Waiting to get invited for an interview could be a nightmare.
The days when the number of paper qualifications you’d bagged could solely throw a juicy offer on your laps seem to have gone in Nigeria. Too many factors play roles in job opportunities these days.
So, receiving an invitation for an interview is often a melody too sweet to describe for many. It’s therefore not out of place that you devoted a junk of your time ‘practising’ to impress the guys that’ll be hosting you for the drilling. That’s fine. It’s Ok. But…
Studying and preparing to impress the interviewer isn’t the game. What if you don’t clinch the job? That means you’ll have to reach into your bag of ‘tricks’ for a new script each time another interview comes knocking. After all, every position comes with its unique features. It can be frustrating. Regardless of how smart you’re, you’ll soon run out of scripted strategies.
There’s only one strategy that doesn’t fail in the long run.
My experience first.
Immediately after my youth service, I was lucky to be invited for a First Bank of Nigeria graduate trainees recruitment exercise. I was good at quantitative stuff. So, I scaled the test with some comfort. Some days after, I got called for the interview.
Happy I was. But my preparation was to impress the interviewers. The charade started with the suit I wore. Weren’t we told we needed to be in suits? That was the popular definition of a corporate outfit. Oversized is an understatement because I borrowed it. I was extremely not comfortable. But I needed to impress. I’m sure the costume didn’t.
Then came the time when I had to vomit the rehearsed answers. My Adam Apple did some painful up and down movements. At some point, my answers were amusing to the panel. Where it was adequate for me to stop at A, I regurgitated the B and the C that I’d swallowed. All in a bid to impress the interviewers.
I lost my true identity.
That’s the pitfall of trying to impress an interviewer. You lose your calm and you make unnecessary blunders.
I used to think that the phenomenon was limited to newbies. My HR experience has taught me otherwise. I’d sat at interviews where I witnessed candidates literally gasping for breath in a bid to impress. It’s no rocket science to deduce that all their answers were rehearsed. We often laughed over some of these at post – interview meetings.
Save yourself the troubles. Do these…
Be yourself at all time. If you don’t have a fitting suit and you can’t get one that fits, please go in your neatly ironed shirt.
Know yourself. This may sound awkward. But many can’t correctly answer questions about themselves.
Invest in yourself. Build yourself for challenging opportunities. Read, ask questions and listen. Keep yourself abreast of updates and development. By this, you won’t have to memorise too many things.
Know everything about something and know something about everything. Develop your knowledge and competence about your chosen career first. Then, relate your competence and experience to the job description of the post you’re applying for.
Be articulate in your presentation of answers. Don’t try to impress by choking your points with too many ‘facts’.
Above all, if you’re not sure of what you want to say, let the interviewers know that you’re not sure. A lie that’s presented in a bold manner is worse than a humble admission of ignorance.
Enough from me. You’re welcome to share with us what you think we should do rather than trying to impress interviewers. Please drop your thoughts and comments in the box below.
Taiwo Adeyemi was HR Manager at Waterman Day College. To get in touch email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or on email@example.com.Why It's Wrong Trying to Impress an Interviewer by Taiwo Adeyemi