We’ve all been there. Searching for a job. Irrespective of your age, there’s always a need for a job search. While some people do not take time to update their Curriculum Vitae to suit the prospective job, some people’s C.Vs can impress and even intimidate the reader or fellow contenders. Great C.Vs can do a lot to get you that job but there are qualities you need to showcase that can do even more.
- Confidence: Nothing is as pleasing to the eye as a confident interviewee. That alone is putting one foot at the door to that dream job. Speak eloquently. Smile. Greet with a firm handshake not otherwise. If you are unsure of yourself, how can someone else be sure of you? Don’t be intimidated by the interviewers’ straight faces, even mean faces. They are human beings who poop, laugh and fall in love just like you, you know. I’ll talk indeptly about body languages at job interviews in my next post.
- Honesty and Integrity: They do not show on a C.V. So how do you portray these? Whenever you are being asked questions about your past job experience or a Life event, be honest about it. If you think those stories are not ear-worthy, then answer that question by linking it to a time your reliability and your integrity yielded good results for the company. When you are being interviewed by professional counselors or Human Resource officers, there is a very high chance they can pick up lies or uncertainties when you speak.
- Professionalism: I can’t emphasize this enough. Whenever I go for an interview or any meeting, I like to see myself as a C.E.O of a corporate firm. It puts me in a positive head space. Do not go for an interview all timid and shy. Be professional. Dress appropriately. Do some research about the company you are going to seek a job at. Know their history, their Admin personnel and current news on them. Ask questions if necessary. Make the job interview a conversation (with them asking more of the questions). For example, “Have a seat, Mr David. How are you today?”….”Very well. Thank you Sir and How are you too? Except that Oga is dealing with family issues, or his girlfriend did not romance him well or he is just a narcissist, he must reply you and that’s how you strike a conversation. That alone calms every tension and prepares a cordial flow instead of you just being the one answering. Professionalism also includes promptness. Do not lose out on your dream job because of ‘African man time’. Go there and wait for the interviewers to call on you.
- Loyalty: An interviewer would like to know your job history and would want to find out how loyal you were to them, in terms of referrals and your longevity of work with the previous organisations. This is to ensure you don’t go packing your bag at the slightest mishap when the new company employs you. If they get a sense of your job-hopping attitude without valid reasons, you just might not make the cut.
- Salary expectations: “What do you want as salary?” This has got to be the most dreaded question in job interviews because it’s very tricky. You call a high amount and you are cut off. You call a low amount and you could be taken but at the detriment of your value’s worth. The best thing is to be in between. How can this happen? Do a proper research of the general pay scale for that job title you want. Find out the job description. Find out the the financial weight of the firm etc. You can also call a range but make sure the lowest end of the range is good enough for you because that’s what your employer is most likely to pay you.
- Always be prepared: Just like the Boys’ scout motto. I’ve gone for an interview and all of a sudden the interviewer burst into a French tongue. It felt like the apocalypse cos he spoke so fast. I spoke back in French saying he needed to repeat what he said. He repeated his question in French and I replied in French. Yes, my Resumè says I speak French, so I was tested. Imagine if I lied. Another happened at a bank interview. Out of the blues, I was asked “Describe the physiology behind smelling flowers”. Thank God for fresh brain then, I described it. I was asked that in a bank interview because my C.V states that I graduated from the Department of Human Physiology. (In Nigeria, most times you can graduate with a degree and seek jobs in a totally different sector.lol) So you never know where the questions pop out from. Always be prepared. You may not know all things but at least be the part you profess on your C.V.
Thought: Isn’t it sad, if you don’t have a ‘connection‘ or ‘godfather‘ especially in Nigeria, you can’t get a good job? These are real issues. In all, do your part. Prepare a killer- C.V and prepare a killer-you!
P.S: What was the strangest question you were being asked during an interview? What funny experience have you encountered during an interview? Why do most interviewers keep a mean face?
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