Interviews may seem daunting, but at some point you realise that you’ve become pretty comfortable with them. I quite like them to be honest. So long as the interviewers are not asking ridiculous questions or making unusual requests.  I like the quiet confidence I’m often able to exude.

While not close-ended, here are some tips I think will generally help ace your next interview!

Preparedness:

At the Career Workshop, Mariam repeated something she had heard someone say. It’s quite interesting. “When you’re invited for an interview, you already have the job. The interview is an opportunity to show them why you shouldn’t be given the job”. This is quite true especially with final stage interviews. They already think you could be a great fit. So as long as you don’t fumble, ta dah!, you’ll sign the employment contract.

So, asides successfully avoiding typos on your CV, you need to be extremely familiar with it. Be able to explain in detail all of the amazing things you claim you’ve done. You’ve also said in so many words in your cover letter, that it’ll be dream to work for this company. Now is the chance to show it. There’s no substitute for research.  Study the job role and requirements again. Formulate responses on how your capabilities are a perfect match for the role. Like in public speaking, it’s great to practice your responses ( I know, I hate it too!).

Build your confidence

Confidence in an interview cannot be overrated, and you’ll be amazed at the little things that could shatter your confidence.  Check out your venue before hand and ensure you should arrive at least 15 minutes to the set time.  Firm handshake. Sit up straight. Dress well. For my last set of interviews, I honestly wore the exact same H&M dress and Primark shoes. Felt totally comfortable with it and nothing else came close. So find what works for you!. I also often cross my legs as well as it helps build my confidence and ensures I’m sitting straight. Be careful though, there could be a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Make eye contact – but it’s okay to look away if you’re thinking up an answer.

Be comfortable

Ensure the temperature of the room is okay, particularly if it’ll be a long interview. Don’t be afraid to ask them to turn off the AC or adjust the temperature. We don’t want a sniffing nose now, do we? One trick you could also ask for a glass of water. It’s a trick because when you  need a moment to think or structure a response, you grab the glass and take a long sip. Good interviewers don’t aim to trick you – so, relax and see the interview as a chat. Plus they totally understand it’s okay to be slightly nervous – as long as you don’t display overly obvious signs such as flicking your pen, playing with your fingers or tapping the table. Don’t forget to smile. Be professional, but let your amazing personality shine through. These days, asides skills, firms want to hire people they can get along with.

The STAR technique:

Just like when giving a presentation, it’s important you speak reasonably slowly and logically ensuring your responses flow. A lot of interviews these days ask competency questions. This essentially requires you to explain a time you demonstrated a particular skill or trait. For example, “Describe a time you achieved exceptional success”. It sounds easy, until you realise you’re waffling. And here’s where the star technique comes in. Honestly, it makes you look like a star!

S –  Situation – What were the circumstances surrounding this achievement. Set the Scene
T – Task – What was required. Who What When?
A – Action – What specific actions did you take?
R –  Result – And the result of your actions, which should clearly answer the question.

A response to the above could therefore be

  • “As a student at University of Ibadan, I was the Finance Officer during the academic year 201/2012 (Situation) 
  • We required the sum of N1,000,000 to effectively plan our finalist dinner  (Task). 
  • Although it was difficult to raise this sum, I realised that getting a N1000 from 1000 persons will be a far easier alternative and I therefore requested all 100 members of the department to raise the sum of N1000 from 10 persons each. (Action). 
  • In just under 3 weeks we were able to raise the required sum, leading to the most successful finalist dinner the faculty had ever had  Result)”. 

This pretty much works for a lot for any other competency or similar questions you may have to respond to.

Ask Questions:

When we talked about choosing a boss and not a job, I mentioned that an interview should ordinarily be a two way process. You’re interviewing the firm as well to ensure you’re a right fit. Asking questions is a great way to get this done. If you’ve carried out a fair amount of research, you probably have a few questions. If not, there are some standard questions you could twist around. 2 -3 questions are usually fine. And I try to ensure at least one is slightly personal and related to the interviewers. No I’m not saying you should ask about their love life – It’s still a job interview. So I typically ask about their career in the firm, what they love about it and the one reason they may be wiling to move else where. Other helpful kinds of questions may be centred around:

  • Training and development opportunities normally provided.
  • Reasons for recruiting this position – are they expanding or are people leaving?
  • Company’s medium to long term plan, as well as greatest opportunities and challenges they face at the moment.
  • A typical day for someone in this position
  • What are the traits and skills of people who are the most successful within the organization?

