Employment: How to Get Job Interviews Quickly in Nigeria

| 6 min read

To understand how to get job interviews quickly in Nigeria, we will follow the short story of a Nigerian named Olumide.

Olumide came out tops in his class with a First Class. Of course, he was excited and looked forward to his first job and his first salary.

24 months down the line, Olumide still has his university degree but remains unemployed.

He has applied for a total of 69 jobs and has attended 11 interviews yet there is no job in sight.

Rather than sit at home and sulk, Olumide registered for an online course in Social Media marketing.

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At the end of the course, he registered for two more free courses on digital marketing.

Three months after, Olumide set up a website and sent out proposals to organisations; asking to manage their social media accounts.

He got a feedback from one of the companies and ran a pilot session for the brand. His work was so impressive, he was hired as a Community Manager on a contract basis.

After 6 months, his client recommended him for an opening at an associate’s organisation.

Based on the strength of the referral, Olumide got the job as a full-time Community Manager for the company while still handling his client’s social media accounts.

Olumide’s story is one many Nigerian job seekers would easily relate with especially his inability to get a job after graduation.

Let’s take a closer look at what Olumide did right.

When searching for a job, chances are that you are breezing through a long list of websites, blogs and online pages searching for jobs.

As you apply for these jobs, you are most likely hoping that you will get invited to a job interview.

You should, however, be reminded that there are hundreds of other applicants doing the same thing; applying for jobs.

While there might be nothing wrong in applying for jobs online, they do not guarantee job interviews.

However, in this article, we will examine how to get job interviews in Nigeria using two approaches that are bound to help you get one foot in.

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According to a report by Interview Success Formula, the average number of candidates who proceed to apply for any particular job opening stands at 118. From this number, only 20 per cent of these candidates get an interview.

As you can see, this is not even half of the average number of candidates who applied for the jobs.

The report also posited that a good number of organisations cut down the number of applications they receive by even before they even begin to look at the resumes, applications and CVs.

Below are three tips on how to get job interviews when searching for a job in Nigeria

  1. Get a strong referral
  2. Use PlacementPlus


Get a Strong Referral

Be reminded that for every job advertised, there will be several applicants vying to get the job. In some cases, there are hundreds of other applicants.

What this simply means is that to get an interview, you will either have to be a perfect match for the job as shown in your CV or be the only candidate. Since we cannot run with the latter, your best bet would emerge as the candidate with the best CV.

Rather than going this route, our number one tip for you on how to get job interviews quickly is getting a strong referral for the job opening.

A referral can be defined as the act of speaking to someone about the endearing qualities and features of a candidate or a brand.

This is largely considered an arm of networking. A good example of this is when a person working in a company refers you for a job opening. When this happens, the chances of getting an interview are extremely high. In turn, this shoots up your likelihood of landing the job especially if you are qualified for the job.

In some cases, the referral comes as a direct recommendation for the job.

Wondering who would recommend you for a job?

Reports and studies have shown that referrals remain one of the fastest ways to get an interview and subsequently a job offer.

Interestingly, a lot of referrals come from former colleagues, friends, mentors, old and new clients.

A study on ‘The Value of Hiring through Referrals’ submitted that 69 per cent of organisations in the United States have an employee referral programme.

What if we told you that 50 per cent of workers in the aforementioned research reported that they were referred by family friends, relatives and former colleagues (Topa, 2012)?

This further underscores the crucial role referrals go in the recruitment policies of organisations.

How to get job interviews


When hunting for jobs through job interviews, we recommend that 50 per cent of your effort should go into getting referrals.

Are you looking to increase the number of contacts in your networking chain? Then, there is a need to become more proactive in your approach.

This, however, does not mean you should become a pest to your potential networking links.


Use PlacementPlus

As we have mentioned earlier, it is not enough to apply for jobs and lay back expecting miracles. PlacementPlus is a service from Jobberman that helps candidates get jobs by helping them get job interviews.

However, that is not all as we will put this into proper perspective.

It is no longer news that companies in Nigeria often downsize to cut costs. As expected, it is getting tougher to get interviews as more unemployed Nigerians are regurgitated into the labour market.

It is a bad situation for fresh graduates but it is a worse one for mid-level and top-level professionals who sometimes find themselves needing a new job.

In many cases, the second category of candidates are applicants that organisations should be excited about but the reality of the situation sees them struggling to get interviews.

The good news is that Jobberman’s new service, PlacementPlus ensures that experienced candidates do not have to struggle to get interviews.

The service offers candidates a 6-month job search support with enticing benefits. It also guarantees candidates at least two job interviews at the end of the service period with a 50% money back guarantee.

With the PlacementPlus, candidates get a CV and profile revamp, career advice, recommendations to hiring companies and much more.

In other words, they are actively put in the eye of hiring companies for the six-month service period.

Below is a testimonial from a candidate in Nigeria, Bernard:

“It was a real test of faith and trust for me. So far, I have attended two interviews – One was for the post of Head of Finance at a print media establishment and the second was for the position of Chief Operations Officer at a microfinance bank.”



When hunting for a job, don’t narrow yourself down to applying for jobs.

While it is necessary to apply for jobs, it is equally important to pay attention to leveraging on strong referrals and services like PlacementPlus.

Once again, be reminded that getting an interview is as good as having one foot in.

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.