South African Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in South Africa requires more than just the obvious South African CV writing and translation. You need to pass a South African interview. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in South Africa.
Do not misjudge the impact they can have on the end result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and habits, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to South Africa are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Before the South African interview prepare yourself and find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice (preferably in English) your one or two sentences "speech" about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Look less serious and more cheerful. Smile. Be positive.
Remember, the same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to talk/speak about them as well in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.
Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important aspects in not being hired.
So, check the South African dress code
Usually there are two job interviews. The first interview is with the HR manager and the next one with your future supervisor and/or company manager.
Arrive 10 - 15 minutes before the job interview. Turn off your cellphone. Prepare yourself - find out information about the company you want to work for.
Remember that business cards, letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates at initial job interviews are customary. An extra CV can be handy too. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Do not sit until invited. The interview, usually start with introductions in order of seniority and handshakes all around. Unless invited to use first names, use Mr., Mrs. or Miss with the last name during the conversation. Maintain eye contact while talking with someone.
Prepare yourself for all kinds of questions. After a few minutes of casual conversation, the job interview will begin with questions about your experience and your solutions to real or potential problems, your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and what you can contribute to the company.
South African interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.
In addition, an interviewer may ask you to respond to hypothetical questions and to very direct ones – like for example, “Why do you want to work for us?”. Answer them as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers.
You do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them.
Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, "In my country, that would be a strange question."
At the South African interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your future responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).
At the end of your interview and before leaving, thank everyone present for interview opportunity and shake they hands.
After the interview, do not forget to write a thank you letter and subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
You should expect a delay of one to six months before you receive an answer following your job interview.
References are usually followed up if an offer of employment is made, so notify your referees in advance.
A medical examination is required for some occupations and some employers test all their prospective employees for drug abuse.
Other South African Interview Info
We hope that your South African interview has been successful. Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Good luck with your South African interview!