Editor’s Note: At job interviews, employers are interested in seeing a candidate that can position him/herself as different, with a thirst for knowledge and really interested in the company.
While I consider the above the simplest innovative way to impress an interviewer especially in Nigeria, there are other equally and sometimes more important points to consider.
Here are some.
Research the company. There is no such thing as “too much research.” The most obvious first step is to spend time on the company’s web site. Lots of time! Click on each and every link and take notes. And don’t stop there. Run a Google search. Gather as much information as possible including the history of the company, ownership, clients, awards, etc. Try to read any articles published about the company, their achievements or key employees. Know their product and get comfortable discussing it. For example, if you want to work with UAC, know their brands and their competitors as well.
Get directions. When you are scheduling your interview, don’t be afraid to ask for directions; however check the company’s website first, and confirm if the address is what you saw on their site.
Bring an extra copy of your resume and samples of your work (if the job requires samples e.g art, design etc). Even if you’ve already submitted your resume or filled out an on-line application, make sure that you bring an extra copy of your resume to the interview.
Turn off your cell phone in the interview. If the unthinkable happens and your phone rings during your interview, apologize and turn it off. DO NOT ANSWER IT!
Have a professional E-Mail address. This should be some variation of your first and last name or first initial and last name. It should not be anything that will make the employer question your professionalism, your judgment or what you do with your free time. Nothing like cyberdonjay, chubbydarby or achic2trip4 Create a professional E-mail address and you can probably link both your old and new address so that you can check from one interface. Gmail and Yahoo allows this.
Dress appropriately. It is better to be overdressed than to be inappropriately dressed. If unsure of the dress code, dress totally corporate. And for guys, a suit with a tie. And this matters on every visit you make to the company before you are hired. Ladies, nothing too short, tight or revealing. You want your clothes to say “professional” not “party animal.”
Return ALL phone calls and E-mails PROMPTLY. All HR managers agree that there is nothing more annoying than job applicants who don’t return phone calls.
Write a thank-you email or call or proper SMS. Promptly! The general rule is within 24-48 hours. Although a hand-written note is still appreciated, a traditional business letter is more the norm and today many employers have no objection to an E-Mail. Just remember to write in complete sentences using both upper and lower case letters as appropriate. No short SMSlike words, u, wuz, bout wia.
Culled from the Jobberman Digest written by Opeyemi Awoyemi.