Looking for work can be stressful and tiring, especially if you don’t have a plan. The regular routine of going into companies and handing out CVs is very tiring. Online applications also could be a lot easier but when no company calls you back, it becomes even more frustrating. This could adversely affect your self-confidence. We however have found out that Nigerian graduates make so many mistakes in the activities leading up to the eventual job interview. Yes, so many get a call back but eventually spurn the opportunity on the interview day. One thing everyone needs to understand is that searching for a job is a full-time job in itself, which requires skills, experience and a lot of hard work. It only starts with your application but does not end with it.
With the experiences of a writer who worked with a recruiting firm, we bring you 21 things to watch out for as you build up on your application, knowing now that your application is only a first step:
1. Do a Health Check: While you wait for the phone call or e-mail,visit a hospital and do a health check. Sneezing during an interview is in no way appropriate. It will give you away as having health issues and the company would not want to employ someone with health conditions. Therefore, treat whatever health issue you might have before going for the interview. Some health problems equally lead to anxiety and pressure.
2. Write A Little Description in Your Application: Always add a brief description about yourself in the body of the email. I don’t mean writing about where you came from or your hobbies, write a little about your qualifications and skills. This gives you a high chance as it gives the recruiter a reason to want to open your CV.
3. Your CV Should Be Well Arranged And Of High Quality : Before anyone reads the content of your email, the first thing that attracts them is the quality of the design of your CV, make sure your CV is well formatted with good fonts and make sure it looks good, I don’t mean designing your CV or adding colors. Write good and simple English, avoid writing stories, write short and straight to the point, make your CV very interesting and attractive enough that the recruiter would want to shortlist you.
4. Reply Interview Emails: Whenever you get an email from a company about an interview or test, always reply their emails confirming the appointment for the interview or test. Most applicants don’t do that. This will give the interviewer some insight on the kind of person you are.
5. Avoid Too Much Talk And Be Prepared: During the test or Interview avoid too much chit chats with other applicants, always be prepared, bring your ball pen, pencils, calculators, paper etc. Some people come for test without even a ball pen or pencil.
6. Reschedule If Need Be: If for any reason you can’t make it to the interview, don’t be scared to ask them to reschedule instead of sending emails after the interview has been conducted that you couldn’t make it on the interview date.
7. Send A “Thank You” Message: Once you have been shortlisted, don’t hesitate to send a thank you message. But please make it very formal. Guess what? It has a way of making the interviewer remember your name, you will be surprised how this will go a long way in making the person want you.
8. Pray Before You Go For The Interview: It may sound funny, but it is very important. Whatever you believe, acknowledge them in worship. It has a way of keeping you calm throughout the process.
9. Always Pick Up Your Calls: Some companies may prefer to conduct their interview over the phone before choosing who would make it for the face to face interview. If your phone is switched off, or you couldn’t pick it up, you may not get a call back. If you are in church, or someplace where you can’t pick up your calls, call back. When you are applying for a job, your phone must be available 24/7.
10. Watch Your Caller Tune And Phone Etiquette: Having mentioned the above point, you must watch the kind of caller tunes you subscribe to. It tells the recruiter the kind of person you are or at least it gives an impression. You should also develop a good phone etiquette.
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11. Dress Appropriately: Still talking about impression, even if you have to borrow, never wear a rough, dirty or tattered cloth to an interview, because nobody will employ you with that no matter how good you turn out to be.
12. Mind Your Body Language: Sit straight, focused and exude confidence, make a good eye contact, but don’t make it look daring.
13. Watch Your Choice Of Colors: When you are going for an interview, avoid some colors. The appropriate suit color to use for an interview is black, navy blue or grey-ash. Never wear a black, red or pink shirt to an interview. It is safer to wear more friendly colors like blue, white, or any strip shirts. As much as possible avoid primary colors for shirts but you can use them as ties. Your ‘accessories’ could be the company’s color and that could be a plus.
14. Work On Your Speech Pattern: Most people speak very badly (not insolently) and don’t even realize it. Do a video of yourself talking and then rate yourself. Develop your speaking and avoid mannerisms as much as possible. You can also ask people around you to be the judge and accept their criticisms. You should also speak calmly. Speaking like you have some hot coco-yams stashed in your mouth might not help your anxiety.
15. Listen And Don’t Interrupt: Never in any way interrupt while the interviewer is speaking. If you must object while the person is talking, raise your hand or better still, wait for the person to finish talking. You show yourself as being rude when you interrupt the interviewer.
16. Be Candid And Very Honest: If you get the job with a lie, be sure to sustain it with that lie. But remember that white lies always leave black marks.
17. Avoid Unnecessary Show Of Humility: The use of ‘sir’ should be limited to where it is necessary. People say things like, Good morning sir, Thank you sir, What did you say sir, No sir, etc, to show they are humble. But when you respond to every question with ‘sir,’ you appear desperate and cheap.
18. Gain Relevant Information About The Company: Never go for an interview in a company without reading up about the company. Know the strengths and weaknesses of the company. It tells you areas to ask questions. Know their competitors and their scope. You would really look uninterested, if you can’t answer basic questions about them.
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19. Use A Good Fragrance: You really don’t want to make your interviewers uncomfortable. Use good deodorants and antiperspirants to control that smelly odor from your armpit. Also use good body sprays and perfumes. If you have mouth odor, chew gums with menthol to give you a fresh breath before entering the interview room.
20. Don’t Present Rough Or Torn Certificates: Make sure your certificates are kept straight and neat. If your certificate is looking dirty and torn, it just shows the interviewer that you are careless with important things.
21. Never Go To An Interview Venue Late: Don’t be late to an interview for any reason. No one would like to employ a late comer.
So, enjoy the interview and get ready to be proud of your achievements. Check the shortlist and you are already on it as they think you are worthy already. Interview Done | Job Secured.