It is an achievement to graduate. We all remember the joy of finally jumping that hurdle. The congratulatory messages, warms hugs and of course the presents and gifts. However, the pomp ends there. No one talks much of the challenges and anxiety of landing a decent job. So here you are with a great CV, an amazing cover letter, and skills that have landed you a job interview. Well, sadly that’s as far as they will get you. Getting the actual offer comes from successfully doing the interview.

Here are some helpful rules and guidelines of a job interview that will put you in the right light and leave a strong impression with the employers, or sadly be the reason you will never hear from an organization.



  1. Do some background check

Make this your assignment. You cannot go to a job interview without completing your homework. Have information about the company’s work, history, products and services, departments. Learn more about the job roles and responsibilities of the advertised position.

  1. Prepare some questions for the employer

Normally, the interview will ask you if you have questions after the interview. Having a list of good and relevant questions will bring you out as an attentive and keen interviewee. Prepare these questions in advance and pay attention during the interview too.

  1. Dress appropriately

First impressions count. What you wear to the interview will communicate a lot on what sort of a personality you are. Dress smartly, look brilliant and attentive and speak clearly and confidently. Read more on dressing for an interview here.

  1. Time

Arrive early. This doesn’t mean you have to be an hour early, rather make sure you arrive around 10 minutes early. This is for the reason that arriving too early will turn out awkward and of course arriving late is a big NO!

  1. Portray Appropriate Body Language

Be conscious of how you carry yourself during an interview. This will range from your posture, eye contact, and how relaxed you are during the interview. Avoid fidgeting as this will portray a lack of confidenc


How about the Don’ts

  1. Your CV

No matter how qualified you are and impressive your CV is, you will need to sell yourself for the position you have applied for. Therefore, relying on your CV alone is suicidal.

  1. What if you don’t know the answer?

Do not freak out in case you don’t know the answer. The worst case scenario is failing to talk when you don’t have the answer. In cases where you are not sure of the answer you can buy more time by requesting the interviewer to repeat the question as refocus on how best to give the answer. Inability to respond to questions will portray you to the interviewer as unfit to withstand the rigors of a normal job.

  1. Salary: When do you talk about it?

The fact is that salary and compensation are very important factors for you, but hold off until you get the job offer or the interviewers themselves brings the issue up. Remember the interviewer is more concerned with what you can do for the company, not what is in for you.


Common Job Interview Questions and Answers

1. Tell us about yourself

The real purpose of this seemingly simple question is to reveal the real you, rather than the perceived you in the CV.
The real purpose of this seemingly innocuous question is to try to know the “real” you rather than their perception of you from a paper resume. So be just that

     2. Why are you applying for this job?

In answering this question, balance your personal reasons and a reason as to why the company would benefit from you being there.

3. Why should we hire you?

This turns out to be the most intimidating question of all, but also the one very question that may land you the job. The focus of this question should be on your strengths and qualities that are well elaborated with sufficient details with an intention of making a lasting impression on the interviewer.

4. What is your greatest weakness?

Be sincere about what you genuinely perceive to be your weaknesses, but choose weaknesses that are not too major or not of vital importance to the job. Interviewers are looking out to see if you’re someone who can recognize your own shortcomings, and how you make an effort to deal with them.
5. How long do you intend to stay?

This question is starting to come up more frequently in job interviews. This is due to this generation’s bad reputation for having a tendency to job hop.
No sane company will want to hire someone who’s going to leave after a while. But having said that, you don’t have to feel pressured to commit or give a definite time period.

Here’s an example of a great answer that can suffice for this question:
“I intend to stay as long as I’m engaged and sufficiently challenged with my job. It is not my intention to apply for this role and then leave after a while.”
Source : Ethiojobs

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