HR experts give tips on interviewing for a dream job

Getting a job in Nigeria keeps getting tough as opportunities in the labour market are shrinking, leading to an all-time high unemployment rate of 33.3 percent.

With fewer opportunities in the job market, employers and recruiters may become strict in selecting applicants for the needed roles in their companies.

That is why it is important especially for those new to job hunting, to know the right guidelines when preparing for an interview towards getting a dream job.

In a previous BusinessDay article, tips to note when writing a compelling Curriculum Vitae (CV) were highlighted. Here is a follow-up and concluding part of the series. Some Human Resource (HR) professionals interviewed gave some key guidelines to note when preparing for an interview

Adebambo Aina, HR Advisor at Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, a wealth advisory firm

An interview gives you the opportunity to sell yourself by showcasing your knowledge and skill. That is why it is important that you speak intelligently and keep the conversation going as much as possible. When asked a question and you do not say much, it makes the interview boring, ending it quickly.

Read also: 5 HR experts on how to write compelling CV

Know about the industry that the role you are being interviewed for. It gives you extra points because you know more about the basic things that concern that business.

Ask one or two interesting questions; do not be shy to ask questions that you did not hear properly or understand. Also, practice your lines to know how you are going to grow in the conversation from the beginning so that you will be able to nail it. If you start on a good note, it gives you the assurance to flow well till the end. But, if you miss the first hurdle, then there is that tendency you might lose focus.

Lastly, most interviews are now done virtually. So, when given the link to the interview, try it out first. Make sure you have the zoom application, know how to navigate your way around it, have a good internet connection and a nice background.

Abidemi Ajai, HR Manager at Nosak Farm Produce Limited, a fully integrated agro-industrial company

From the point where an applicant receives an invite, it is important that he/she acknowledges it. That is what I look out for first.

When you are asked certain questions, do not rush to answer even if you know them because it is not polite when you stop the interviewer from asking his or her full questions. It is feedback to them that you will be a good listener.

Also, it is important you provide answers based on the questions you’re being asked. Please note that there is nothing wrong if you cannot answer a question. You can be honest and say you do not know it and that you will research it after the interview.

Jennifer Oyelade, director of Transquisite Consulting, an international human resource consultancy

What will make a candidate really stand out is talking about information that is not obvious. So, research in detail about the achievements that the company has had in the last six months or one year, how long they have been in operation, new products or services they are launching and how their turnover was.

It shows that you have an interest in the company and not just looking for a job. I will also suggest candidates should have at least five solid questions to ask the interviewer that is surrounding career progression, what is expected for them in the role they are recruiting or applying for.

Unini Mosimabale, HR at Alles Charis Gas Limited

Always maintain eye contact with each of the panellists regardless of who asked you the question as it shows a level of confidence. But don’t hold the contact for too long so it doesn’t seem rude as well.

While answering, look from one panellist to the other so they know you are addressing them all, not just one person.

Dress decently and pay attention to solid or cooperate colours. You don’t want to show up in a neon green jacket that screams “look at me!” Wear something like navy blue, black, deep brown, burgundy/wine jacket or skirt. Your dressing will boost your confidence too so dress well and smell nice. Sleep well the previous night so you can look fresh and relaxed.

Winnifred Omobolanle, Operations Lead at Utiva, an Edutech company

When questions are asked, try to understand and apply them to the company’s situation. For example, I am doing back to back interviews for a group manager and I ask him or her a question on how they will generate (prospects) for the company or get people to be even interested in the products or services of the company. So, the way they answer the question at that time helps me to know when this person will understand what is required for him or her to do the job.

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