Recruitment | Executive Search

The Top 5 Most Popular Interview Questions in South Africa

The day you’ve been waiting for your whole schooling career is finally here. Graduation. Everyone including yourself is overly excited for your big day but no one ever told you about the day after graduation, now did they? What next? Where do you start? The search for your dream job begins and so do the dreadful job interviews that no one prepared you for. Lucky for you, you live in a technologically advanced society that allows you to answer any question you could think of by merely logging into your browser. I too went to countless job interviews, passive office parks and of course in all occasions wearing my very stylish grey and black “Interview ready clothes”. Now besides the drag of having to find the interview venue/ location, the one thing that scared me the most was the interview process, the questions; what do I say? What if they ask me something I don’t know? What then? Unfortunately, back then I had to do with the “Fake it till you make it” attitude, which you won’t have to because I have used my past experiences to compile the five most popular questions asked at a job interview in South Africa.

1) Tell us about yourself? First things first, this question is not a gateway for you to tell the interviewer your childhood stories and memories. NO. This is an opportunity for you to give a brief introduction about yourself, what you have accomplished thus far i.e. Education/ Work experience. As well as what type of position you are looking for.

3) What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses? No one ever said a little sugar coating would hurt anyone….So when addressing this question think carefully before you answer. Firstly, when referring to your weaknesses make sure they add some sort of value to the organisation for example. ‘I find it hard to say no to people’ this is a weakness to you but a benefit to the employer. Secondly when addressing your strengths keep in mind what desired strengths/ attributes were stated on the job spec. Draw your answers from those attributes stated but be careful to not claim to have strengths that you don’t actually posses.

4) Why did you leave your previous job? Do not prosecute your previous employer when answering this question as this question is often asked in order to determine how you view/ relate to the person who pays your pay check. Try by all means not to break down into frenzy even if your last boss was a nightmare.

5) What are your short and long term goals? This is a popular question in South Africa and the best way to tackle this interview question is to be honest but strategic. You have to like any other question consider how your answer will benefit the employer, this is an opportunity for you to state what you see yourself doing now (Short term career goals) and what you would like see yourself doing in a couple of years (Long term career goals). This allows you to share your desired goals that should be aligned with those of the organisation. For example speak about your desire to work your way up into top management sometime in the future. This gives the employer the idea that you intend to stay and grow within the organisation.

All five interview questions and possible answers should nab you that dream job you’ve been dreaming about, besides the questions don’t forget to look professional. First impressions last forever remember…..