Things I learnt During Interviews No One Will Tell You
I happened to step on a thread on Nairaland where a guy (A then-Job Seeker) shared his experience on numerous interview he has attended and the various experience he has been able to gather from this different interviews he has been through.
Please note well: He has moved from being a Job Seeker already to a Full time employee of a well known multinational company.
I feel it will be worthwhile sharing this for every job seekers out there because i feel most graduates are still lagging behind most of this quality he stated, if not all.
The post was compiled by Oduniyi Olajide David:
=> KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR COURSE OF STUDY.
“I was just a raw job seeker, still serving, when I saw this job advert posted by Someone. It reads ‘Fresh Corp members are needed at a firm in Ikoyi. Company was Montego Holdings’.
Fast forward to the day of the interview, I was dressed in my favorite black shirt and black trouser with red tie looking like a ghost.
Full of confidence, I walked into the interview room to see a guy and a lady. In no time, the interview started.
So Mr….. (he called my name), you studied computer engineering? Yes, I answered.
So please tell us, what is computer engineering all about?
Right there in my mind I was like, what!!!, I spent the whole night reading about your company and common interview questions and all you’re asking me is what computer engineering is all about?
I answered their question but I was so ashamed of myself. I struggled to explain a course I had spent six years studying (2 Years in polytechnic, 4 Years in university).
After I finished, the guy looked at me and he asked another question. Assuming my computer brings out a blue screen, what could be the likely cause?
I had no fucking idea. All I was taught in school were digital signal processing, artificial intelligence and a whole lot of courses that couldn’t help me at that moment.
He then asked me another question which I got but it no longer mattered. They had seen all they wanted to see.
Right there, I learnt my first ever lesson. Which is to know everything there is to know about my course.
And of course, I was never called back.”
=> AN INTERVIEW IS NOT A DO OR DIE AFFAIR. TREATING IT AS ONE AFFECTS ONES CONFIDENCE
“Few weeks to completing NYSC, Airtel Graduate Trainee came out. Like every other applicant, I applied, did the online test and was invited for interview alongside 39 other candidates.
This time around, I had bought a white shirt which later turned out to be my official interview attire.
Prior to the interview, I told myself I have to get the job and there’s no room for failure. I thought by so doing, I’ll push myself to my limits and prepare so hard. Unfortunately, that mindset was the exact reason I got a regret mail.
When my name was called as the next person to be interviewed, I can’t remember how exactly I walked to the interview room. I was so tensed and so scared of failure that when asked to introduce myself, my voice was shaking. I tried so hard to stabilize my voice but I couldn’t help it.
One of the interviewers noticed and tried to calm me down. She explained to me we are just having a chat and it’s nothing serious. When she noticed it wasn’t working, She asked where I served. Edo state, I answered.
Wow, so you served in the same state my mum comes from? I didn’t say a word. Where in Edo state did you serve? She asked. Auchi, I answered. Wow, can you believe my mum stays in Auchi?
At that moment, in my mind, I was like, madam, leave all these ones, just ask me wetin you wan ask make I commot for here abeg!
When she noticed I wasn’t interested in the chit chat, she went ahead to interview me but of course, the interview was a disaster. I wasn’t thinking.
I was asked what I’ll do when I have several things to do with same deadline, nothing came to my head, I went blank. I could have simply told them I’ll prioritise.
When I left the venue, I knew I had blown it up. When people told me I might be called, I just laughed because I knew I’ll never be called. My desperation to land the job took the better of me and that was my second lesson: Never to treat an interview like it’s a do or die affair.”
=> BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT LIES, IT MAY RUIN EVERY GOOD THING YOU’VE SAID DURING THE INTERVIEW
“I picked myself up after the Airtel disappointment, downloaded numerous videos on how to overcome fear and how to build confidence.
So when I got KPMG Assessment Centre invite, confidence was the least of my worries. I was well prepared, digested my course to a satisfactory level and was already looking forward to working with them because I knew I was destroying the interview which of course I did.
The interview started in no time and everything was fine, I answered all questions extremely well until one tall, slim dark guy asked this question I’ll never forget.
So (he called my name), how come you’re having all C’s in your NECO result? He asked
I responded by saying it’s even by miracle that I passed the NECO Exam as it was WAEC I really prepared for and just wrote NECO for the sake of writing since I was sure I’ll pass WAEC.
When the result came out, as I had predicted, my WAEC result was very fine but unfortunately, I had a D7 in chemistry and that rendered my WAEC result useless. Since then, I’ve been forced to use my NECO result.
How many A’s did you have in your WAEC? he asked.
I could have told the truth but I lied, I told him I had two A’s when I had none. All I had were B’s. I felt since I had given them my NECO result and the result satisfies their requirement, it doesn’t matter.
