We sat down with Brenda Karimi, who leads recruitment for the Ethiopia program, to share some tips on being an outstanding candidate during an interview process at One Acre Fund.
Some of the Ethiopia staff during a (pre-COVID) team retreat.
Phase 1: CV & Cover Letter Review
Formatting is important: Keep the CV short - two pages or less, well organized, and do a spell and grammar check before submitting.
Be specific about your responsibilities: When listing roles, begin with your current role and list previous ones chronologically. Under each role, include a maximum of two to three bullets on major responsibilities. More importantly, highlight key accomplishments.
Quantify your accomplishments: Where relevant, use clear metrics to quantify achievements in previous roles (e.g., “I brought in 18 new clients over 12 months, surpassing my target of 10 new clients,” or “I secured a $3 million grant to fund our new initiative.”)
Phase 2: Phone Interview
Communication skills are essential; we want to hear how clearly you convey information about yourself, about One Acre Fund, and your understanding of the role.
Come to the phone interview prepared: Read up on One Acre Fund and know what we do and where we operate.
Showcase your interest in the role: We would like to see how you connect your past work and social experiences with the particular role.
Prepare questions that you genuinely want to know the answers to. We look for eagerness and excitement about the possibility of working for the organization.
Phase 3: The Assignment
For many roles, the next phase of the process is the fulfillment of an assignment, usually sent to the candidate’s email with specific instructions and a deadline date. Every task is different and will test for the competencies we are looking for.
Some rules of thumb to note:
Carefully follow the instructions given and answer the questions asked. This will demonstrate your attention to detail.
Good formatting is crucial. Ensure the deliverables in the document are clearly laid out so that the reviewers have an easy time understanding your answers. Confirm that the fonts and spacing are consistent. Before submitting, run your document through a spelling and grammar checker.
Phase 4: The Final Round Interview
It is important to be proactive and speak to some One Acre Fund staff members to understand the context and our work on the ground. Do not be shy; reach out to everyone you can and gather information for your project and tips for the final interview.
A polished presentation of the materials during the final interview is essential; ensure that you have reviewed it several times and have made it professional-looking. Practice the presentation a few times to be comfortable with the materials and can present them clearly and eloquently.
Some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind
DO go through the job description and make sure that your experience and skillsets match at least three to four qualifications listed.
DON’T apply for a role if you lack the qualifications necessary to succeed in the role.
DO keep the description of previous jobs short and clear, and customize the bullets as much as possible to the position you are applying for.
DON’T include all of your past jobs on your CV unless they are all relevant to the position you are applying for. We are most interested in your experience for the last five years.
We currently have several crucial roles open in the One Acre Fund Ethiopia program and encourage you to apply!
Check out the open jobs in Ethiopia here. For more tips on applying at One Acre Fund, read here.