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UGANDA: Why did they hire someone with lower qualifications?

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MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA – The following is a response to my friend Omalla after he posted the article in our #UgandaNewsBriefing group on WhatsApp and added “Bazukulu please take notes”.

Omalla, the fact that she made it to the interview and was interviewed multiple times and even tested means she likely has the qualifications and likely did well in the interviews and testing. When it comes to hiring, a company might need only 5 people and receive 100 applications. Most will be discarded based on flimsy things like spelling, grammar, your social media foot print.

Out of 100, about 20 people will get called in for interviews because they already qualify per Cover letter, CV, social media disqualification.

Out of the 20 interviewed, you might find that 10 are the perfect candidates. Yet you only need 5 people.

Out of the 10 perfect ones, how do you choose the final 5?

Here is what I have done in the past:

1. How early you came for your interview? I love seeing a candidate arrive early and reads a book or newspaper while waiting. Preferably a book related to the industry or Science Fiction. I would never hire one reading the Bible. The newspaper should not be Bukedde or Redpepper. I would prefer The Observer or Daily Nation.

2. Your clothes and shoes. I hate excessive make up and too much bling bling or fake over done hair. Also, no perfume please. I am allergic to scents. You will be shocked but many modern work places now have “Have sense, wear no scent”.

3. It is okay to be on your phone, tablet or laptop while you wait. Depends on the job you are being interviewed
 for. I still prefer reading the newspaper (paper form).

4. Eye contact.

5. You are not fully dressed until you wear a smile.

6. Manners. Please and thank you.

7. I will trace back all your communication from the first contact until now. The email you sent. To whom. How you adresaed them. When you called or were called, your phone manners and style. When you came for the interview, how did you treat the Gate Keepers?
….nebilala nebilala….

You should check on my Nangalama blog for an article I wrote titled “Gate Keepers – #Uganda” on Monday, February 29, 2016. My blogs are searchable if you are on a computer on when on a phone, switch it to Desktop View OR Web Version. OR check this tweet.

* Experienced in hiring. I coach people for interviews.


I am so stressed and frustrated. I recently applied for a job through the company website, was called for an interview where I was made to take three online tests, and then I went through two oral interviews.
After all this, they hired my friend who is a lot less qualified than I am in terms of academic qualifications and years of experience. How could they do this to me? How can I feel better about myself? I feel so useless. Could my friend have bribed the interview panel?

The sole purpose of interviews is to get the right candidate for the job through an elimination process. Interviewers look for technical skills, experience, ability to work as part of a team, and soft skills like problem solving, effective communication, and good work ethics, among others.
Employers have found out that they are better off hiring an employee with limited experience but who has the capacity to learn through training. Modern interviewers hire individuals with admirable attitudes, then train them in the skills required.

A candidate could also be experienced in a particular profession, but lack specific skills which may be desired at the new workplace. With the right attitude, and as long as they are receptive to training, they can learn and adapt quickly.

There are many CV experts who assist candidates draft very impressive CVs, but when taken through a rigorous interview process, a mismatch is found between the document presented, and the candidate’s abilities. It is good to have a well prepared CV, but make sure you know everything that is in it so that you can authenticate the competencies and experience levels stated therein.
I wonder how you know your friend lacks the experience required for the role. The interview might have considered other attributes that gave her a competitive advantage. It might be worthy to celebrate your friend and even get a few tips on what endeared her to the recruiters.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: February 14, 2020 at 10:12AM

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