Job interviews: A serious challenge to fresh graduates

When you move around town these days, you meet with many graduates looking for jobs. Unemployment is on the rise, a challenge that needs serious attention. However, many fresh graduates find it hard to grab the meager opportunities that are available.

When you move around town these days, you meet with many graduates looking for jobs. Unemployment is on the rise, a challenge that needs serious attention. However, many fresh graduates find it hard to grab the meager opportunities that are available.

A friend of mine known as Daniel has spent months if not years on street looking for jobs despite having a good reputable bachelor’s degree. I keep encouraging him to press on by trying as many openings as possible until his chance strikes.

The jobs are available sometimes, and employers are ready to recruit. Could it be that job seekers fail to meet the minimum requirements, leave alone qualifications? If someone has the right academic credentials, perhaps what is needed now is some guidance on how to get that job.

Tips on passing a job interview

Presentation matters a lot. As it’s said, ‘the apparel proclaims the man.’ The way you present yourself in terms of dress before the interviewer matters a lot.

“The first impression is a lasting impression”; so it goes that one should avoid wearing jeans, sneakers and other casual wear for an interview, and be being clean and neat. Employers often draw conclusions about the way a person has dressed.

Secondly, language also becomes a big hindrance for many that seek to secure jobs. Knowledge of many languages itself is a treasure.

In our society, multilingualism has proved so useful that nearly all employers offer opportunities exclusively to those that can communicate using many languages.

One day I went for an interview to work for a consultancy firm in Kigali. I had the required academic qualifications, but what stopped me from getting that job was lack of proficiency in French and Swahili.

Computer literacy: It is a common phenomenon that a fresh graduate hardly gets the opportunity of using a computer regularly.

This makes it difficult for him to apply all the skills of the computer mainly during the interview given in a short time. Therefore graduates should try as much to have at least basic skills in ICT.

Lack of self esteem is yet another challenge that has hindered many youths to pass job interviews. Fear and lack of confidence is an emotion that is common during interview sessions.

Note that the employer looks at many values in the new employee. This means that if they read a lack of firmness in you at first sight, your employer will surely doubt your ability to undertake the challenging tasks in the organisation.

After facing a panel of interviewers one morning, a friend of mine remarked, “I was about to faint; managers asked me questions in turn - one after the other; while still answering the first one another manager fiercely posed another.”

From this statement, I observed that if he had not been firm enough certainly he would have failed the interview and obviously disqualified from being chosen as the best candidate for that position.

It is from his confidence and diligence, exhibited while answering the asked questions, that the employers picked him as a suitable candidate for the job offer.

The interview results further assure the managers that if given a job in the company, the candidate will not only do well but excel, thus meeting the company’s recruitment objectives.

Worth to note here is that due to the narrow labour market, employers not only look for employees to meet the company’s targets but also those with quality standards in themselves.

Last but not least, is timing. It would be good that the employer who is to give you an interview finds you already in place ready for it. It would be quite absurd for one to be late for an interview for which he was informed beforehand.
Indeed many fresh graduates have missed fat job opportunities not due to lack of the required qualifications, but simply because of time.

Time management is a very important virtue, be it before or during an interview. Many candidates leave questions untouched or even answered half way as a result of failure to utilize the given examination time appropriately.

So get these issues right, and go try to get off those streets!

Ends