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How you lose marks in a job interview



Things you should never say in an interview
•    What does your company mean?
•    My salary requirements are very flexible
•    I need the job badly
•    What can your company do for me?
•    I left my last job because my boss was impossible


The job interview can be in form of an informal or a formal meeting. It may be a telephone interview, a lunch interview or you may be sent an application form to fill. 

What to do before the interview
•    Do groundwork about the company (prospective employer) in question
•    Get ready with your original certificates
•    Learn about the real job beyond the advert
•    Review your successes at your work
•    Be prepared for the unexpected
•    Confirm the time, date, venue and details of the interview
•    Get enough rest the night before the interview
•    Arrive in time for the interview
•    Do not show annoyance if kept waiting
•    Freshen in bathroom to look your best
•    Do not make phone calls in your host’s office
•    Do not smoke or chew gum

It is interview time
•    Have your original testimonials
•    Bring along extra copies of resume (or CV) and work samples
•    Do not be intimidated by a big panel
•    Offer a firm handshake if invited
•    Maintain eye contact
•    Sit down only when invited to do so
•    Relax, be alert and pay attention to what is going on
•    Harmonize your manner of speech with the interviewer
•    Do not be negative about a former employer
•    Keep your answers short
•    Be honest about your past
•    Smile when appropriate naturally and sincerely
•    Listen and ask intelligent questions
•    Avoid discussing personal problems or politics
•    Dress appropriately
•    Avoid personal mannerism
•    Do not use slang language 
•    Enter the room confidently
•    Sit up straight and put your hands above board
•    Utilize body language that demonstrate interest
•    Remember NOT to: swing legs, tap your feet, twirl your hair, wring your hands, bite your finger nails, cross your arms, and appear to be too desperate to get the job.

Tricky interview questions
•    Why should we hire you (what makes you unique)?
•    Discuss why the company appeals to you
•    Tell us about yourself. This question requires you to stick to professional experience, focus on specific achievements and give a brief of your career.
•    What is your greatest weakness? Be honest as you answer this but demonstrate how you have turned it into strength.
•    Why did you leave your last job? Be diplomatic and careful about being negative, bitter and do not sound problematic.
•    Describe any crisis that you were faced with and how you managed it.
•    What accomplishments are you most proud of? Opt for a professional accomplishment, one related to the job at hand.
•    Describe your role in your current job. Emphasize duties and responsibilities relevant to the job at hand.
•    What new skills will you bring along?
•    What are your future career aspirations? Give long term plans, related to the company, reflecting commitment to the post and the company.
•    What are your salary expectations? Give a range rather than a specific number and let them know it is negotiable.
•    Do you have any questions? Prepare some questions beforehand that reflect your knowledge and interest in the company.

Closing the interview
•    Summarize your qualities and tell them, “I am the candidate you are looking for.”
•    Thank the interviewer for the opportunity
•    Find out when you can call to follow up
•    If offered the job, take time to evaluate it before accepting or rejecting

Things you should never say in an interview
•    What does your company mean?
•    My salary requirements are very flexible
•    I need the job badly
•    Do not inflate your former salary to give an edge for negotiating
•    “You see, I have just gone through a painful divorce.”
•    What can your company do for me?
•    I left my last job because my boss was impossible

What do interviewers look for? Where do you lose or gain marks?
•    Personal grooming
•    Ability to communicate and express ideas
•    Physical appearance and mental alertness
•    Personal manner
•    Confidence and ambition
•    Level of academic qualification
•    Job knowledge
•    Personality
•    General knowledge and current affairs

Christine Magala is a Corporate Counselor and Human Resource Specialist at the International Financial Empowerment Consultants Limited.


0 #1 Paul 2012-06-18 14:58
I like.
0 #2 kaghesera m 2012-06-18 15:16
that is very great so please keep on doing the same things
0 #3 Sarah Owembabazi 2016-04-07 10:24
Thank you Rotarian Christine Magola. I have learnt a lot from this article.