You’ve gone through the process of preparing your CV and added all your skills and experiences that have lead you to getting a job interview. There is always a notion of nervousness that surrounds any type of interviews because the interviewee is always put on the spotlight.
In this article, I will outline some of the things that will give you a better chance in getting your next job and also some of the things to avoid that could lead you to not get the job.
Practice, practice and more practice!
Practice by doing your homework. Find out more information about the company/organization that you are applying for. What are they looking for in the advertised position? Read and understand especially the person specification and job description in the advert. The questions at the interview will be directly derived from this. You can also try and guess what questions or areas might be referred to in the interview. You should prepare answers for these areas.
Practice your answers for the interview. Once you know what areas/types of questions might be asked from the advert or prior experience, you should research and write out answers to these. Then practice saying your answers loudly and clearly in mock interviews with family or friends, or better yet, mentors or colleagues already working in that field. This will help you build some confidence and also give you feedback on how to improve and do well on the actual interview day.
Practice your route to the interview site. There is nothing worse than rushing to your job interview and turning up sweating, tired, out of breath and even more nervous. That is a recipe for a bad interview. So, make sure you plan your journey and know where the interview location is prior to the date. Have your clothes and any paperwork before the day and leave with enough time to ensure you arrive on time despite the likely traffic challenges in Nairobi and other major towns.
If you have practiced and have everything prepared; then you can Be Yourself. In the job interview, let the interviewers see who you are instead of acting like who you think they want to see (unless you are going for acting job of course). When you enter the interview room, make sure to greet the interviewer(s) by giving them a handshake with a smile on your face. That’s not much to ask. Also, keep eye contact and remember, the interviewer is just another human being; you might even be sharing a cup of tea and jokes when they become your future work colleague. This might help remove the nervousness that job seekers experience when participating in a job interview.
What to avoid in a job interview
Interviewers are put off by certain behaviors in interviews. One of this is not being able to adequately explain things like skills or experiences you have mentioned in your CV. You should know it by heart since it is simply describing who you are and what you have accomplished. Otherwise you are implying that you have lied or exaggerated which are not qualities that attract any employer.
Next, avoid giving too much detail or irrelevant stories when responding to a question. This shows you haven’t really understood the question or do not have a relevant answer. Employers are looking for quality over quantity so keep your answers specific, with clear and short stories to evidence your point.
As much as possible, avoid mumbling or talking under your breath. As mentioned above, interviewers want to get to know you and your tone and volume of speech tells them whether you are confident, competent or, shy and therefore unable to perform under pressure. The later isn’t an impression you want to give, so even if you are shy and quiet, work on projecting a strong confident voice.
Author: Enock Kiprono