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a book can be judged by its cover

A Book Can Be Judged By Its Cover

Whoever said a book can’t be judged by its covers hasn’t been a job seeker in a very competitive market where hiring managers are looking to reduce the number of applicants by all and any means necessary.

As Nigerians, it is common knowledge that there is a great bias on outward appearance, and in this social media age, it goes beyond what you wear on the streets.

This prejudice is also reserved for the content you post on social media. Job seekers, oftentimes, forget that social media doesn’t give anonymity and you are more popular than you think.

I know you are currently thinking ‘But my contents don’t define me. Why should it matter to the hiring manager what I post?’ *clicks tongue* Social media is a platform for prospective employers to know who you are as an individual, your interests, ambitions, character, principles, etc.

It is a mini gateway into your person, hence one must be very careful of what one posts on social media. Imagine applying for a job at a bank and the hiring manager checks your Twitter page only to find a crass joke about robbing banks. Even you wouldn’t hire you.

Social Media is risky

More often than not, people find life-changing opportunities on social media. Hence, you want to ensure you are positioned well when the opportunity comes knocking.

Another scenario that could play out is someone who wants to hire you finding out you are a troll who jumps from one comment session to the other fighting and hurling abusive words at people on topics that could be discussed civilly.

Who would want to hire a hothead who has zero respect for personal opinions? Not me and not the hiring manager who has probably been a victim of your vitriol.

Etiquette Matters

Getting a job goes way beyond having qualifications. Universities churn out at least 5,000 graduates every year so there is no shortage of qualified people in the labour market.

Certain etiquettes make a candidate stand out among others.

Let’s look into them, shall we?

1. Research

It would be a colossal waste of your time and that of the interviewer if you can’t answer basic questions about the organization. A simple Google search goes a very long way.

Google the company’s management/key players, the organizational structure/hierarchy, the mission and vision of the organization, etc.

Quick Tip: Find out who your interviewer is and a little detail about them.

Don’t walk into an interview completely ignorant. These details help you project the image of a candidate who pays attention, is interested, and serious about joining the organization. It is also security conscious to look up the interview venue.

We are in an era where people take undue advantage of job seekers. Don’t fall prey to such depravity! Google the location of the interview venue and ensure it is a legitimate organization before going. Stay safe!

2. Punctuality

Punctuality, they say, is the soul of business. The funny thing about it is, it has to be cultivated. You can’t be the type that goes to all events when it’s well underway and expects to go for an interview early. Punctuality can be a determinant of whether you get that dream job or not. Cultivate the habit of punctuality today!

3. Appearance

While this might be common knowledge, It is such an integral part of the interviewing process that it can’t be overemphasized. Dress appropriately for interviews.

In the book of Interviews, Chapter Job Search, Verse 1 states that A candidate shall and will be judged by his/her outward appearance. This appearance goes beyond dressing alone. It includes clean and fresh breath, tidy hair, clipped nails, etc.

4. Friendly Demeanour

It is quite understandable that the interview process might be tasking. However, don’t take those frustrations into the interview.

Take several deep breaths if you have to but ensure you have a good smile plastered on your face before facing the interviewer.

If it’s a physical interview, greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a natural smile. Polite small talk is encouraged but not necessary.

5. Politeness

Be polite to all staff members. Speak softly to anyone you encounter in the organization regardless of who they are. Greet the doorman, don’t litter just because you think the janitor should clean up after you, and be respectful to the secretaries and even other candidates you meet at the interview venue.

A common mistake candidates make is forgetting to put their mobile devices on silent. It is considered rude to make any kind of noise within the organization, either while waiting to be interviewed or during the interview. If you have to make a call, step outside and quietly do so.

6. Ask Questions

It is encouraged that you also ask your interviewer some questions. Examples of questions you can ask, how and why you should ask them will be discussed further in another article so watch out!

Yes, Interviews are very nerve-racking. However, keeping these tips in mind helps you perform better at your interviews.

Best of luck, Street Squad!

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