People who have jobs often forget just how difficult it might have been to secure that job, or what it was like to obtain their very first jobs.
The job market is intimidating for those who don’t have any formal work experience and it’s especially daunting for university graduates or young students who have never been exposed to professional business environments. Sometimes, students find themselves making basic mistakes during interviews because they don’t know any better and weren’t given any information on how to prepare for an interview.
Jack Ryan, GE’s Vice President of Executive Development and Learning, recently visited Angola and led a GE delegation to ISPTEC, a private university in Luanda. With the ability to accommodate up to 6,000 students, ISPTEC offers various courses that range from engineering (chemical, mechanical, electrical and more), to applied social sciences, and research and development, which is aided by the 29 laboratories at the campus. GE partnered with the university for its first Job Fair, which was held in August.
Ryan, together with the GE team, addressed a packed student auditorium on the subject of careers and job interviews.
The GE delegation also included Maria Bianca Tulumello (GE Africa Senior HRM), Janice Aurand (O&TD Leader), David Viela (CEO GE Angola), Helena Miranda (O&G SSA and Angola SHRM) and Ana Okito (Senior Manager T&A Central Africa). They were welcomed by Dr. Baltazar Miguel, Dean of ISPTEC, who facilitated a tour around the campus while highlighting the university’s focus on scientific research.
These were some of the tips Ryan shared on how to succeed in a job interview:
- Start by doing some research about the company, the hiring manager and the job vacancy you have applied for. Build a solid knowledge foundation based on these themes.
- Punctuality is essential. Plan to arrive at the company at least 10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to start.
- Understand the culture of the organisation and dress appropriately, and professionally.
- During the interview, be focused and confident, and try to keep your answers short.
- Remember that you will be judged on your body language, so ensure that you smile, that your posture is solid and that you actively listen to the people who are interviewing you. Do not slouch, fidget with your pen, chew gum or mumble during the interview.
- Employers will judge whether applicants are actually interested in the job or not, so remember to ask insightful questions about the vacancy and the company.
Euclides Louis, Scientific Director at ISPTEC, said that Ryan’s talk was “very interesting and inspirational”.
“The interaction between the university and the business world adds value for both sectors … hence collaboration with large multinational companies such as GE. We believe that the foundations are being created for a strategic partnership in the near future,” said Louis.
This article first appeared on GE Reports Africa.