By Oluwatoyosi Adegunle
The easiest part of a job application is definitely the part where you send your CV and cover letter. It’s the sweetest part, because you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to pop up for a while, and you finally get one. You are more than happy to send your CV, and you probably also have it ready and tailored for every and any type of job opportunity within your niche, simply because you have a career focus and you don’t just apply for jobs anyhow, right?
Right! Recruiters take the interview more seriously than the application. Your CV may be really interesting, attractive and great enough to take you to the next stage, but it would honestly not exactly give you the job. The interview is where your confidence, competence, and attitude would be tested.
Confidence should be your favorite dress for an interview, wear it well. Be equally confident as your cover letter and CV. Rehearse, ask yourself possible interview questions, and answer them in front of the mirror, or before a friend. Do this repeatedly to build your confidence, and understand that it is absolutely normal to be nervous, simply because you’ll be meeting people whose opinion and judgment about your performance really matter, and you’re not sure you’ll do well or impress them well enough to get the job. As normal as is it could be, being nervous during an interview is not good for you, because you might forget things you ought to say, you might stutter too much, and you will appear unprepared even when you are well prepared.
Don’t be overconfident. There’s a thinline between the latter and the former. It is good enough that you are confident, don’t be cocky, admit that you don’t know it all and stay away from arguments and unnecessary back and forth between you and the recruiter. Just be confident.
Competence is the very essence of an interview. You have to prove that you know exactly what the job role entails, and how you can grow and add value to the organization with your duties. Every recruiter wants to be sure that you will be excellent at a job role, and excel with little or no supervision or training, except it’s a trainee role, which still requires a basic level of intelligence and acquaintance with the duties. Competence means you applied for a job that you have good knowledge of and you can answer any question about it intelligently, and even scale through a practical test, if available. Don’t apply for job roles you don’t know or practice.
Attitude is the icing on the cake- the biggest deal, as against the icing which is the extra and least necessary part and is capable of messing up the cake or making it really beautiful. It’s not cliché that you need to be in your best behavior, well-mannered and courteous. Irrespective of what happens, don’t be rude, be patient enough to understand every question before answering, have good and humble use of words. Irrespective of age, gender, and status, your recruiter remains the most powerful at that period, and to a very large extent determines whether or not you get the job.
Dress the way you want to be addressed. Your appearance really matters and can work magically for or against you. Don’t be too lavish with your dressing: be decent and ensure you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re putting on. Avoid excessive use of perfumes, body spray, makeup and accessories. Avoid heels that are too high and clothes that are too tight. The interview isn’t really about how beautiful, gorgeous and great your looks are, so keep it minimal.
For any reasons, your interview might be a video conference. The same rules apply here as well, nothing changes, the only difference is that it’s online. However, you need to be extra prepared.
Here are a few tips to nail an online interview:
- Use a very neat spot: If it’s a video call, find a good spot with good lighting, less distracting and noisy.
- Test your microphone and speakers and ensure they are working perfectly for seamless communication. Mute your speaker when you’re not speaking to avoid noises from different parts of the room.
- Dress well: It doesn’t matter that you’re doing it from home, dress well and look good.
- Be punctual: It’s a video call; you don’t want to keep your recruiters waiting.
- Ensure a very good internet connection before the interview starts to avoid spending long hours.
Think of it as an avenue to prove how competent you are, and why you should be hired, follow the basic rules, and you will do just fine.