Interview Tips for interviewers

You are having crazy deadlines to meet, a lot of reports to complete, meetings to schedule and the most stressful of all- recruitment to do! This can be a headache for managers especially for organizations without hiring managers or reliable recruitment consultants.

Preparation and professionalism are key to successful interviews. This will ensure that you don’t bow to the pressure of work-load and end up making bad hires in your organization. So as the manager, what are the fundamental interview tips you should adopt to make the interview process less overwhelming but successful?

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Review the Candidates CV before the interview

Candidates are encouraged to have eye-catching CVs, but sometimes the hiring managers don’t take the time to keenly review the CV before the interview. This will help you in preparing the interview questions based on the candidate’s past experience and soft skills. It will also minimize on time wastage by having interviews with unqualified candidates.

Outline a clear interview structure

A good interview structure will minimize confusion and awkward moments in the interview room. A basic interview structure is giving a brief description of the organization, outlining the job roles and then asking the candidate questions. Finally, you need to give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions before wrapping up the interview session.

Have a list of questions that are directly related to the Job Description

To ensure a productive interview, you need to list the key responsibilities outlined in the job description and then retrieve questions from there. This will allow you to ask questions that will sift exceptional candidates from the ones in attendance.

Ask Behavioral Questions

In your list of questions, you need to ensure you have behavioral questions where you ask:

“Tell me about a time when……”

“Given a scenario that,… would you handle it?”

This will give you a clear understanding of the candidate’s personality and how they handle issues.

Be keen on non-verbal language

You need to avoid interrupting the candidates and give them sufficient time to answer the questions and express themselves. You also need to watch the candidate’s facial expressions and gestures as they speak. How are they dressed for the interview? How confident is the candidate? How much enthusiasm do they portray?

Remain polite and professional

Make sure you keep all your questions job related so that you don’t spend the interview time chatting away. As a way of extending the professionalism, make sure you give feedback to the candidate to make them know whether they got the job or not.

In conclusion, for successful job interviews, it’s not just the candidates to prepare. As the interviewer, you also need to know that you are a representative of the company-dress well, know as much as possible about the organization, have an interview sequence and remain professional. You could also consult experienced recruiters to make your interview processes seamless.

How to deal with Job Hunting Stress

The fear and uncertainty of not having a job is a crucial stress factor in most developing countries. Sadly, in some cases, it has even led to depression. How do you stay mentally healthy despite not having a job yet or even after losing your job?



Don’t compare yourself with others

Like we say, everyone has their own timeline in this life. This is easier said than done when you hear Jason is now working at PWC, Rita got a job at Unilever and Patrick is now at Deloitte. You wonder, “where did I go wrong? We were in the same class with these people, now look at them well settled in their jobs and earning well while I am here struggling”

This stress may easily make you feel like a failure and fall into depression. Its so hard to ignore the success of others, but the best thing is to realize that their success does not mean that you are a failure. Social media makes things even worse as we see people posting their job positions and trips, but rarely would one post about their struggles. At this point, you may find yourself trying to prove that you are also living a happy life but you don’t need to.

Think positively

Look at your CV and celebrate your achievements. Sometimes the delay in the present may make us forget about our past success and achievements. It’s good to look at your CV and pat yourself at the back for the success and steps you have made in the past. This will make you realize that indeed if you made it then, you have all it takes even now.

You can also make an analysis of your skills based on your past achievements and experiences. Did you manage to set up a new strategy and fulfill it in your past position? That is strategic management. Were you able to relate well with your colleagues and this was one of your highlights? Then you have excellent interpersonal skills. By doing this, you will know your strengths and this will boost your self-image.

Become more organized

You could use basic tools such as Microsoft EXCEL or other Online Organizers to help you plan and become more organized in your job search. You could make a table where you write the name of the company, contacts, documents needed, contact person(where needed) etc. This will help you keep track of your job search progress in a less stressful manner as well as help you stay motivated during the job search.

Distract yourself

Find something to do to keep your mind from being idle. You could exercise if this makes you feel better, get a place and volunteer or even start a side-hustle. What makes some people feel bad about themselves is not being employed but actually having nothing to do the whole day. The moment you keep busy and maybe even earn something from it, you will begin to appreciate yourself even more. In the process, you could identify a different path of your life apart from the stipulated profession.

The Do’s and Don’ts of informational Interviews

A skill that is emphasized to all job seekers is mastering the art of networking. One of the recommended networking methods is the Informational Interviews. These are informal meetings whereby a job seeker meets an expert in their field of interest and this opportunity is used to gain as much information as possible on the industry and tips of getting a job in the field.

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A question you may ask would be, how do I get to schedule such a meeting in the first place and yet most of these experts are very busy?

You can use LinkedIn, other social media accounts or even people within your circles. Once you identify whom the person is, you need to do a thorough research on their past experience and accomplishments. You can also find articles or journals written by/about him or her, then find any similarities between both of you that can create a rapport in the conversation.

You need to then send them a concise email expressing your interest. For example, you could say;

“My name is_____________ .I am currently a ________graduate/_________ working at _____________.I would like to change my career/I would like to get into the __________ industry and therefore I would like to get your thoughts based on your career experience. Given that you have attained __________ I believe that you would be influential at this point of my career level.”

How do you ensure you get the best from such an informational interview?

Once you have managed to get an interview scheduled, remember that in this case, you are the interviewer and the expert is the interviewee. Prepare well in advance and dress to impress.

You, therefore, need to have done research and are well-prepared. Have a list of questions ready and carry a notebook and a pen.I am sure you wouldn’t like to have awkward moments in the conservation. Ask questions that are beneficial to your career growth such as how a typical day is for him/her, their highlights/fulfilling roles in their position as well as challenges. Questions such as their past positions and organizations which can be found online should be avoided.

