Jobs in Malawi are becoming far difficult to find.
My friends who graduated from the University of Malawi in the 1980s tell me that they could get even four job offers before graduating and before even writing their final examinations at the university.
In the 1990s, some could get a job before graduating with many getting jobs soon after graduating. I graduated in 2002 and our class of 72 engineers got everyone employed within nine months with many getting employed between three and six months.
Today, I meet a lot of young people that graduated even two to four years ago still looking for jobs.
The case is worse for those with diplomas and certificates. They have to fight hard and long to find a job. It is even not rosy for those already employed with vast experience seeking to grow their career, to climb the ladders or simply to change the employer or location.
It is difficult to find new jobs. In fact, to get short-listed for interviews is difficult enough. And so, when one gets short-listed, it is a rare moment not worthy missing. You need to ace that rare interview!
In this article, I will briefly cover five of the things you need to focus on to ace your interviews.
Know the employer: I have seen people in the interview that have spent little or no time to understand the employer. Just two months ago, I was on a panel interviewing young graduates. Four of the candidates ably answered the question about the employer. The fifth candidate had no clue about the employer. I was chairing the interview panel and I told the candidate that we had no time to waste proceeding with the interview.
His interview lasted five minutes and I hope next time he will research about the employer. Do not be like this young graduate. Know the employer well: their vision, mission, values, products, competitors and so on.
Know the job: In addition to understanding the employing organisation, you need to research about the job. The starting point is what is contained on the job advert. Malawi is small, so you can do more research to understand the job beyond the official description and this will give you great advantage in the interview. When you know the job well, you can better articulate why you are the best candidate for the job.
Build your unique selling preposition: They will always ask you the question about why they should employ you and not the other candidates. You need to clearly understand why you believe you are the best candidate for that job.
In this articulation, you need to cove the basic requirements for the job and how you go far beyond that and the unique value that you promise beyond the typical candidate.
Exude passion: In the actual interview, you need to demonstrate your love and passion for the employing organisation and the job itself. I have seen candidates that scored high marks in the interview, but because they demonstrated little passion for the job, they lost their rare chance.
Deliver in the interview: You have great answers for all the interview questions and you may have great content but if in the interview, you fail to deliver well your answers, you will give away that rare good job. You need to master the art of clearly communicating your points with good structure, language and detail.
For the key questions that you expect, it helps to rehearse your answers so that in the interview, you can be smooth on delivery. For every question, give some three to five good points rather than just one simple and short lazy answer. You need to demonstrate seriousness through the knowledge about the questions that you are asked.
If you apply these tips, you will more than likely triumph in any job or other type of interviews. Good luck!