The interview

By Fatimah Dickson-Bakare
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Fatimah Dickson-Bakare

Attending Job interview in Nigeria has many dynamics, it can be challenging if it is a private firm that is for profit.

Often times they will always look out for the best candidate that will turn the company around. Some of these companies are not ideal for man know man but for those that will always reinvent and keep creating a niche for the organization.

I met two young and vibrant youth corp members recently, they were so full of life and would stop at nothing achieving their goal in life.

Shortly after their passing out parade, they were both invited for Job interviews in two different locations. One had a challenging interview while the other was ugly.

The first gentleman was called by a cement company in Nigeria while the other a federal government owned secondary school.

The cement company hired a white man to conduct interviews for Nigerians living in Nigeria. The interviewer did not look at the certificates this young man had acquired but rather engaged him on his ability as a marketing executive on how to generate more sales for the company and how to create more sales outlets. The white man was more concerned about what he was bringing to the organization and how to turn the company around. His interview session took almost 30 minute and it was more like a pitch on how to maintain the brand and take it further.

I must admit, this cement company is out to make money and sure know how to work with right people that has the same vision with the founders of the company.

However, he was offered immediate employment and was asked to build a formidable team that will help achieve his purpose while working with the manufacturing company.

The other gentleman who read education was also on the hot seat for the job of a classroom teacher. He is well experienced in the field of teaching. After his NCE few years ago, he taught in a college for three years before embarking on his bachelor in education.

Some things in Nigeria are better experienced than talked about, Federal government jobs over the years in Nigeria is either who you know or you are simply Jesus candidate. The young man got to the hot seat and saw his grandfather’s contemporaries, those that have been in the civil service for more than 30 years, those that continue to dye their hair black for fear of being called to compulsory retirement, those that refuse to upgrade to recent trends

The well experienced gentleman teacher got confidence in what he is called to do so he was expecting academic questions from the interviewers.

He got it all wrong, they did burst his bubbles.
He had an easier task, his interview question was as simple as WHOSE CANDIDATE ARE YOU? The young man replied he had been a teacher for over 7 years and he has the best classroom skills. The interviewer asked the young man to excuse them, he further explained that there are few slots available and it has all been allocated to chosen candidates and finally he advised him to try Npower.

This is where we have found ourselves, not by merit but by connections.