because now I know she is a bona fide massage therapist – massaging the truth all day every day. If you didn’t have to take an entrance exam, then calling yourself a graduate is a stretch. Doing a summer course does not make you a graduate of that institution so chill your life. Not everyone in the world went to Harvard and THAT IS OKAY. No need to be so insecure.

Don’t act entitled
This one goes out to all you returnees out there. Especially the ones who went to fancy schools. Y’all think that because you went to fancy schools with big names like Stanford and Harvard that I should be falling over myself trying to hire you. False.

Some of the most basic, offensive, simple-minded heauxs I know went to these Ivy League schools so relax yourself. No degree can overcome a stank, arrogant attitude and I’d rather take a chilled out, smart local grad over your annoying self any day.

Chill with the foneh
If you spent one year in England and yet try to sound like Queen Elizabeth herself when I interview you, you will be rejected immediately. Why do we Africans feel the need to pretend to speak English with a foreign accent? It’s so weird and makes you seem really insecure. More generally, I’m not quite sure what the intended effect is. People know that you’re faking it and they’re probably judging you. In fact, sometimes the fone is be so strong that it’s actually hard to understand what you’re trying to say.

I have a sort of English-American Nigerian twinged accent because I spent 14 years abroad. Does that make me better, more professional or smarter than someone with a Nigerian, Kenyan or Ghanaian accent? Absolutely not! An accent is an accent not a badge of intelligence so stop faking it. Speak as you speak and be confident with your bad self.

So there it is. Five reasons why you may have gotten rejected from your last job interview. To those of you who’ve engaged in some of this behavior. Don’t worry. It is well. No one can fault you for not knowing but if you continue to make these mistakes moving forward… you have only yourself to blame.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about how you can be well prepared to CRUSH the job market, She Leads Africa has a bunch of FREE resources we’ve created to make you the baddest B you can be.

Yasmin Belo-Osagie is a cofounder of She Leads Africa and runs the programmes and events team. 

She Leads Africa is a community that helps young African women achieve their professional dreams. With engaging online content and pan-African events, our vision is to become the #1 destination for smart and ambitious young women.


  1. Gemonyi

    May 27, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    I find some of these true but there are cases that you would be selected because you have one kind of accent.

  2. Ozyy

    May 27, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Chill with the foneh….buhahahahaha

  3. Proverbs31Woman

    May 27, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    hmmmn Valid points made….. but with the multiple shade and language used “heaux?” on this post you sound a tad bit rude. lol frankly dont sound like a great boss to me. Good luck with the employee search though!

  4. Imani

    May 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    The general tone of this write screams ruuuuuuddddeeeeee! I wouldn’t hire you as well, but hey, to an extent you had a point, but come off your high horse girl! Damn!

    • Bodunade

      May 27, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Valid. Concur.

  5. Imani

    May 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I meant *write up*

  6. nena

    May 27, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    exactly @ Imani, correct me if i am wrong madam writer, but your write up reeks of inferiority complex and self absorption, However, an individual chooses to speak is his/her personal choice, as long as the job is done efficiently. Though, your write up is not gender specific, it just goes a long way to show how women focus on the least important things. you probably noticed the prospective candidate dressed expensively as well. More so, getting into an ivy league school isn’t easy, if it was, we all probably would have gone there!

  7. E

    May 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Dear Yasmin Belo-Osagie,

    I have never heard of your company or organization but thanks for this write up cos now i know to stay away from it and tell others to do the same too. Next time, hire someone to do your public write up ‘cos this one was horrible with your tone and approach. For someone who wants to give advice, please, give yourself some advice first.

  8. Ephi

    May 28, 2016 at 6:05 am

    I clicked on this post hoping to learn something constructive but to be honest the only word I learnt was “simple heaux” which is not exactly a constructive word imho. As others have rightly said, this post is very condescending, but even worse has nothing much to offer readers.

  9. Dele

    May 28, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    This article reeks of self importance. And the phoneh thing last time I checked Yasmin you too have an exaggerated accent you pronounce Abuja like its a foreign delicacy and calling someone a simple heaux because she doesn’t meet up to your impossible standards is beyond annoying do yourself a favor and have a stadium row of sits

  10. Kay

    May 29, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This article is so annoying!! You couldn’t even criticize constructively. Talking of foneh and expensive stuff and even insulting people. You need to come off your high horse and I have told all the people I know to stay away from you and your company. I wouldn’t hire you either as you sound like a gossip, talking about who is carrying the most expensive handbag. Do expensive things stop people from being efficient? Bella post this o.

  11. neka

    January 14, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Wow i did a random google search about this organisation to learn more only to stumble on this article. Damn I cant believe how unprofessional and distatesteful this article is. There were more professional ways of expressîng these points. SMH. such a great vision run by such proud people.

  12. Stephanie O

    May 16, 2017 at 1:27 am

    gosh my sister you are SOOOOOO on point wit da foneh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features