You may be fresh out of NYSC, been job hunting for some time, or simply looking to change jobs, whichever one you belong to, knowing what to do and what not do when you are at a job interview are everything that keep you from getting that job or not.
When you think about it, your job interview starts the moment you wake up on the appointed day hence, everything about that day counts towards having a successful interview or not.
And in this economy of ours in Nigeria, you definitely want to get a good job as soon as possible in order to get through life as best as possible.
Don’t be hungry and dehydrated
Eat good food before heading out for the job interview so that you do not become exhausted quickly from your journey to the venue and possibly waiting a some time before being called in.
By avoiding hunger, you stay alert mentally and would be able to respond as appropriately as possible to every test of ability the recruiter throws at you.
Also have water with you or request for water soon after arriving the job interview venue. This way, your mental sharpness is at an optimal level and you also look alive in the eyes of the recruiter.
Imagine looking dull to the point that the recruiter makes a comment about if you are all right, or you ‘wake up’ after the interview is done and realise you could have handled a question much better.
Don’t be late
You have been given an 8am appointment for a job interview? Make sure you figure exactly how long it would take you to get there, add about 30 minutes to that time, and then leave home at the time you come to after doing the math.
Also, do make sure you factor time to get prepared before leaving home into consideration to get a time when to be awake and ready to go.
For instance, it would take 30 minutes for you to get to that 8am appointment for the job interview? You should leave home at least an hour before the appointed time then.
This would allow you get there either too early, or still on time in the event of there being traffic on the way or the weather switching up on you at the last minute before leaving home.
In Lagos, though, a 30-minute trip could become a three-hour trip and going by the aforementioned hack, you likely would be late by an hour or two if you get caught in such unexpected jam. Bringing us to the next point.
Do communicate with your recruiter when necessary
When you receive the job interview invite, respond to acknowledge receipt of the invite and thank the organisation for considering your application. Politeness never hurts but always be concise.
And in the event you know you would be running late, every serious recruiter would have provided you with a contact number. Call that number and compose an e-mail as well just to explain why you would be late and give an ETA (estimated time of arrival). This way, the recruiter can reorganise their day’s schedule to accommodate you or even let you know if it would be better to have the interview on another day.
Look and feel the part
It’s excellent business to look great so dress up in an appropriate outfit (depends on the industry of the organisation considering your application), be clean, have your hair in order (groom yourself), don’t have a mouth odour (use a mouth wash or lick a menthol on your way to the interview venue), and whatever happens, just do NOT have a bad smell on you – natural or perfume.
Look, the tiniest, thinnest of margins could be what sees you falling short of getting that job and it could be one misplaced strand of hair or the pungent smell that fills the room each time your lips part. Dearly beloved, surely no one is perfect but it is best we avoid stories that touch and instead, celebrate successes.
Therefore, strive to have at least one outfit for all occasions – suit & tie, native attire, casual, semi-formal, something that’s a fad… just not anything bad. Amen?
Know the organisation and understand the job description
Do your research on the company considering your job application. This way, you can express yourself and discuss going about the role you’ve applied for in line with the job description such that you proffer ways of getting the job done better or more effectively while answering interview questions.
This knowledge of the organisation and a good understanding of the job description would allow you present yourself as a potential asset to the organisation. Yes, there’s the temptation to simply blurt out “epp my solution” when you are with the recruiter, but that actually won’t get you this job.
Be upbeat, upright, audible, and confident
Have a cheerful disposition, let your voice be clear and unwavering, let your handshake be firm (firm, not Hulk-ish), and talk like you know exactly what you are going on about. Learn the keywords peculiar with the industry of the organisation and use them in your responses.
That way, you don’t sound like someone who would be asked a question and only be able to stutter their way through an answer. In this case, don’t say something you cannot back up, or why would you want to appear as someone not trustworthy even before getting the job?
And, don’t slouch. Where do you think it is, out with your besties on a weekend? Job seeker, sit upright.
Have a question in mind
It may seem inconsequential to ask one, but having at least one question to ask the recruiter shows the organisation that you took time out (however little) to study the organisation and feel the need to ask (a) questions.
It could be about the exact nature of the job, work conditions, if the company trains its staff often, the company’s view on holidays… just have one question in mind; most recruiters would ask you one.
And one last piece of advice: have necessary documents and stationery with you – copies of your CV, copies of your academic and professional certificates, some form of identification, passport photos, a pen, a laptop or tablet (optional but won’t hurt to go along of it’s not stated that you should come with one).
Now, go get that job!