The interview ended in no time, I thanked them and left.
The following day, I got a call from them. “(He called my name), you told us you have a WAEC result with two A’s yesterday” the caller at the other end said.
Yes, I answered.
Can you please send a scanned copy of the result to us now?
I paused and said I wasn’t at home but will do that once I get home. I needed time to plan my next line of action.
I sent my WAEC result like that and explained it was a mix up bla bla bla…
The result of my LIE was a regret mail.”
=>ACT AND PRETEND IF YOU CAN. JUST ENSURE YOU SHOW HOW PASSIONATE YOU ARE ABOUT THE JOB. IT WORKS A LOT.
“A few months ago, I got a test invite from mastermindshrsg, I had no idea which company there were recruiting for.
Roughly one month afterwards, I got a mail from Cordros Capital inviting me for an online test. Few days after the test, I got an interview invite.
This time around, I didn’t need to prepare much. I just picked my Airtel and KPMG interview notes, read all there is to read about the company and set out for the interview.
We were 11 that made it to the interview and I was optimistic I’ll get in. While we were waiting, we were told we’ll be interviewed in two’s. That is, two people will get in at the same time to be interviewed together.
So they ask Mr A a question, he answered, they ask Mr B the same question and he answered.
Of course, the second person to answer is at an advantage and I made sure I was always the second to answer
When it got to my turn, fortunately, I was grouped with a guy who won’t pull his weight so it made things easy for me.
We entered and after a series of questions, Mr AAAA looked at the other guy and told him his responses are vague and not direct. Another interviewer told him he doesn’t answer questions the way I do.
I was so happy within myself thinking I had landed the job. All of a sudden, Mr AAAA looked at me and said, (called my name), you said you want to be an investment banker but I’m not seeing the drive. I can’t see the passion and I can’t see the desire.
I felt he was just saying it to unsettle me so as to see how I’ll react since by their own admission, the other guy hasn’t been performing well while I have. I just kept smiling at him.
The interview went on till it ended and I was very optimistic about the result. The following Monday, I got a mail from them. It was the greatest surprise of my life. A regret mail. It was then I knew he meant what he said.
I learnt my next lesson, interviewers want to see the drive, the passion in you. Show it and you’re close to landing the job. It’s the greatest interview weapon I know.
Armed with this new lesson, I went for my next interview.”
=> ACTING OUT PASSION WORKS
I got a list of telecoms firms in lagos, got their contact line and sent a text message to about 20 of them. I told them I was a fresh graduate, passionate about a career in the telecoms industry and bla bla bla….
Luckily for me, an in-house recruitment was being conducted in one of the companies and my text was replied. I was invited for a test. I would have loved to mention the name of the company but I can’t.
Shortly after the test, I was told to wait to be interviewed. I wasn’t prepared as I was invited for a test and not an interview.
I went in and during the interview, I was asked the name of their CEO. How would I have known? . Told them point blank I didn’t know. I wasn’t performing so well but was waiting for an opportunity to unleash my weapon. The passion weapon.
Then the question came. (He called my name), we take trainees for 6 months and pay them… thousand during the six months but most people leave before the end of 6 months when we haven’t recouped our investment. They move to banks where they are offered better pay. How are we sure you won’t leave?
I started, Sir, that’s what happens when people look for jobs they aren’t passionate about. To them, it’s all about money. To me, it’s about my undying love for telecoms. Matter of fact sir, I wrote three courses in telecoms as an undergraduate and had two A’s and one B. My love for telecoms dates back to my undergraduate days and money will never make me leave for a bank job.
I saw them smiling. At that point, they obviously had forgotten I didn’t know the name of their CEO and sent me a success mail few days later.
Like I said earlier, I know no interview weapon greater than showing than you’re passionate about the job. It works.
A GREAT POINT NOTED FROM THOSE THAT COMMENTED ON THE THREAD
There is always something about your course that can relate. You only have to think deep and be inventive.
You have to first realize that the people who invited you for the interviews were aware of your course before inviting you. If they didn’t consider you employable with the course you read, they wouldn’t have invited you at all. So by asking you that question they only want to see how far you can reason.
There is a senior colleague in my workplace, who read Food and Nutrition (or something related) Now imagine what a food nutritionist is doing in an Audit firm.
You can always ask yourself that how did she scale through the interview processes but as an example, if I am in her shoes, I can tell the interviewers that “a food nutritionist is trained to be very meticulous and observant, as a little too much of one ingredient can spoil a whole meal or maybe even render it harmful. These are traits that are also necessary for any auditor. An auditor has to have a good eye for details and also be patient and meticulous when going over the books of clients…..”
You just have to link some of your skills to the job. It doesn’t have to be the technical skills alone.
GOOD-LUCK ON YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW!