What Smart Candidates do before Interviews

The saturated labor market is like a shark-infested ocean where most candidates fear to tread, out of ignorance, self-doubt and pessimism. There are always jobs for those the confident, well-equipped and positive-minded ones. Are you in doubt?

Facing your fears before taking part in oral and written interviews proves a basic and rewarding challenge for all job-seekers. However, fighting with the rights tools determines who comes out successful.

The $64,000 question is: are you ready to fight? Or do you take pride in adding up the long list of candidates at interview locations?

Fighting like other people do, and fighting with purpose, are different sides of the same coin. It’s a choice – to be celebrated or humiliated.

Unless you stop looking down on yourself, no one will ever believe in your abilities. In fact, you don’t need anyone’s trust or approval to get your goals; it’s fine if you ask for what is rightfully yours. Leave if for employers if they prove tightfisted, especially when you’ve given all your best!

Here’s the truth: most recruiters and some employed staff who should serve as inspiration to job-seekers, unfortunately, often misuse their God-given chances to impact on people’s lives — not by giving out unmerited jobs, cash gifts or biased recommendations — but by discouraging the “less privileged” among us with phrases such as, “companies are downsizing now,” “there’s no job in the country,” and, “there are thousands of equally good candidates everywhere.”

“Do I believe in my abilities?” Yes! That’s one important question every candidate should ask himself before interviews. It does matter a lot.

If there are qualified and probably, experienced candidates everywhere, what then is the standard for those lucky ones who get hired at the end of interviews? Or don’t you think people still get jobs on merit these days?

Admitted. Corruption makes it most likely “impossible” in most societies but that’s a wrong assumption for losers only.

Change your mindset and see recruiters chasing you around with offers.

Self-confidence matters at interviews, but its root comes from the knowledge and experience you’ve gathered over time, and how convincingly you can defend that if given a chance. These days, jobs are not given for the asking of it. You are expected to prove why and how it’s yours.

Unfortunately, even the best candidates for jobs tend to lose composure when faced by a team of “unfriendly” interviewers who, sometimes, love to play gods among men. It’s their job, and they get paid for drilling you. Choose to look at interviewers from the bright side; they gain nothing from seeing jobless youths roaming the streets or falling into crimes. Most recruiters are lovable, understanding and compassionate.

If you’ve failed at interviews before, especially after pulling an all nighter and giving it your best shot, consider it an act of fate, shrug it off, and move on. But not without your dreams.

Talking about ethics and morality, good interviewers should not be in a haste to bombard a visibly nervous candidate with questions when he/she needs support to feel at ease; job-seekers won’t ask to be pampered, but they need to be understood as people with psychological, emotional and other kinds of pressures worse than the hot seat. A little “unofficial encouragement” might help bring out the best in him.

However the tide turns, candidates with self-confidence, quality experience, or those who prove themselves as diamonds in the dirt, never go below sea level.

If you know your onion, you’ll be ready to play whatever games recruiters throw at you and let them decide how well you played.

Bear in mind that headhunters set the rules; they’re well-versed in the most effective recruitment procedures, and are most likely to discover talents even before written or oral interviews are conducted/completed. Smart recruiters also ask few but practical questions at interviews, sometimes, not the familiar run-off-the-mill questions. In this way, it becomes clear that a candidate can never prepare too well for job drills.

While job-seekers can’t set interview rules or choose their ratings, making adequate confidence-boosting preparations is the one and only step towards achieving your dream of impressing skilled labor managers.


What To Do Before Interviews:

  • Consider interviews like a stock investment where you strategize academically, psychologically, and emotionally, with guarantee on the outcome. This will ease your pressures and add a boost to your confidence.
  • Start looking for a plan B because you could be the next genius the world has been waiting for. Jack Ma (the billionaire Chinese business mogul) was no good at interviews despite his wealth of knowledge, zeal and potentials. Recruiters may not hire a candidate if they see you somewhere above where you want to be. Discover you innate skills and put them to good use.
  • Gain some practical experience in your chosen field. Academic qualifications are fast losing their value and may not guarantee a job.
  • Apply for jobs you’re suitably qualified.
  • Aim for jobs in companies where there’s an opportunity for growth. Accept low salaries for a start and focus on gaining experience; promotions and better jobs come with time.

Here’s a testimony from Abiodun Samuel, a LinkedIn user and former Chief Inspector at Day Waterman College, Lagos, Nigeria. We all need to learn from his testimony:

lately I attended an interview in one of the Intl schools as a maths teacher on getting there we were 65 applicants,I loose hope that the position is NOT for me but I summoned courage to write the test to answer 20 out of 25 questions for 20 mins. Each questions has A -E and all were theory. Still loosing hope due to large applicants number. To my surprised, I was called for micro teaching and oral interview…only me and another candidate. Getting to interview with the director of the school,I was able to defend how I got highest of 36% in the test.I was able to convinced him that I am more than a maths teacher due to my leadership skills.At the end I was not employed as a maths teacher but I was employed as a vice principal academics and to manage all affairs of maths department.the salary X that I requested for was changed to 2X + Y by this director and he only said…I impressed him…So when you attend an interview…don’t look at the population of applicants..only put in you best and belief you are suitable for the post…Regards