ProTalks, Insider Tips with HR Sussie Mukiibi from NIRA

  1. How long have you worked as a HR professional? And what are 3 common mistakes you have witnessed from potential candidates in an interview?

I have worked in Human Resources for over 15 years now. The common mistakes with potential candidates include briefly:

  • Not knowing what they want - general or open applications

  • Poor application writing /etiquette

  • Not knowing anything or much about the company they have applied to


2. What do you suggest a fresh grad, student or young professional MUST carry out before the application process for an internship/ job? 

  • They should understand what they want/their passion in terms of career

  • Carry out research on the companies that meet their passion (establish the link)

  • Research on how to write a winning application

  • Practice or mock interview to build confidence


3. From a HR perspective please advise 3 winning ways to land an internship or job interview?

  • Research and know about the company you are applying for and how you fit in that environment

  • A catching/Winning cover letter

  • Time keeping, confidence and presentation


4. If you could give just ONE piece of advice to a fresh grad, student or young professional what would that be? 

Know what you want and go after it. Better to try/give it all your best and not try at all. 


5. If an individual is unlucky after an interview, what do you suggest they do next? E.g. follow up and ask why they were unsuccessful to improve later on, continue applying for internships

If you can get feedback on why you were not successful, it is good to do that and know where to improve. Self-learning and improvement - sue all opportunities available to you including the internet to improve your application and interview skills and boost your confidence in interviews.


Bonus: You have built a great career, how did you get to your position you are in today and what advice can you give to an aspiring HR professional?

I think I got to where I am today because of some of the following:

  • Knowing what I want and going after it

  • Hard work - giving it more than my best and not being discouraged by failure. We learn and grow from failure.

  • Integrity and professionalism - doing your job for the good of the company and the people we serve and not for self interest

  • Not going with the band wagon and listening to discouragement from colleagues-always looking for the positive

  • Continuous learning and investing in myself. Openness and willingness to learn from subordinates, peers and supervisors. You can never know it all.

  • Respect for others irrespective of level or position. Treat others the way you would expect to be treated.