Do you know what will happen if one of the young Nigerian pharmacists calls one of the numbers of companies seeking for employees and is invited for an interview? Well very few young pharmacists know what will hit them until they are in a real interview session facing at least a two man panel.
For the whole of today, I was conducting an interview for pharmaceutical company seeking to employ some pharmacists. I was amazed at what I saw. I lot of the young pharmacists were completely thrown off by the experience of having to face an interview panel. In fact one of the young lady started to shiver seriously for the whole course of the interview. I had to start jesting and asking her to tell me about her family before she could pick up enough courage to start to speak.
I learnt today that most pharmacists are ill equipped for a true interview and unfortunately, most pharmaceutical companies do not know how to conduct an interview. They end up asking IQ questions and picking people who will turn out to be the wrong fit for them.
Well for the young pharmacist who wants to attend an interview for the first time I will recommend the following
1. READ BOOKS ON COMMUNICATION – I will strongly suggest you read the book HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. Do not attend any interview if you have not read this book. Also look for other books on communication. You must most importantly read up on body languages. For instance, most people do not know that avoiding eye contact in an interview shows that they are not sure of what they are saying, spontaneous body movements shows agitation. Read about these body languages so that you can control them when they start to manifest in an interview.
2. WATCH REAL LIFE INTERVIEW SESSIONS ON YOUTUBE – Try to watch at least one hour of an interview session on youtube. I will also recommend you watch at least one other video on how to build up self confidence, especially one by the awesome TONY ROBBINS.
3. PRACTICE IN FRONT OF TWO FRIENDS – Ask two of your friends to act as a panel for you and ask you tough questions, then ask them to assess you.
4. START TO LEARN SPEAKING IN PUBLIC OR TO A GROUP – The more you master the act of public speaking the greater the chance that you will do well in an interview. Know that most interviewers are more interested in your confidence level that in what you know. Even if you are making a mistake, make it with confidence in your voice.
5. DONT OVER DRESS AND DO NOT UNDERDRESS – The way you dress is critical to your getting the job. I have seen people lose jobs because we thought they were over dressed and I have seen people lose jobs because they were underdressed. Let how an executive working in a bank dresses, guide you in what you wear to an interview. You must be colour conscious especially the combination of colours. You must not wear a suite if you do not have the right one. A simple shirt and tie is better than a suite that makes you look like a rain drenched pigeon.
Make sure the last button of your shirt can button up before you wear a tie. Do not wear a tie on an unbuttoned shirt. And for Christ sake get a good looking tie and not the one your grand father hung on his wall in the village. Most importantly, get someone you know has a good corporate dress sense to assess how you look before you go for the interview
6. TURN THE INTERVIEW INTO A DISCUSSION CLASS – The moment you are walking into that interview room have a series of questions you would want to ask. For every three questions you are asked, try to ask one. Try to make the discussion as informal as possible. Talk about the panelists interests and how they got the job of working in that company themselves or anything that will take the focus off you and make it seem as if you are just gisting with friends.
7. GET TO KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE COMPANY BEFORE YOU WALK INTO THE ROOM – Read up about them on the internet, ask their customers about what they do and ways they feel they could improve. This will help you while discussing and chipping in these little info to impress the panelists.
8. KNOW THAT THE PANELISTS ARE JUST HUMANS LIKE YOU – The people you will be meeting at an interview are just human beings with nothing special about them. Do not been walking scare of them because they will not eat you
9. YOUR FUTURE DOES NOT DEPEND ON THAT PARTICULAR JOB – No matter how important a job may be to you, never walk into an interview thinking that your life depends on it. Rather walk into the room thinking that you are there to do the company a favour and not there for them to do you a favour. If you walking in thinking that your life depended on your getting that job, you will make lot of blunders that will cost you the job but if you walk into the room thinking that you are there to really help the company improve and that you want to do them the favour of helping them get better, then you will definitely make a better impression.
10. BE WORKING BEFORE ATTENDING AN INTERVIEW – I will strongly suggest you get a job somewhere even if they are not paying you until you get a paying job. This is because employers prefer poaching someone who s working than employing someone without a job. No one will go to ask if your employer is a paying you. As long as you have a job, you have a better chance than someone who does not have one.
11. ATTEND SEMINARS ON HOW TO GET A JOB – I have decided top organise a free conference on how to make a great impression at an interview for young Nigerian pharmacists. Those interested in attending should send their name and phone to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
picture credit – foremost resume