The End

At the end of the interview, and if possible send a thank you email. You’ll probably not be successful at all interviews, and the fact you’re getting them means you’re good enough. It’s a skill and sometimes we have to do a few before we get pretty comfortable with them. Get some feedback from the team on areas you could possibly have done better.

What are your thoughts on Job interviews? Like them, hate them? Any tips for nailing it or useful questions to add? Any funny interview experiences?  Best and worst experiences? Share with us!

Love,

Kachee.. xX

pS: I’m thinking of a separate post on answering tricky interview questions. But I’m not totally sure how useful you guys find these kind of posts. So please leave a comment and let me know if I should keep them coming!

ppS: Let’s connect on social media! @KacheeTee for pretty much everything. Find me!


37 COMMENTS

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37 Comments

  1. Sogie

    October 17, 2016 at 23:59

    I found this post really helpful so please bring on the next one. Well i’ve learnt the STAR principle today, I really do enjoy your posts. Itsdivadiaries.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 15:00

      Thank you Sogie! I’ll share the next one soon hopefully. Xx

      Reply
  2. Berry Dakara

    October 18, 2016 at 00:37

    I think these posts are useful, so keep em coming.The STAR technique is a good one. And I like the statement Mariam made- would definitely reduce nerves.Berry Dakara Blog

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 15:00

      Will do will do! That statement got to me as well.

      Reply
  3. Deffinatlyshaz

    October 18, 2016 at 07:30

    I think most people (me included) fail interviews because half the times we are too nervous. Preparing and doing some research before the interview surely does help. It gives so much confidence. I am not sure if i will ever seat for an interview, but who knows!http://deffinatlyshaz.co.zw/

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 15:01

      I know right. We get so nervous. Hahahaa, never say never.

      Reply
  4. Onyinye

    October 18, 2016 at 10:30

    Thanks dear! This is exactly what I needed. You are a star…

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 10:34

      Onyi! So glad you think it’s helpful! Xx

      Reply
  5. 'Dara

    October 18, 2016 at 10:53

    Hi Kachi. Please keep the posts coming. They are absolutely very useful.A good tip is to practise for interviews so you get used to the system. Practice makes perfect yea? So it would be nice to have a mock interview with friends. Maybe apply for lower level jobs you don’t really need just to use the interview as a practice- sorry recruiters.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 10:58

      Hahahah @ sorry recruiters. That’s actually a fab idea I think. Especially when you havn’t interviewed for a while, you need to get rusty. So def practicing mock interviews with friends and career advisers are always helpful!

      Reply
  6. Chidimma Njoku

    October 18, 2016 at 14:52

    Please keep the posts coming. What better time to have such posts but now. Great post. I have had just one interview yet. It was the unconventional type and I thoroughly enjoyed. I need to prepare for more conventional types. For example I don’t know how to answer the question on how I achieved exceptional success at something. I would have probably given an answer related to acing an examination. Lol. So thanks for the useful tips.This is the point where I apply to contact you privately on certain matters. Permission granted?

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 14:59

      Yes sure! Just use the contact buttons on the blog and I’ll respond. Ok then,I’ll keep writing them as they come to me.pS: Exceptional success at something can be academic as well. I’ve often used my Cambridge scholarship as an example. As long as you set the scene and it’s logical, it’s fine!

      Reply
  7. Amakamedia

    October 18, 2016 at 15:39

    Are you really asking? Keep them coming!I enjoyed this post. The STAR technique is the star of this article.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 25, 2016 at 09:34

      Hahahaha. I will!

      Reply
  8. Abby

    October 18, 2016 at 18:29

    Very useful tips here! & sure keep the posts coming!Xx

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 25, 2016 at 09:34

      You know I will!! Xx

      Reply
  9. Tope

    October 18, 2016 at 19:12

    Kacheetee!! Only if this was up on Sunday… had an interview yesterday. Don’t think it went well. One of the most awkward interviews I have ever been to. One of the interviewer was laughing at some of my responses.. wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad sign. Guess it was since they said they will contact successful candidates today and I haven’t heard anything 🙁. I dust myself up again and will defo bookmark this page for next time!!!! Btw.. I didn’t receive your you version name to add you.. I have reluctantly registered with disqus.. 😏

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 18, 2016 at 19:15

      Pele!!! That’s not nice that they laughed. Ah ah. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. Anyway, upward and onward. Next one we’ll smash it!Sorry you had to sign up for Diswus! 😁… But at least you’ll get my responses immediately. It’s Kachi Tila-Adesina. Add me 💋

      Reply
  10. Bubu Green

    October 18, 2016 at 22:49

    I gave someone an advice on this but so wishing I read this post before I did. This post is useful especially the STAR technique. Will always refer people to this post. Always spot on. XOwww.bubusboulevard.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 20, 2016 at 15:29

      Thanks Bubs!! Really appreciate.

