We’re all chasing the bag this year, but what are the things you need to avoid at an interview to land that dream job and level up your earnings? Six job recruiters shared some of their worst interview experiences so people can wise up.
1. Don’t be sexist
This literally happened to me last week. We wanted to hire a junior marketer at the company and offered ₦350k plus a 5% commission on each sale for the role. A lot of people applied but I had my eyes on a female candidate that had a wide experience in marketing on a national level. The interview was going well until she asked about who she’d be reporting to. I mentioned the supervisor’s name and she gave a weird look after realising it was a lady. She said she couldn’t answer to a woman, so I asked her to pack her things and leave immediately.
2. Don’t be nonchalant with questions
The lady was meant to join the team as a social media manager — the interview was a matter of formality because the team was already excited to snatch her up at first. Like any other interview, we still had to ask her questions to make sure it wasn’t another candidate buffing up their CV to get into the company. The interview was virtual so we couldn’t even tell much from her body language during the session, but her tone just seemed a bit forced — like there was someone holding a gun to her head. She sighed before each question and dragged her words as she responded, like, aunty did they force you to be here? I was so pissed off that day. Please don’t come online for an interview if you’re not going to give it a 100%. Thanks.
3. Never fail to research on the company
We’d been trying to recruit a business development officer for our branch in Abuja and it wasn’t going well. All the candidates kept making outrageous salary demands and expected to go into the office just once or twice a week — Abuja people are so annoying. We had to switch to looking for a candidate in Lagos to relocate to Abuja instead. Someone came in the next day for the interview and his answers were just off point from the first two questions. I had already gone through 600 resumes and interviewed 107 people for the role in Abuja, so I was already just exhausted from hearing rubbish. I decided to ask one last question to make my decision: “What are some of our projects you find exciting?” He started talking about another organisation with the same name. That was my cue to pack my bags and go home for the day. I was angry. How can you be coming in for a business development role and not be clear on the projects the organisation runs? Please, do better.
4. Don’t complain about your former boss
A guy came in for a supervisory position for our food and beverage unit in the hotel. I expected it to be a really quick interview, but it turned into a therapy session. He went on and on about how his former boss cheated him and never paid his salary. He also talked about disliking his colleagues and the struggle searching for another job before getting this particular interview. Honestly, I had never been so confused at an interview. There was no indication of his relevance to the role or strengths he could bring to the company. Trust me, after the first five lines from a candidate you already know whether they’re even worth the stress, so this guy was definitely not making it through. The whole interview revolved around his former employer and that’s always the fastest way to lose any job.
5. Don’t cry, please
Dear job applicants, please don’t cry at an interview. I was excited to interview a lady for a role as a HR personnel at the firm — she had a background in oil and gas. I asked her the first question and she didn’t get it. So I put her through the right answer and moved on to the next question. Next thing, she blanked out and started sobbing. I spent the last 20 minutes of that interview consoling her — I felt bad, but I wasn’t going to offer her the job after that.
6. Don’t overeat or go in hungry
I’m just grateful for virtual interviews now. Before then, I always had to deal with candidates who either fainted from hunger and needed medical attention or spent half the time shitting in our toilets because of overfeeding.