Career Advice

10 common interview questions and answers in South Africa

Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane

Are you in search of interview questions and answers in South Africa ? You sent in your CV and received a phone call informing you that you have been scheduled for an interview. Then you feel elated and want to celebrate for a while. After a while, you begin to consider how the interview will go and how the interviewer(s) will be feeling. You wonder what questions the interviewers will ask you and how you might prepare to answer them. Not to worry, this essay will assist you in answering interview questions confidently. The fact that you have been invited for an interview indicates that your CV has performed admirably.

You are what people believe they are looking for, but it is up to you to leave a lasting impression or ruin everything you have worked hard for. It might be difficult to prepare for an interview, especially if you don’t know where to begin. You could ask random folks to assist you with what the interviews would most likely question. However, you have no way of knowing what questions the interviewer will ask. The good news is that you can learn to answer some of the standard interview questions, regardless of the job for which you have applied.

The classic questions are those that hiring managers ask of every candidate. Questions such, “Tell us about yourself?” Alternatively, why should we hire you? With proper preparation before to an interview, you will be able to answer these questions with ease. Here are some interview questions to help you prepare for them and deliver the best responses possible.

You are what they think they are looking for, but, then it is up to you to make an impression that will last or screw over everything you have worked hard for. It’s hard to prepare for an interview especially if you don’t know where to start. You may ask random people to help you out with what the interviews will likely ask. However, there is no way you will know what the interviewer will ask. The good thing is you can learn to answer some of the classic interview questions that are normally asked in an interview regardless of the job you have applied for.

Classic questions are those questions that hiring managers ask about every candidate. Questions such as: tell us about yourself? Or why should we hire you?. With good preparation before an interview, you can answer these questions effortlessly. Here are interview questions that you can prepare for beforehand and give the best answers possible.

1. Tell me about yourself

It’s standard practice to ask this question during an interview. Because the question is open, it is difficult to answer. What the company wants to know is why you are the best candidate for the position. The employer will form an opinion of you based on your cover letter, thus your response to this question will determine whether or not he or she is correct.

Share your non-work-related personal encounters. You can talk about your hobbies, where you grew up, or what motivates you. For example, you could remark, “Working as an accountant can be difficult at times.” I enjoy taking time off to go golfing. When I play, I forget about everything and concentrate just on the game, which allows me to unwind.

As a child growing up in Westonaria, I learned to play golf. I can’t thank my parents and golf instructor enough for helping me comprehend and play the way I do today. Recognize that your employer is reading your body language and tone of voice. Make certain that you are not nervous and that you are confident.

2. What do you know about the company?

It is nearly hard to know everything there is to know about a company for which you have never worked. However, as an outsider, you can comprehend the company’s vision and objective. The employer wants to know if you understand why the organization exists, where it is headed, its ethics and fundamental values, rivals, and ambitions. Doing research on the firm before to the interview will greatly assist you in understanding the organization. If you answer this question thoroughly, the employer will get the sense that you are enthusiastic about the firm and want to be a part of the team.

There are no short cuts here. The finest answer is one that has been thoroughly investigated. Go to the company’s website and conduct your own investigation. Examine and comprehend the organization’s purpose and vision statements. Examine the company’s financial reports; you can verify the company’s returns at CIPC. Also, be familiar with the company’s reporting structure, as well as the management, directors, CEO, and other key workers.

3. Why should we hire you?

The company merely wants to know if you have what it takes to fill the role. Or why you believe you are different from everyone else who has applied for the position. The employer is interested in your qualifications and experience. For example, what is your highest degree of schooling, what have you accomplished in your career thus far, are you the perfect candidate for this post, and so on.

Your response should explain why you are the ideal candidate for the position. You must explain why you should be chosen for the position. For instance, you could remark, “You should hire me because my qualifications match the job requirements listed in the job advertisement. I have over 5 years of event management and hospitality expertise. In my work as an event manager, I have managed world-class events, such as preparing the SADC conference with the assistance of my team. I have an honours degree in hospitality from the University of Cape Town and a management diploma from Boston City College.”

4. Why do you want this job?

Employers always expect you to be enthusiastic about your work. No company wants to force an employee to do their job or expect them to be competent. The employer wants to know if you are enthusiastic about the position for which you have applied. Your CV got you to the interview, which implies it was good enough; now it’s time to show that you truly believe what you’ve written.

Discover what the role entails and whether you will fit in. It’s simple to perform something you understand and can readily fit into, making it easier to relate to your situation. Determine the aspects that make the position ideal for you. For example, you may say, “Journalism is my passion because I enjoy uncovering the truth at whatever cost but without hurting myself or others.” The pleasure of field journalism is so appealing to me because it allows me to meet individuals who are directly touched by a crisis and ask as many questions as possible while also understanding them.”

