In 2022, a year of great unemployment in Nigeria, a few HR professionals graciously shared with PiggyVest some tips on getting hired.
A year later, it remains a pretty bad situation. Plus, inflation has surged. The National Bureau of Statistics published the Q1 2023 unemployment rate at 4.1%, and Nigerians rejected those numbers, claiming that they’re neither factual nor reflective of the realities of the citizens.
This means, more than ever, Nigerians are on the lookout for employment opportunities. When these opportunities do come, you will want to go in armed with a solid strategy to secure the job.
With this in mind, we have five actionable steps you can follow to stand out from the crowd and ace your job interview.
1. Be prepared
Crafting a great resumé matters, but your preparation should extend beyond that. Give detailed attention to your appearance, especially for in-person interviews. Always dress in corporate attire, unless you’re told differently, or applying for a creative role where you need to shine through your personal style. Remember to come with a pen, a note pad, and a physical copy of your resumé.
Virtual interviews have become popular, but you must also prepare for them. Make sure you’re in a quiet and well-lit environment. Triple check your internet connection. And ensure that you smartly cover up the parts of you that’ll be appearing in the video call.
2. Do your homework
The HR representative is likely to ask, “What do you know about our company?” or “Why do you want to work here?” And a weak answer is a surefire way to get your application binned. Reading up about the company and industry will help you tailor your responses to match their expectations of you.
You can make an even bigger impression by researching your interviewer or a person in the top management beforehand. If you knew of them prior, you can dazzle them by highlighting milestones or aspects of their career that inspire you. Give responses that make you seem like you suit the company’s DNA.
3. Ask thoughtful questions
Ask questions that show your attention to detail. Listen attentively to your interviewer’s verbal and body language to ask pointed, culture-centric questions, because the potential red flags will be found in the answers.
Here are some examples of questions to ask: Inquire about how the company prioritises the rest and mental health of its staff. Ask them how they manage feedback or workplace relationships. Ask about the opportunities for growth available for you in that role.
4. Tailor your responses
Answer questions about your weaknesses in a way that casts the spotlight back on your didactic and creative side. Try your best to only highlight the unique skills that are relevant to the job. Endeavour to research industry-specific interview questions and rehearse your answers ahead of time to avoid getting tongue-tied.
When asked about your salary expectation, supply a salary range but leave room for negotiation. Act like you’re already on the job, by identifying problems and proffering simple solutions.
5. Be yourself
HR professionals interview tons of people for a living, and will not find it hard to spot a conman (or woman). You want to showcase your most graceful, yet authentic side. Be polite but confident.
You can strike up a good rapport by matching the energy of your interviewer. Maintain eye contact and try your best to appear comfortable in your body. Have a pleasant expression on your face at all times to appear personable and welcoming.