Make sure you keep time. You should not only arrive on time for the interview but also make sure that you don’t take so much of his/her time, remember, their busy schedule and the need to make a good impression. It is advisable to have a watch with you so as to avoid checking your phone all the time. Make it precise and professional.

Write a thank you note after the meeting. Just like you need to write a thank you note after a job interview, you also need to express your gratitude for taking their valuable time to share their precious advice and thoughts with you. Send this email within 24 hours after your meeting and make sure you maintain contact after this by periodically updating him about your progress and the steps you took.

Now take that bold step and make contact with those people you look up to in your industry. You could also schedule an informational interview with a recruiter who is well informed on the job market dynamics.

How to Write a perfect Thank you Email after an interview

No matter the kind of interview: in-person, video interview, phone interview, panel interview or informal interview, one crucial thing that is common after the interview is the need to send a thank you note to the interviewers. This is an email meant to express your gratitude for an opportunity to be short-listed and meeting the interviewers.It is also an opportunity to express how you match the interviewers expectations from the interview and show your enthusiasm for the job.


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When should you write the thank you note?

A thank you email should be written within 24 hours of attending the interview. You would want to thank the interviewer when they still have a clear impression of you. You also want to create a good impression of yourself before the hiring decision is made.

Whom should it be addressed to?

The thank you note should be addressed to the interviewer. In the case of a panel interview, you need to personalize the note to each person in the panel. That is why it is important to ask for business cards at the end of the interview.

What should be included in the Thank you note?

A thank you note is a way of thanking the interviewer and a way of affirming your interest in the position. You can also use a thank you note to express any information you feel you had left unmentioned in the interview or clarify on questions you feel you may not have answered well.

Hiring managers want assurance that you actually listened during the interview and were attentive enough to note the roles and expectations. You could, therefore, reiterate some of the questions asked in the interview and probably a challenge the company is facing and describe how your experience and skills are relevant to solving the problem.

Please note that you should keep the email concise and proof-read to avoid typos and other errors.

An example of a good Thank you email would be:


Dear (Interviewer’s name),

I take this moment to thank you for the time during the Operations Manager interview yesterday at BATCH LTD. It was a pleasure meeting you and getting to understand the role and the organization.

During the interview, I was able to understand that you are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual who is able to identify and execute opportunities to improve operations efficiency. From the discussion, you also pointed out that the organization seeks to get into partnership with other governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to fulfill its mandate. This means that there is a need to create relationships both within and outside the company as well as have a good partnership database. I am currently pursuing an MBA in Management Systems and I have a 3 years experience as an Operations Manager. When I was at DAR LTD we faced a similar problem and I was able to come up with a strategy that brought together employees, clients, and partners and cemented a relationship in that everyone felt part of the stakeholders. This is something I would like to implement at BATCH LTD.

I am confident that my skills and past experience are in line with your expectations. I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of being part of your team. Thank you once again.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

(Phone number)

(Email Address)


Expert Advice on Phone Interviews

When job searching, you need to be always prepared for any method the interviewer may use to reach or interview you. Companies use telephone interviews to narrow down the list of candidates who will attend the in-person interviews. Employers may also use a phone interview to reduce expenses in the case where the candidate is distant from the employer.

The employer may, therefore, opt to conduct a phone interview and therefore you should always be prepared to answer the phone professionally each time you are receiving a call especially from an unfamiliar number. In most cases, however, the interview is scheduled in advance and a specific time and date are set.

So how do you ace your phone interview?

Prepare like in an in-person interview

The same questions asked by employers in an in-person interview will most likely be the same questions asked in a phone interview. You need to be prepared for questions such as your strengths and weaknesses, why you would like to work with the company and other questions on your career path. In the same way, you need to do a research on the company and position and have a list of your own questions to ask the interviewer. A phone interview in most cases takes a shorter time than an in-person interview, therefore take the time to match your skill-set and qualifications to the job description so that you are in a better position to present whom you are. It is also advisable to have a copy of your resume and cover letter close to you for reference purposes.

Practice the interview in advance

Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with you answering the questions. Make sure you record it to hear how you sound on phone and also to correct where you are probably having the awkward silence of “uuuuuhhm”.You will also identify the answers you can improve on.

During the interview:

Take a good note of the date and time and then make sure you are in a quiet place with zero distractions. You should also have a pen and paper to take note of the important points during the discussion.

It is advisable to use a landline instead of a cell-phone to minimize poor reception. You should also turn ‘Call-waiting’ off so that your call is not interrupted.

Your voice should sound confident and not squeaky or too low to be heard on the other end, Have a glass of water nearby so that you can take a quick sip in case your mouth gets dry or you get a cough. However, avoid chewing or drinking while on call.

Answer the phone yourself and start by introducing yourself with your name so that the interviewer knows they are speaking to the right person.

Smile while speaking as this creates a positive change of tone in your voice. You may think that body language is not important in a call interview, but your voice reflects and the caller can tell. Standing instead of sitting or slouching will also help in bring out energy and enthusiasm in your voice.

Give precise answers and do not interrupt the interviewer. In the case where you don’t hear clearly, ask for clarification so that you answer correctly, the time to compose your answer and then speak slowly and precisely. Do not take too much time to answer hence creating an awkward silence, but at the same time do not be too quick to answer.

Have your questions ready to ask the interviewer and at the end of the interview, thank the caller for the time. After the interview, review the notes you made during the call and then send a thank you note on email and any other follow-up questions you may have.