      Reply
  11. XOse

    October 19, 2016 at 18:19

    These are really great tips! I suck at interviews because I get so anxious! I am almost never relaxed 🙁http://www.sashaelizabeth.c

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 19, 2016 at 18:24

      Thats often the problem! Anxiety. But just practice being calm and rehearse some responses. You’ll improve! 😘

      Reply
  12. Precious

    October 19, 2016 at 20:22

    Kachee you are so resourceful! I was reading and agreeing all through. I’ll stress that being confident is super-important. Confidence could even make up for other flaws. Thank you for sharing and I’m sure more posts like this will help many.Preciouscore.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 20, 2016 at 15:30

      As in. Confidence is everything. Some people sound so confident and you’re minded to believe them irrespective of what they’re saying. Lol!

      Reply
  13. Brenda Mobebi

    October 20, 2016 at 10:41

    These are great tips and i am admiring how you write. I hated interviews when job hunting. Always gave me this awkward feelings. One thing i like now when interviewing people for my firm is the confidence the poise. Sometimes you forget you are interviewing someone and talk and laugh all because he/she was a great talker who exhibited so much confidence.wow, good to know you attended UI too. I am 2008/2009 set faculty of arts… Classical StudiesBrendascouch.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 20, 2016 at 15:31

      Yay! UI! I finished from Law in 2010, and took a couple of courses in Classics.. something to do with the Maghreb people. Lol. Thank you so much.Ahaa – from the interviewer’s side, you agree that confidence is key! thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  14. Olufisayo Adeleke

    October 20, 2016 at 18:34

    Hi Kachi and the whole KacheeTee fam! Totally totally agree with pretty much everything here. One addition I will like to make that I found useful in my NYSC job hunting interviews was to get the interviewers to talk as much as possible. This did two things for me (1) I didnt have to be nervous about what i want to say next since I was spurring my interviewer on 70% of the time (2) Your interviewer would actually fall in love with you as he/she would see you as a relatable person. This never failed me and although I know God’s favour was highly involved, I got job offers at all the firms I interviewed. Tommorow, I am going to be on the other side of the table as an interviewer, If you have any tips for me, kindly share, I don’t want to hinder someone’s progress in life because I overlooked something biko..btw.. I am also a UI child..my convocation is next month and I am pretty much excited..Apologie for my comment being as long as an essay…much love folks!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 22, 2016 at 21:34

      Hey Fisayo! And cheers to your first comment!I actually agree with you on getting the interviewers to share and show a bit of themselves! And congrats on all your job offers and on your convocation! Whoop. Take lots of photos – I don’t think I have any photo of my UI convocation. Hahaha.Does this mean you’ll be working in HR? That’s amazing. I’m sure you’ll do fine and if i get any tips, I’ll share! Xx

      Reply
  15. Damilola Adejinmi

    October 23, 2016 at 11:48

    Yes to posts like this. Keep them coming. Great job kachee!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 25, 2016 at 09:34

      Will do! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  16. Tosin Falaiye

    October 24, 2016 at 03:16

    I have a feeling that when Kachi asks whether these posts are useful … you are just baiting people. You already know the answer *sideEye* You get five stars always. I definitely would use these tips soon

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      October 25, 2016 at 09:35

      Not quite oh Tosin.I often wonder if it’s stuff people already know. Thank you!!

      Reply
  17. glowingscenes

    October 28, 2016 at 17:42

    I enjoyed this and learned so much! Thanks for sharing Kachee. I do hope you have an amazing week ahead. Cheers! xxP.S: Please do more on answering tricky questions. It would be so cool 😀

    Reply
  18. Mary-Anne

    July 6, 2017 at 15:06

    I know I am months late LOL.I have been eyeing your blog for a while and had read a few posts but I was on a social media fast of some sort. I was getting overwhelmed by cyber space and the blogs I had been following – Natural hair, food, law, living… I enjoyed the post, it’s very useful. Thank you for all you do. First time commenting, hopefully, not the last.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      July 6, 2017 at 15:10

      Hi!!! Not a problem at all. Social media break is super necessary many times – with the avalanche of information. Thanks for commenting, and glad you liked this post. Hope to see more of you.

      Reply
  19. Ibilola

    September 22, 2017 at 08:45

    One of the best I’ve read.Thanks!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      September 22, 2017 at 08:47

      So glad it was helpful! Thanks for the comment.

      Reply

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