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Monday, September 10, 2012

How to go Through an Interview Process?

 Following our graduation and the immediate introduction into the "Job-search Market", many questions crossed our minds, which is the best way to apply for a job? How do you write that killer CV? Who is employing inexperienced graduates e.t.c And when all these are said and done, the one major challenge we faced was "how to go through an interview process?", in case you get called for one (which was very rare).

The interview process is a new one to many of us but we are at that stage that they shall start coming in fast and furious. So what should you expect in an interview? I have attended only one interview after sending out a blanket application. But before I went I spoke to some of the people I know who have attended interviews before (including my attachment boss who was seeking a promotion in the company) and this is what they told me to expect:

1. Aptitude tests:
These are general-knowledge questions that are used to ‘gauge your IQ.’ These may cover a broad range of areas such as numerical prowess, word tests, reasoning tests and current affairs. Aptitude tests are common with firms such as PwC, Unilever, EABL, Bamburi and Deloitte who have an elaborate recruitment program. There are some online resources which offer practice on common aptitude tests.

2. Technical questions.
If you are called for an interview to a road construction company, best go fishing for Dr. Ndegwa’s (or whoever your lecturer was) Road Notes and read them! In an interview several questions will be thrown at you in regards to engineering. You may be asked for example, to “describe the several layers in constructing a road.” You may also be asked more technical things like what is the difference between a laterite and murram, but often it is the basics.

3. Your academics:
Remember the Chief Justice interviews? During interviews you will be placed on the hot seat. They will ask you why you got a D in structural dynamics. They will ask you why you had a straight A in high school and downgraded to Ds in campus and you expect to land the job. Kaa radar! You may also be asked how your training suits the company and answering this relates to No. 5 below. You may also be asked if you have undergone other training (computers, CPA, EIA etc). Another common question is “what new ideas/thing will you bring to the company if given the position?”

4. Trick questions:
These are usually just intended to knock you off balance and to see how you respond under pressure. I spoke to someone who went to an interview and was asked; “You have a 3 litre water bottle and a 5 litre water bottle, you want to fetch only 4 litres. How do you measure exactly five litres without pouring any water?” There is a right answer, yet depending on how sharp you are, you really do not have to give them the right answer. But DO NOT give a wrong answer, go round the bush and explain that you are nervous but if they gave you five minutes with a pen and paper you will answer it. Other common trick questions are the famous Google Interview Questions (Google this up for more).

5. What you know about the company:
Before you go for an interview go to the About Us page of the company if they have a website. Look up all the activities they do and how they do them. If they do water sewers, Google the process of water sewer design and be ready to explain it. Find out the directors, organization structure, date of formation of the fir, client profile etc. These questions will show you have an interest in working at the firm and it was not just a blanket application.

6. Salary expectations:
I still do not know how to answer this one! I mean, how much money do I want? Like ten million a month dammit! But my attachment boss advised me that you should first state “within your salary scale for entry level engineers”. If they insist you give them a figure, you say that you need to be comfortable at night; to cover your lunch and to pay for fare to work every morning so based on the current economy, X amount would be fine.

Watch out, you may get a call or email inviting you for a “small discussion” as it happened to me, but do not forget your papers (originals). Good luck in your interviews (they always end by saying we will contact you!)

==Courtesy of Bjey

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