This has become almost every millennial’s favourite catchphrase. You see your friend doing very well on social media and living the very life you have always craved since your undergraduate days. But here you are, some few years after leaving college, with no tangible source of income. You keep praying to baba God to pick your calls and help you land that big job that will make you pepper your friends, but alas! Nothing is forthcoming. Whilst waiting for this big break to happen, how prepared are you to fit into this position when it finally surfaces?
Recently, I had the opportunity to understudy the presiding panelists who worked tirelessly to get the right candidate for a job opening in the organization where I work, and that experience has been eye-opening, to say the least. It gave me a new perspective on why most applicants are still jobless. The truth is that most of them do not really have what it takes to convince those panelists enough to employ them.
So I have decided to come up with some useful interview tips which could actually be of help to anyone out there.
Disclaimer: I do not consider myself as an authority in this yet, but with my little experience so far in the Human Resources field, I believe these tips will actually go a long way.
With that being said, let’s get straight down to the tips:
Conduct Your Research on the Prospective Company
I know for a fact that you’ve heard this too many times, but its importance cannot be over-emphasized. After going through the analysis and requirements of a job and you are sure that you will be a good fit for it, please try as much as possible to thoroughly research the company you intend to work in.
Know what the company stands for and ask yourself how working for this firm will actually better your career. Clearly list your goals and objectives and check if it actually aligns with that of the company you have in mind. Because, trust me, the HR personnel, who also doubles as a strategist partner for the company, will consider all of these before deciding if you are a good fit for the job or not.
Have a well-grounded knowledge about the company to avoid looking like a fool when asked why you want to work in that particular firm. A candidate was asked why he wanted to work in our company and he replied: “I just love the company”.
Now ask yourself, is this answer convincing enough? Would you, as a recruiter, see this person as a good fit for the job? This vague answer clearly shows that the candidate isn’t well prepared. Preparation is key! Let them know you have something to offer.
Keep Your Answers Short, Meaningful and Detailed
We all know how amazing and brilliant you are, but please when asked a question in an interview, kindly go straight to the point without digressing. You do not have to keep blabbing about how talented and indispensable you are. It is absolutely okay to talk about your achievements if it is in any way related to the question being asked, but it becomes disturbing when all of this yapping come across as you being arrogant. This will only make it glaring to the panelists that there is something they require which you lack, and you are trying so desperately to overcompensate for this deficiency by talking about issues totally unrelated to the question being asked.
So, dear applicant, remember to always keep it short and crispy.
Wear Your Confidence On Your Sleeves
To be jittery right before an interview is absolutely normal, irrespective of your status. This only shows that you are human. Try as much as possible to overcome this nervousness before it gets the better of you. Relax your mind and see the panelists as your prospective colleagues. Do not cower in fear when answering their questions, even when they (panelists) sound mean – they are only trying to find out how well you can handle pressure and not break down.
This is a psychological approach used by most HR personnel. Instead, you can actually turn the table around and ask them questions about the company, detailed description of the job title, the pros and cons, etc. This way, you are showing the panelists that you are curious. As we all know, a curious person is someone who is always ready to learn. However, keep the questions short, because they have other candidates to attend to.
Compelling resumes always yield positive results when applying for a job, but this does not, in any way, justify you telling lies in your resume. Do not claim to have a certain skill that you do not possess, this will always backfire. The panelists are smart, they can always see through your façade. So in your best interest, come clean.
Even if you manage to scale through the interview without embarrassing yourself and you finally land the job, how do you intend to maintain the required level of productivity needed for the job? Your employment might actually be terminated if you are not meeting up to the target. Be wise and make integrity your way of life.
Take A Crash Course
Yes, you read that right. While waiting for that life-changing job, has it ever occurred to you that there are so many qualified applicants also waiting for the same opportunity? So, how exactly do you intend to stand out in the pool of applicants sending out their Resumes? You would be shocked at the little, albeit important, things that disqualify most applicants. Someone told me recently about how she was disqualified from the final stage of an interview because she didn’t know what ‘Mail Merge’ means and how to use it. Of course, this was before she secured her current job, but who would have thought such a thing could have ousted her? Try to utilize the time you have now to take crash-courses relating to your field. How good is your knowledge of Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Canva? Etc. These sets of skills will always give you an edge over other applicants.
Finally, applicants, remember that delay is not denial. That job will eventually come, but the question is, how prepared are you?