A guide to an exceptional performance for your next interview

1. Know your resume like the back of your left hand.

Ever gone for an interview and you blank out when asked the question “tell us about your background?” Don’t worry it happens to most of us.
Or they ask a question related to a part of your resume and you begin with “erm erm”

As simple as it may seem, knowing the entire info on your resume from your objectives to your experience gives you 'un-matchable' confidence.

It’s okay if your resume was drafted by a professional CV writer. You should still take time out to digest its entirety.

2. Master the art of answering Behavioral, Situational and Skill Based Questions.

Quite a number of people do not know the different kind of interview questions and how to answer them. When prepping for an interview, it is quite helpful to sort for the type of interview questions related to the job you are applying for.

Also, go an extra mile of doing a mock interview during your spare time. Ask yourself practice questions and answer them. Don’t just imagine them in your head because several times, it doesn’t come out the way you imagine it. But when you practice, you find out you know how to navigate from Lagos to Ibadan without google map.

You can get your friends, siblings to even practice with you. You find that questions you practice or play with majority of the times, are the questions the 'angry-looking-HR-person' eventually asks at the interview.

3. Know your employer and carry out an extensive research.

I don’t think this can be over emphasized. We have always been taught how the interviewer will ask, 'what do you know about this company'. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not do justice to the question.

Have you ever been asked this question and they tell you, ‘wow you’ve done your research”? The idea of this question is to ensure you did your research before coming but don’t go mediocre on them.

Read also : Interview Preparation 101 : How to prepare for interview.

Pull some X-Files stunts on them. For me, I usually start with the basics (below), before I add more info that I must researched on.

How many employees do they have?
Who is the CEO?
When were they founded?
What are they best known for?
What CSR are they involved in?

4. Know the right answers for the right questions.

This one is quite tricky because even if you answer it wrongly, the interviewer won’t give you an indication that you have played your penalty to throwing. One time I had an interview at the British Council in Lagos.

The lady asked me what value I will bring to the team / department when hired, I said I will repair the door because it had a squeaky sound when I opened it 😒. Failure 101. I wasn’t surprised that I did not get the job. However, I realized much more later why I did not get the job.

Repairing a door is no value added to the team or department. The question was looking to see how my skills or competencies will achieve set goals.


Recruiter : Tell us about yourself ?

I am a professional ( name of position ) personnel , a graduate of xxx university with a degree in xxx , certifications from xxx and xxx , I've gotten core management experience from xxx that relates to what your organisation needs

Recruiter: Where do you see in yourself in 5 years?

Prior to my career goal , I see myself successfully at the top of my field adding value to my prospective organisation and those I work with in terms of growth, self development and meeting expected targets 

Recruiter: Why should we hire you?

This is a field I have passion for , I've learned and researched on making ( name of position ) a fruitful endeavour , because of this position I took a course in xxxx , working on a project concerning ( name of position ) to be better and the best at it, I love the job of a ( name of position ) and my career goals is centred on it.

Recruiter: How much should we pay you ?

Please research how much the position is worth from the least to the max before the interview 

Read also : Types of interview and tips on how to handle them.

Reply: this position is worth from XXX amount to XXX amount and I am fine within this range.

5. Master your 'Elevator Speech'.

Have you ever found yourself with someone you hold in high esteem and you needed to introduce yourself but couldn’t find the words? Have you ever received a phone call out of the blues and it happens to be an impromptu phone interview? Some interviewer do this to test your level of readiness.

Mastering your elevator speech is like saving for rainy days. You never know when you’d need it. However, it will be very useful in an interview.

I was having lunch when I received a call for my present job. It was impromptu, but after I spoke, the person on the other line literally said, I like your elevator speech.

6. Presentation is key

Presenting yourself are in two ways,
a. Physical presentation
b. Intellectual presentation

a. Unless you are Will Smith in “Pursuit of Happiness”, you should never go to an interview with an unbuttoned shirt. Trust me, it’s okay to wear your best suit.

Who knows, you might run into the CEO in the elevator and he just might strike a conversation with you. Don't slay for the gram alone.

Slay for that career! 🕺🏿💃🏿

b. When speaking to an interviewer or answering questions let them perceive an ambiance of knowledge. If it's an engineering role, speak engineering languages. If it's a tech role, speak in Java, Python, C++ or whatever language is related to the job role itself.

Read also : 5 likely interview questions and answers.

7. Ask Questions.

It is very important that you know if it is the right job for you or not. As long as they want to see if you are the right fit, you also need to know if it is the right organization. We have to complement each other. Questions on your career path, opportunities on growth etc. Also ask when you are likely to hear back from them.

Finally, the interview doesn't end after you exit the building. Find time during the day or the next to send a thank you note to the interviewer. This sends a clear message that you appreciate the time.

My people say, 'he who pours water on the floor, shall walk on cold land'.

Thanks for coming to this short TED Talk of mine 😃 .

I hope you ace your next interview and land that dream job!


Read also : 6 tips on how to prepare for a virtual interview and ace them.

Tags: interview

Author : Kekeocha Justin