Interviewing in the current socioeconomic situation of the continent is the most stressful situation an average individual can be in. Only 30.89% of interviewed candidates receive an offer, which, when compared to the 20% of applicants who reach the interview stage, demonstrates how difficult the process is.

Understandably, job seekers believe they're in a never-ending cycle of evolution in an ever-changing world where new skills and competencies are prioritized.

Even in these precarious times, there are five things we can do to improve our chances.


  • Concentrate your efforts:

Please do not apply for jobs for which you are not qualified. Applicants making scattergun attempts at employment have become a rite of passage in the job search process. Some advocate for this method, but in practice, it yields little fruit and leaves the candidate unable to track progress or lack thereof.

 Most overly ambitious applications are rejected outright, with a similar chance of success as a lottery ticket. This does not always register with candidates, who may lose motivation after a string of unsuccessful applications, without taking into consideration the number of longshot attempts.

By focusing your energy and tailoring your resume to the jobs you qualify for, the candidate increases his or her chances of being interviewed and is better able to realistically measure the success of the search.


  • Perfect the introduction:

Given that you applied for a job for which you are qualified, the introduction is the most important part of the interview. If you nail it and answer a few technical questions, you'll have a good chance of getting an offer.

A good introduction must be well-prepared, and the freedom to speak freely provides the best opportunity to judge the soft skills that most hiring managers look for nowadays. The introduction should be seamlessly transitioned from a brief academic history to a career progression breakdown with key achievements highlighted.

Make the introduction unique by explaining your fit for the job by highlighting the various items in the Job Description and what career stop or academic experience demonstrates your ability to carry them out. Deliver this introduction calmly and confidently, and you might have landed a new job with a great first impression.


  • Avoid Tardiness:

It is well known that preparation boosts confidence before an event such as a job interview. A candidate who wants to make a good first impression must understand the severe consequences of being late.

If you go late to an interview or any event, you lose your bargaining power over to the person on the other side of the seat because you are going to begin with an apology, and your power to negotiate goes into the air alongside your apology.

Arrive early at the venue to avoid arriving sweaty and rushed. After arriving early, the applicant should spend some time cooling down and practicing in the vicinity of the venue. The initial entry into the building should be done calmly to make a good first impression on whoever meets you. Look neat and professional. Everyone prefers to work with people who take care of themselves.


  • Have fun with it:

Interviewers and evaluators are human and thus susceptible to all human tendencies, including bias. Even in a professional setting, being able to connect as a human can help you land an offer. As a result, remain calm, make frequent eye contact, gesticulate freely, and smile.

Enjoying the interaction indicates that you are relaxed and confident, which allows the recruiter to see the applicant as more than a meeting on a calendar. When in doubt, seek clarification. Be a character.

When responding to questions, use anecdotes, examples, and even a little storytelling to add value to your answers. When being questioned about past experiences, resist the urge to be defensive. Maintain an open and informative tone.


  • Negotiate firmly:

After you've gone through the rest of the interview, the final phase is typically the discussion of compensation. This can make or break the entire show since, without a workable agreement, an offer would probably not be made.

To get a job, too many people undersell themselves. Also, the 'I don't care about money' response is a tired one at this point. If you're confident that you've done well up to that point, you can freely negotiate. It's best to go into the interview prepared with information on the average salary for the role in the industry and, if possible, the company's pay scale.

If a budget or industry/organization range is announced, applicants should begin talks above that range to reach an agreement that falls between the two.


Armed with this knowledge, go into your interview and crush it! Dare I say, congratulations!


Gabriel O. Obiti

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