Tips on How to Prepare for YouWIN Final/Oral Interview
In YouWIN! 3, new twist was introduced into the selection processes and this baffles everyone because we never expected such process. Just as we were expecting the final 1200 names to be released as YouWIN 3 awardees, we were taken aback when YouWIN sent out selection notifications to those that were selected and also informed them of the next process which is to face panel of judges.
In two previous editions, there was nothing like facing panel of judges, this is a new twist introduced into the programme to select only the best. From my findings, the interview is the final selection processes of the programme. It is just like the previous ones where we were invited for validation. The validation process was for them to know if your claims are valid especially your age, nationality, education and if you are an existing business, you provide evidence to prove that you have transacted business in the last 3-6 months.
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Why YouWIN! introduce Oral Interview
This question has been asked several times and some people are confused. For me I know why they introduce this. Looking at the past editions and from the experiences so far, it has been discovered that most of the awardees never written or contributed to the application right from first round to the 2nd round.
Another reason is that those awardees that were selected based on merit with a lot of expectations ended up performing below expectation. There was a case where a female awardees from the Northern part of Nigeria whom the business plan was professional written and when she appear for validation, it was discovered that she couldn’t even speak English and a lot of people were wondering how she managed to come up with such a wonderful writeup but can’t speak English. It was discovered that she was helped.. she only went for the training and since the first training does not involve any form of interview or interaction, she escaped but not with the validation because you will be asked some questions.
So with the oral interview, it can be easily be determined if you were the one that wrote the business plan and also to determine if you have insight knowledge of your business. This is to only select the best so that the overall success rate will increase.
For me, I’m 100% person in support of this new process.
How to Prepare for the Interview
Since the notification was sent to successful applicants intimating them of YouWIN intention to conduct oral interview, I have received uncountable messages and calls from successful applicants asking how the interview will look like, the likely questions YouWIN will asked and how they should prepare for the interview.
Before we proceed to looking at the likely questions, first let’s look at the mail YouWIN will send to you next. The message below is what they usually send inviting successful applicants for validation:
Dear Utibe Etim
The validation process that determines your eligibility for the YouWiN! grant award and also the signing of a Legal Agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance will take place as follows:
Date: Monday, May 14 2012
Venue: Phase 2 Auditorium, Federal Ministry of Finance, Ahmadu Bello Way, Abuja
You are to bring along with you the original and 1 photocopy of the following;
1. Your Government issued ID that confirms your identity, age and Nigerian citizenship (examples include driver’s license, national IDs, voter’s cards, international passports, birth certificates and sworn declarations of age obtained prior to September 2011)
2. For new businesses, documentation to show that you have begun the process of Registration of Business Name with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
3. For existing businesses; registration documents (including particulars of shareholders and directors where applicable), evidence of previous annual report, cash flow such as bank statements, purchase orders, customer’s receipts or other evidence of previous transactions carried out within the last 6 months only.
Please note that you are responsible for all travel and lodging expenses for this meeting as there will be no reimbursements. A sample of the agreement is attached for you to review ahead of the date.
Because the validation and legal agreement signing are mandatory steps before you can receive YouWiN! funds, please make every effort to attend this event.
Click to view/download Sample for legal document (I have removed the link for security purpose)
Now looking at the email above, the requirement s for validation is very simple: government issued identity, birth certificate and evidence to show that you have started registration process of your business if you are a new business. For existing business, you will provide your certificate, evidence of previous annual report, cash flow such as bank statements, purchase orders, customer’s receipts or other evidence of previous transactions carried out within the last 6 months only.
So make sure you put all those things in place first. If you have not begun the process of registering your business, please do that asap.
Questions YouWIN! Will Ask
I have dug dip trying to know the kind of questions YouWIN! will ask, but it has not been easy considering the fact that this is the first time they will introduce oral interview. From what I have gathered so far, the question is to determine if you are the one that wrote the business plan and to determine if you have the necessary skills to management the business successfully.
1) Question on business description: You will be asked to describe your business in few words. That is what I called elevator speech.
2) Why do you want to into this business:
3) Know your cost: They may ask question on how much you need to sell every month to reach profitability, when you will breakeven (very important).
4) Understand your top 3 business objectives for the next 12 months
5) Look at question under employment. How many people you will employ
6) Describe each step of operation of production process for your business
7) Describe the three main success factors necessary to thrive in your industry (e.g. suppliers, networks, low cost, diverse customer base, production capacity).
8) Look at possible questions under lead time
9) Look at questions under main materials, equipment or expertise that you will need to create your product or service. State their availability, location and price
10) Question under marketing and who will promote your products
11) Analyse your competitors
12) Look at possible questions under financial.
IN FACT GO BACK TO YOUR ANSWERS YOU SUBMITED AND TRY TO MASTER SO KEY POINT AND FACTS AND FIGURE BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT ASK EVERYONE THE SAME QUESTIONS. THE SAME QUESTION CAN BE ASKED IN SEVERAL WAYS.