Visa Interview in Nigeria is not a tea-party for most visa applicants. If anything, it’s a more dreaded adventure to many Nigerians than being drilled by the police over the counter. Before you disagree, visit some embassies in Nigeria and see things for yourself. If you have, then observe more closely next time. You’ll see how much of fear most Nigerian visa applicants possess going into a visa interview – say the US visa interview in Nigeria. Most can barely calm their shaky, nervous body. They lose their voices almost completely hearing the first questions. You can immediately sense a nervous breakdown – a sign that gives the visa applicant away as fake, unprepared or unqualified. What Happens When You’re Nervous During Visa Interview? The last thing you’d wish is to appear nervous or unconfident during a visa interview. It’s nearly the exact feeling a job applicant catches in a job interview. Imagine your arms shaking, your tongue stuck in your mouth and your face beaming with fake smiles. Think of it; how would the Visa Officer perceive you? They are humans too. They’ll think the same way other people will think when such signs show. Regrettably, the result is almost always brutal! The thing is, you can’t make yourself vulnerable to fear and self-intimidation and expect miracles at the interview. Yes, miracles do happen – but are rare. Rather than hope for a miracle to happen, work out the miracle. The keyword is PREPARE! Common Mistakes You Should Avoid During Visa Interview. You already have it up there. Nearly everything depends on you, the applicant. You can command the way the interview should go. Don’t fall for cheap self-convicting assertions like “it’s only in the powers of the Visa Officer that I get a visa.” Yes, it’s at the discretion of the VO to issue visas. However, this largely depends on your performance at the visa interview. You do well, you smile in luck. If it’s bad, “sorry, try again next time” becomes the consoling words. Do you want to avoid hearing these consoling, but, hurtful words?
Then, learn from these common mistakes Nigerian visa applicants make during a visa interview in Nigeria. Improper Application Filing You didn’t expect this one, right?
Well, disregarding it may prove your biggest undoing. Your first point of contact with the embassy and the VO is your application. It reveals everything and anything about you the embassy needs and wants to know. Regardless of how you fill your form, do not neglect the “rule of consistency.” Don’t fill something else in your form and say a different thing during an interview. A client who applied for the US visa in Nigeria visited our office in Abuja seeking help with preparation for the interview. Before one of our Support Staff rolled out the interview template, she reviewed his application. While the young man ticked the “Married” box on the form, he was still single. Besides, he bore a different surname from his wife’s. It required some extra effort to correct the mistakes. Though, thankfully, he was successful at the interview. Nevertheless, it’s not entirely wrong to have different surnames than your wife does. But you don’t want to know how some VO make a mole out a molehill. Wearing Defeated Appearance The visa interview process sometimes turns comical, especially when you raise your eyes on the faces of some interviewees and see the look they wear. What do they say about the first impressions again? They matter…right? Then walk the talk! Smiling could be a difficult thing to give a try for some Nigerians. If you’re one of those, please, don’t approach the VO with that kind of face that should be seen only in graveyards. Smile. But don’t fake it. How should you approach a VO at first sight?
Unveil your vulnerability, tell them you are a newbie, tell them you don’t know what you’re there for? Or do you appear so unconfident that even a not-too-smart VO can tell you only jumbled the information on your application form? Another one, say no to pity–party. It’s laughable that most Nigerian visa applicants dwell in this myth. Well, sorry if you’re in that gang. But unfortunately, the opposite is the reality. Visa Officers want convictions born out of strong reasons and not emotional blackmail. You want to visit their country, tell them why they should give you a pass and how you intend to visit and return – that’s it! That the US visa application in Nigeria is 80% turned down is partly attributed to the above fact. Dressing Doesn’t Really Matter, But It Does That could be confusing, right? How can what doesn’t matter still matter? That sounds like play-upon-words – on a lighter note though. Anyways, you don’t need to suit up to “win a visa” as some Nigerians would say about the US visa in Nigeria. If you are applying for a business visa in Nigeria, a conference visa, or a tourist visa in Nigeria, you can be very Nigerian in your appearance. Besides, there’s no rule book on how you should dress – only commonsense. Smart, neat denim, good traditional attire could do. After all, for the US visa interview, the VO barely sees every part of you. But it doesn’t conceal the fact that you should dress fine. As they say, your dressing reveals your identity – tells who you are. So, you need to dress wisely and smartly. The code the best travel agency in Nigeria will give you is “be confident!” True, confidence is everything. But here, don’t forget the common saying that “too much of everything is bad!” Overconfidence could mean you are too zealous. And when you create such an impression that you are overzealous, you cast huge doubts in the mind of the VO. So, don’t make it look that you want it so badly. When asked questions, you don’t tell tales to impress. Go straight to the point. Confidence in a visa interview should only mean the ability to answer questions with clarity and precision. Anything extra will unveil an “effort to impress.” Asking Questions Helps Before you set out for your visa interview, pls ask questions ENOUGH! What do I mean by this? Granted, you can never have ENOUGH in preparing for a visa interview. However, you should endeavor to know much of what is required. That’s enough! The interview can swing either way – success or failure. The VO may want to dribble you, drawing questions from answers you supply. In the end, you either win or you’re caught. The best way is to have a template and prepare for such uncertain moments in the interview. If you use a travel agency, let them give you everything you need to know before you proceed. At travelwahala, for instance, we engage clients in mini-interview drilling with our demo interview. This keeps the client mentality ready and armed with ideas that can scale them through. Ensure you ask questions when the process is gloomy.