You’ve covered the basics, you’ve done your best to create the perfect professional CV, you’ve applied for your dream job, and everything seems to be working in your favor, as you’ve just been invited for an interview with your choice company.
Getting invited for an interview means you’re fifty percent ahead of other applicants, it means there is something that interests the company about your resume, they see prospects in you, they see you as a potential employee, and they would like to meet you in person and ascertain that you’re what you claim to be on papers. All these expectations make the interview process a little bit demanding, because you’re expected to be your best and make a lasting impression on your interviewer.
Today’s post will discuss the basic things that you must know before attending a job interview, how to avoid the common errors that may hinder you from getting your dream job. What I will be discussing with you in this post will go a long way in giving you an edge ahead of others and make you stand out in the selection process.
1. Do Your Home Work: Before attending a job interview, it’s a rule of thumb that you know everything possible about the company, read as much as you can, conduct a comprehensive research on their model of operation, their customers, their competitors, abreast yourself with all the available information about the company.
You will be amazed with how much information you can acquire about a particular company from a simple Google search. Check the company’s website; you can also check online news archive to see if there is any occurrence in the past that you should know about.
If you have a friend that works for the company, you might want to ask some personal questions about the structure of the company, ask for clues on how to scale through the interview process.
You’re going there to show your interviewers that you know about their company, you want to give them the impression that you’ve been monitoring their activities for some time. This will portray you as an individual with passion for the company not just as an individual that needs the job as a means to survival.
2. Body Language: We definitely say more with our body language than we do with verbal words. As expected, human resources (HR) officers know all about body language, and they make use of our body gesture to their own advantage. This makes it very important to know the basics of what your body gesture means, so as to avoid giving a wrong impression when interviewing for a job.
When interviewing for a job, try as much as possible to keep eye contact with the interviewers, keeping eye contact indicates honesty and shows that you’re confident of what you’re saying. Smiling is also another indicator of confidence; it makes you look less nervous and calm. When answering a question that has to do with your area of expertise, it’s advisable to make use of hand gesture, express yourself with your hands when necessary, it does not only portray you as an expert with in-depth knowledge of what you’re discussing, it also makes you feel in control of the atmosphere.
Your sitting posture is also very important. Sitting with your back leaned against the back rest makes you too relaxed and over confident. Try to sit-up straight.
3. Verbal Expression: When interviewing for a job, try as much as possible to avoid verbal mannerism such as “errrm,” “mmhnn” e.t.c. in the middle of your statement. It’s considered unprofessional and might hinder you from expressing yourself properly.
The pitch of your voice matters a lot. You don’t want to talk too loud, and at the same time you want to make yourself audible enough for interviewers to hear you clearly.
4. Listen: There is a clear difference between listening to understand and listening to give a response. When attending a job interview, you must learn how to listen in other to understand, because you can give a reasonable response only when you understand the questions being asked.
5. Be Sincere: When your interviewers ask a question you have no clue about, rather than stuttering and trying to give an incorrect answer, it’s better to be sincere and tell them you have no clue in a polite manner.
Another mistake people make is giving a generic answer to common interview questions. When answering questions like “what is your weakness?” don’t give the generic answer of being a “perfectionist” or answers about you working too hard, tell them your weakness in a way that glorifies your strength.
The truth is that, they know about the “perfectionist” attitude, why not stand out and say something different? I once read about a lady’s interview experience, where she answered the “weakness” question in a very hilarious way, according to her, she answered the HR panel by telling them how much she loves taking coca-cola and how she has been reading about the high sugar contents and it’s adverse effect on the body system, the panel eventually laughed about her response, before she was able to make her point, in her words she said “ What this means is that, when I am fully dedicated and interested in something, it might be difficult to let go of it overnight”.
6. Ask Questions: Asking important question during your interview portrays you as a confident individual. When the panel is done with their questions and you’re asked if there is anything you would like to know, make use of this opportunity to show them that you’re not nervous about the whole process, don’t say no and hurriedly find your way out of the room.
Ask them questions about the company’s mode of operation. Based on the research you’ve conducted about the company, ask them what they’re doing to handle one of their biggest problems, it might even be an opportunity for you to suggest a possible solution.
You can also ask about their expectations from the role you’re interviewing for, ask polite questions and ride on the tide of your knowledge about the company.
Getting your dream job in Nigeria is not a rocket science, all you have to do is follow the right steps and do your best until you get the job you have always wanted.