Having finished school and graduated just two months ago, I am used to being on the receiving end, when it comes to the interview process and employment. Yaani, me ndio huwa interviewee pale. Tuesday, November 31 2017, things took a different turn.
Let me tell you my story.
I had just joined my new job like two months ago, and when my boss invited me to join her in the interview room, I was more than thrilled. She was looking to fill out a few positions in the company and it felt good to know she trusted me enough with this process. I was excited because this was the first time I was engaging in something like this.
This is how it all started.
Late afternoon on Tuesday, Boss Lady informs me that we shall be conducting interviews the next day and she wanted me in there with her. Ukweli tu, me sijawahi kuwa interviewer na sikuwa najua what to expect, but oohh well. I was ready for a new experience.
Wednesday 8:00 am and the first interviewee comes into the room. He is followed by the next person, and the next till we get to the last person.
Now, here are a few things that caught my attention during the course of the interview.
NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER ever go for an interview without doing a background check on what the company does and what it’s all about. In this age of social media and the internet, you have no excuse of not doing thorough research. Would you believe me if I told you that almost three candidates came in without having any clue about what the company does? I was beyond shocked because, what are you coming to do in a place you know? Ama ni njaa tu ndio inakusumbua?
This was possibly the worst thing I saw on my first day in the interview room, no lie. It was also a big note to self. Seeing it from the other side made me realize just how bad it portrays someone. So, to all the job seekers, tafadhali, tufanyeni research kabla hatujaenda interview yoyote.
Second thing; never go into an interview room over-confident. Having confidence is extremely important but let’s just avoid taking it a notch higher. Don’t go in showing an employer how much you think they need you, or how valuable of an asset you think you are. Just express yourself coherently, confidently and respectfully. Always remember, it’s never about what you say, but how you say it.
Experience is what sells. During the whole time that we were conducting interviews, not a single time did I hear my boss ask anyone for their KCSE certificate or Bachelor’s degree. The only thing that was of interest to her was whether you had worked in the particular field that she was interested. What had you done, how had you done it, how long had you done it, what clients had you worked with, were they happy. You get the drift?
Enough of the flip side. Now on to the positive things I saw in the interview room.
It was very attractive to see a person who knew their stuff come in express themselves clearly and confidently. It honestly gave us hope since we had faced a lot of disappointments during the process.
Also, a person who shows initiative in their work is always given priority over others. If in the course of your career you have been able to achieve a certain milestone because of personal drive and initiative, make sure you highlight that during the interview. It gives you an edge.
Lastly, it is VITAL that you be charming, enthusiastic and interesting during the interview. Be as lively as possible. This will keep the boss engaged and interested to know more about you. Be boring, and you will see the job that you so desire handed over to the next candidate. Changamka nani, usiboo watu!
All in all, it was a great learning curve as it taught me some do’s and don’ts when going in for an interview.
That’s it from me now. Till next time, Adios!