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Thursday, July 20, 2017


Do you have an upcoming job interview on your schedule? Have you attended several interviews without success?  Is your upcoming job interview your first attempt?

There are a number of things to do before during and after a job interview to make it a success.

Below are the steps:


Doing a research on the organization’s profile and background is the first thing to do in preparing for a job interview and it’s very pertinent to your job interview success. This will better prepare you to answer the interview questions correctly and know what to ask the interviewer in return. Neglecting this aspect may turn your efforts to futility.

A research on the organization will enable you know if the organization and its culture is a good fit for you. 

How do you research an organization? You can go to their website and go through all they have there, but specifically the ‘About Us’ page. Get publications, magazines & journals, about the organization. Try as much as you can to have a chat with someone in the organization or someone who knows about them. All these findings will help give you an edge during the interview.

2.      ANALYZE THE JOB: This is one of the major things to do in preparing for a job interview.  Take time to go through the job description and analyze what the organization is seeking for in a candidate.

Every organization seek for skills, knowledge, experiences, professionals, Certifications, Abilities, Competence and personal qualities, amongst others, which are critical for job success. Make a list of these qualities required of the ideal candidate.

3.      MAKE A MATCH: List at minimum of 10 assets you possess that match the job requirements. This will make you know if you are really fit for the job.

4.      PRACTICE: Write down Anticipate questions from the interviewer and answer them on paper, then call a close person around to do a pre-interview with.

When practicing, observe the following rules: Have your proposed questions and answers pen down, Visualize the interviewer, Maintain eye contact, give complete & concise answers, show courtesy, don’t be too fast or slow with your speech, be poised, be audible, avoid slang and use appropriate terminologies.

Also, tell anecdotes, always get feedback from your ‘adopted interviewer’, be attentive, have a firm hand shake, be interested. Answer the questions within 30-90 seconds and don’t criticize your former employer/boss.

In addition, Make a list of your strengths and weakness and practice how you will articulate them. Think about at least 3 questions you wouldn’t want your interviewer to ask you and provide answers to them. This will help alleviate any anxiety.
5.      QUESTIONS FOR INTERVIEWER: Think of questions to ask your interviewer. There are some specific questions you’ll ask the interviewer that will tell you are really interested in the job. Questions like, “What are the new markets you are planning to explore in the near future? What are the chances of professional growth in this position?
You can ask other questions that will make you be on the same page with the people you’ll be working with.
6.      GET DIRECTIONS: To avoid running late and getting disorganized on the day of the interview, it’s important you know the venue ahead of time. Also know the cost and time it takes to get there.
7.      PREPARE YOUR WARDROBE: Every work environment has its dress code. It’s better to dress like a member of the workforce.  You will be highly appreciated for doing this, as it will make them see you as one of them.
For an organization without a dress pattern, you can go by the general rule, being corporate.

For ladies: Dark knee-length skirt suit, dark coloured closed toe shoes, subtle make up, decent hairstyle and dark coloured handbag.

For men:   White shirt, dark-colored suit and tie and dark-colored shoes.
Day of interview:

8.      APPEAR ORGANIZED:  Be at the venue at least 30 minutes to the time to avoid rush and panic. Take along with you a copy of your CV, credentials and Cover letter.

9.      SHOW COURTESY: Know that everyone in an organization is as important as the interviewer and treat them as such; you never can tell who is watching you.

First impression matters a lot. Be polite to everyone, show courtesy in everything you do in that environment.  Smile and be friendly with everyone.

During the interview, try as much as you can to observe the interview rules you practiced above.  

10. YOUR PHONE: Switch off your phone or put it on silent. In case you leave it on, don't play with it as it gives a signal you are bored or unserious. Rather, stick with a book and pen while waiting.

11. BE HONEST: You don’t want to deceive anyone or lie about your past job experience. It’s not worth it; organizations do a check on past experiences from previous employers.  Be as honest as can be.

12. SIMPLIFY YOUR RESPONSES:  Bragging about yourself will only put off the interviewers and make them loss interest in you. But it’s okay to talk about what people say you do well.

13. BE PERSONABLE: Try as much as you can in getting the interviewer's emotional side to like you and believe in you. In most interviews, employers don't always hire the candidates most qualified for the job; rather the candidates they like best. Do you know you something your body language can make you lose out on a job?

14. YOUR BODY LANGUAGE: While sitting in front of the interviewer, be conscious of your posture and facial expression. Let me tell you this story:

I worked in a consultancy firm and left almost ten years ago.  The company does recruitment as one of its core functions.

There was a batch we recruited for a bank and a lady was dropped. Why? Her posture while seating was not accepted by one of my bosses.

We were almost done interviewing her when one of my bosses walked in. to everyone on the panel, she did well and she was shortlisted among the successful candidates.

On seeing the list, boss in question insisted on taking off the lady’s name for the simple reason that she crosses her legs during the interview.

That posture for me and everyone on the panel was nothing, but for our boss it was an arrogant way of sitting, especially for a woman.

The point I want to make here is, study the environment and the nature of job before doing certain things during interviews.  

15. LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS: When seated in front of an interviewer, listening is just as important as answering the questions. Listen with all intent and purpose. If there’s any question you are not clear about, you can ask for a repeat of the question or paraphrase it back to the interviewer to get his/her nodding before going ahead to provide an answer.

Interview sessions are give and take sessions. It will be one-sided when you don’t play your part. Engage the interviewer by asking relevant questions about the job and the organization, so as to build a relationship.  At some point you can make it look like a chat as it will help you to be more relaxed.

16. SHAKE HANDS FIRMLY: At the end of the interview, shake hands with the interviewer and exchange pleasantries. Try and keep your cool, even when you’ve performed poorly, and give a firm handshake. This is to portray confidence and invest into the emotional bank of your interviewer.  After the handshake, you are very free to ask when a response is expected.

17. APPRECIATION: This can be done with a Thank You Note. Send a thank-you note to your interviewer. Here you thank the interviewer for the time spent on you and giving you the opportunity to express yourself.  

The note can take this form:
 Dear (interviewer s name), Thank you very much for the opportunity given me to discuss my interest about the position and your organization. You are very free to contact me for further questions/clarifications. I look forward to hearing from you.

It could be a note, call, whatsapp message, mail and any other means you can use to get through to the interviewer.

In your note, you can restate why you want the job, what your qualifications are, how you can make significant contributions to the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives.

The note can take this form:
 Dear (name of Interview), I was interviewed at your organization on the 12th of March 2017.  I just want to further express my interest in the position. Looking at my profile and the requirements, I am fully convinced about being the right candidate for the position. If the position hasn’t been filled, I look forward to hearing from you.

Don’t be desperate about it, but be consistent and courteous. Sometimes it will be better to pay them a visit in person.

Planning, adequate preparing and action properly executed can make you take receive gold from a king without stress.

Taking the steps listed above is a great way of getting a desired job without getting on the nerves of others or cutting corners.

It is very possible to get that job you have been longing for without going through a prolonged hurdle.  Take action now!

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