In Nigeria, getting an interview is as difficult as the proverbial camel passing through the needle’s eye. Due to the economic situation in the country, there is more firing than hiring. That is why any invitation to an interview is a joyful event. For you to go on and ace the interview is an even greater achievement. However, are you surprised you are yet to receive that call asking you to begin work? It may be due to a seemingly little, but often neglected detail that you may not have considered earlier.
Here are 4 often neglected details.
This often neglected detail does not refer to where you come from, your ethnicity, tribe or anything like that. Rather, it refers to the culture, or way of life in the company. For example, the extremely formal setting in the finance industry is almost in direct contrast to the informal settings that exists in tech and engineering firms. Thus, as David Waring, co-founder of Fit Small Business, says, the make-or-break among top candidates will be whether or not they are a cultural fit. Is this candidate someone that both myself and my employees will get along with? What is their work ethic like? These are some questions employers consider. For them, this is important because introducing an employee that does not fit into the company’s culture is likely to escalate disagreements and friction within the company. In fact, employees should have carried out their own checks to ensure that they are a good fit for the company. However, considering the situation in the country now, fit is likely the last thing on candidates’ minds. It may also be the last on the employer’s, but then, that last thing decides who gets the job.
Another often neglected detail is your appearance. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to job interviews, anything goes. Thus, never go under-dressed as that first impression may be enough to eliminate you from the race to the job. A job seeker, despite his/her financial constraint, needs to have at least one very nice suit and a couple of nice shirts to boot. The impression your appearance gives may be what makes you memorable (hopefully for the right reasons) in the employer’s mind. Another area often forgotten with regard to appearance is grooming. Haircuts, hairstyles, accessories used, shoes etc. all play a part in forming that impression in their minds, positive or otherwise. “If a hiring manager has two great candidates but only one role, the process of elimination becomes more creative. The hiring manager will be considering how you represent the company. If you take pride in your appearance and dress to the standards of the company, it tells the hiring manager you take pride in your work. If both candidates are equal in all other measures, it really can come down to style,” explains Justine Miller, a human resources consultant.
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The way your answers come out in an interview are as important, and may even be more important than the answers themselves. A sour, dull attitude and personality is likely to turn the employer off, no matter how correct your answers to the questions are. Remain positive and upbeat. Coming across as an interesting personality is another often neglected detail that you should pay attention to. This shows that you really want the position, not that you were forced to the interview venue. However, a note of caution. In a bid to be interesting, avoid being unnecessarily boisterous. In addition, avoid unnecessary lewd or offensive jokes. They’ll make the employers remember you, alright, but for all the wrong reasons.
How did you get the message across to them? This often neglected detail can be the deal-breaker between the final two candidates for a role. Were you stumbling to get through questions? Were you closed-off when you were asked certain questions? What was your body language like? These are questions that the employers will ask himself in order to assess communication style. How to handle this? Always be very prepared for the interview. Know how to answer the popular questions like ‘Tell me about yourself,’ and, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ Have clean outfits that are un-wrinkled as well as enough knowledge about the position and the company. A thank-you note after the interview is definitely a way to stand out as well.