The debate on whether many or few jobs exist is an endless conversation but what has been constant is that job applicants are innumerable.
Job hunting is a tiresome task and successful interviews can be a bed of thorny roses.
Speaking on Spice FM on Wednesday, September 13, Human Resource expert, Maureen Mutia, gave tips on steps job applicants should take to bag an opportunity.
“You may apply for job positions and not get them but that does not mean it’s the end of the road. You need to prepare so that next time you are able to achieve what you wanted. Trying and failing is not laziness,” she said.
Mutia emphasized the need to research on the company of interest to get insight on what the company does, who governs it among other crucial information.
A research on the role being advertised is equally important as it sets a clear picture of what it entails and the expectations that come with it.
“A lot of organisations nowadays are using Information Technology (IT) systems to shortlist candidates. The system is smart and it picks key words from what the job advert entailed,” she said.
It is therefore important to write a cover letter based on skills the organization is looking for as well as address the areas highlighted by the company.
The first impression has been a cliché’ but for a good reason especially when applying for a job.
During the interview stage, the first impression is usually judged by the panelists based on how confident an interviewee is and how they are dressed.
“Let the panelists see you as someone who can deliver from the way you are walking, seating and talking. Say hey to the panelists, shake hands with them, have a notebook with you and carry your papers in case they want to verify.”
A common question asked in an interview is ‘tell us about yourself’ which as Mutia described is used an ‘icebreaker’.
When answering this, divide it into three segments which are the academic background starting from the most recent, previous places of work clarifying whether they were private or public and what you can offer.
Remember that these questions should be answered according to the position you are applying for.
The salary question is usually asked in an interview and it has been a challenge many applicants. As advised by Mutia, one should negotiate for a 20 per cent increment on the previous earnings.
If previously unemployed, do a research on what the starting salary is to avoid overpricing or underpricing your skills.
Mutia also says it is important to have a mock interview so as to master your presentation.