Candidates don’t just go to a job interview and crush it without preparing, there is much to know before the interview. Like a popular quote will say “you don’t go to a battlefield without learning how to shoot or fight”, obviously, that is going to end in a disaster.
I have taken out time to explain to you below some of the major factors to consider before going for any job interview, local or international.
Do your research about the Organization
It is very irresponsible of a job hunter to go for an interview in an Organization without prior research about the Organization. It is like going for an exam without studying. It is expedient that as a potential employee, you know something tangible about your potential employer. Knowing at least a little about your potential employer will give you some level of confidence when engaged in conversations. It is not you being too forward, it is you being prepared, because if you know some reasonable and RELEVANT information about where you want to work, it also improves your reputation before your interviewers. In conclusion, it helps you to connect your responses to fit what works for the Organization.
Comport yourself in words and actions
Right from the entrance of the Organization, your interview has started, but many think that the interview starts only when they are in the room with the 3,4 or 5 frowning interviewers like me, well I don’t frown though (lol!!) and so they behave loosely outside the interview room. If wrong comments are given about you even by the gateman or someone who is not on the interview panel, it may jeopardize your dream of getting that job.
Aside from maintaining good composure outside the interview room, you must also try to replicate the same in the interview room, from how you sit, to how you respond to questions. All of these matters a lot. Your composure must tell you that you are confident and competent, and will be a good ambassador of the Organization. Note, I didn’t write that you should be rude, I wrote the word, confident.
Don’t look desperate for the job (even if you are)
To be desperate means to be in dire need of something and will do anything to get it. For example, when a person is desperate to eat a kind of food, he or she wouldn’t care about the consequences of stealing it regardless of who is around watching. Many people have attended interviews looking so desperate. This is wrong!
- Let me tell you what being desperate do to you at job interviews:
- 1. It reduces your worth before the Interviewers.
- 2. It gets the Interviewers worried even if you are the right person for the job.
- 3. It makes you say things you shouldn’t say.
4. It affects your self-esteem in total.
Even if you need the job so badly, the best you can do is to position yourself well as the best person for the job in a more professional and friendly way. I had to add being friendly to your being professional because some people think being professional is the same thing as being unfriendly and overly serious, no it is not.
Dress for the job
Every field has its way of dressing and some are even particular about their color codes. It is your responsibility to find out. Don’t appear at an interview dressed as if you’re going for a wedding or masquerade ceremony. You are expected to be moderate in appearance.
Understand what exactly you can bring to the table
Be sure of yourself and know what you know. It is possible that because of anxiety you forget many things that you know and that’s why it is important that you maintain your calm when going for an interview. Don’t go too early so that you get bored wherever you are and don’t go late so that you don’t rush yourself, and lose guard.
It is very important that you know what you can offer, master it and tell it as only you can. Knowing what you know will definitely improve your competency before the interviewers and also your confidence when giving responses to questions.
As a recruiter, I have interviewed countless candidates for several roles across industries, and I have seen amazing candidates with great skills and capacity for a job, but don’t know how to express themselves in that light. They speak as though they don’t really understand the job they have been doing for years, some just suffer from impostor syndrome. I know they can do better, so I try to ask a series of questions and put words in their mouth before some of them begin to say things you want to hear.
Knowing your onions cannot be overemphasized when it comes to an interview, you would be asked a series of questions, situational, hypothetical, etc, to test your stand, and you must indeed be ready to STAND.
Know a bit of the Organization’s culture
You need to have practical insights into the position and the Organization’s culture. This gives you an edge over other applicants because it helps you crush some likely questions. Your potential employer will mostly ask you questions in line with their Organization’s culture and you’ve got to have answers if you really want to work with them. The reason why organizations ask you questions in line with their culture is to see beyond your skills if you will be a good fit for their organization. Some candidates, however, have great technical skills for a role but don’t fit into the culture of the organization. For candidates like this, if eventually hired, they will see the workplace as toxic to them, not because it is in most cases, but because they are not a good fit for the Organization’s culture. This is the reason it is important to know and understand the culture if at all it is a place where you would like to call your workplace.
Paul currently leads one of the leading Recruitment & HR Development Consulting firms in Africa. He is a Mentor at the world’s largest online mentoring platform, and also a Career Consultant. He has helped many Employees via his training become impact-driven professionals with transferable skills to help maximize the growth of any team they find themselves in, regardless of the ever dynamic economy.
You can connect with him on:
LinkedIn: Paul Oyewusi