I think it’s important as women to understand and internalize that we make a valuable contribution in the workplace. According to the McKinsey Women Matter Africa Report from 2016, companies with a greater share of women on their boards of directors and executive committees tend to perform better financially, so essentially we contribute positively to the bottom line.
I went through a period a few years ago where I was going to quite a few job interviews and the whole experience really led to a mind-set shift in my approach to job interviews. It was something that I wished someone had told me when I started working. So below are my tips for job interviews so you can confidently become uBabes wama Interviews.
- A huge mind-set shift for me was to understand that I am also interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing me. Most interviewers tend to leave you about 10 – 15 mins at the end of the interview for you to ask questions and it’s important that you really think through the questions that you want to ask them. Some interviewers leave no time for you to ask questions at all, if they do this, please insist on asking questions and give context that you also need an opportunity to assess whether this company would be the right fit for you.
- What to ask? Ask them to unpack the role for you (not all job descriptions are accurate), what are their expectations? What are the current challenges? So you have an idea of what you are getting yourself into. Ask about the culture, their views on transformation and check if it is reflected in the senior members of the organisation.
- When in an interview, you always know more than you think you know especially if you have had a breadth of work experience. Sometimes we doubt ourselves due to nerves or if the role you are being interviewed for would be a promotion for you. Take the time to reflect on your career and experience before the interview so that it’s easier to recall your achievements and all the exposure that you have had. This will also boost your confidence and enable you to showcase your best self at the interview.
- Interviews are not the time to be humble. I really struggle with talking about myself especially my achievements and I am sure lots of other people do to. But in an interview, it is important to brag, brag, brag and brag some more. Your delivery in how you brag is also important as there is a delicate balance that you need to achieve to not come across as a narcissist or as arrogant.
- The best interviews that I have had are the ones that move away from being an interview in a Q&A format to a conversation. There are some companies that deliberately structure their interviews as conversations and this helps to calm the nerves. For me this also indicates the culture of the organisation which has increasingly become more and more important to me. If you find yourself connecting with the interviewer, honour the chemistry and remain professional.
- There will be a few instances where you will encounter a bad interviewer or interview as a whole, I have experienced this before and it is important for you not to check out or disengage. Try your best to meet them where they are and to stay present.
I hope that the above is helpful and leads you one step further to being uBabes wama Interviews.