Second, explain why you’d like to work for the company. You could say, “Pearl Inc has always inspired me to become a journalist.” I’ve witnessed what Pearl Inc does for its employees, such as providing them with necessary resources to complete their tasks and being available to them in times of need. “Pearl INC is a corporation on which I can truly rely to advance my journalism profession.”

5. What do you consider to be your weaknesses?

The employer is attempting to comprehend and assess your honesty and self-awareness. We are not flawless, and the employer realizes that, but they also want to know if you are conscious of your flaws.

When addressing this question, avoid extremes and instead strike a balance. Find something you’re having trouble with and bring it up. Mention that you are focusing on improving yourself by offering an example of how far you have progressed. As an example, you could state “I’m not good at discussions; I usually leave when things get heated. However, I am currently taking debate courses, which have significantly influenced how I debate. I can now only stand in a dispute for a short period of time, but I’m getting better.”

6. What are your strengths?

The employer is questioning you about your strengths in regards to the job interview you are attending.

Here is your chance to say something positive that can help your CV. Don’t answer the question incorrectly by mentioning strengths that are unrelated to the job. Concentrate on the task and model your responses to the job. Say something like, “As a digital marketing specialist, my strengths are generating content that eventually ranks on the first pages of search engines and developing a cost-effective digital marketing strategy.” I can rank for terms that are tough to rank for; for example, if you Google Shaun Pollock, you will see my post on the first page. “I have no doubt in my mind that I can grow any website in a matter of days.”

7. Why is there a gap in your work history?

The truth is that employers dislike hiring persons with gaps in their resumes. You should avoid having gaps in your CV because it may work against you. A gap, in the eyes of the employer, means dismissal, taking a gap year, having health or personal concerns, redundancy, and so on. Investing your time in activities other than your profession demonstrates a lack of interest.

It is preferable that you discuss something beneficial to your job while on leave (s). Discuss how you completed your degree or volunteered to learn more about the industry you work in.

8. Why do you want to leave your current job?

The employer wants to know why you want to work for them by asking this question. There must have been something that compelled you to apply for a position at their company, and they want to know what that something was.

When answering this question, be truthful. Say so if you want to change jobs or take on new tasks. You could say “Hughes Ltd contributed significantly to the talents I have today; without them, I don’t know where I would be. Without a question, the experience has been invaluable, but I have learned everything there is to know and am now looking for new challenges. Leto Ltd will provide me more creative freedom, and it will be a step up the ladder from what I’m doing at Hughes Ltd.”

9. How much salary do you expect to earn?

The employer is interested in knowing how much you want or expect to earn.

You know exactly how much money you want to make, but you must exercise caution. Given that you are given a platform to judge oneself, this question is extremely difficult. If you undervalue your worth, the employer may conclude that you are not worth hiring after all since you fall below the market value. It is likely that you will be unable to complete your duties. Salary calculators can be used to determine how much people with similar experience, qualifications, and talents make.

10. How do you handle stress and/or pressure?

The employer wants to know how you handle challenging situations, such as being behind on work, having a problem with coworkers, and other obstacles. It all boils down to how you handle stressful situations at work.

Don’t mention anything that will lead the employer to believe you don’t experience stress. We all face stressful situations in our personal and professional lives. Recognize and discuss the workplace difficulties you face, then explain how you deal with them.

Conclusion

Interview questions and answers in South Africa can be quite difficult because you are speaking to a small group of individuals you have never met before. It is usually a good idea to prepare for an interview by doing research and attempting to comprehend the interview process. Because of your preparations, you will be less nervous and more prepared to answer any question that comes your way. When heading to an interview, don’t forget to dress the role.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQ)

How to prepare for an interview and answers in South Africa

You can prepare for an interview by doing thorough research on the company. Use as many platforms to gather information like internet, annual, reports, calling the company to ask questions as anonymous etc.

What are the questions that the interviewer should not ask

The interviewer should not ask questions that are discriminatory. These questions include questions about race, sex, religion, disability, birthplace etc.

How can I answer questions that are not supposed to be asked by the interviewer

To answer a question that an interviewer shouldn’t ask, you can say ” ‘insert a discriminatory word’ is not an issue for my performance in this job”.

Note that some interviewers ask questions not knowing that they are discriminatory so be polite.

What questions can I ask the interviewer

You can ask the interviewer questions that are related to your job and the company. You can ask questions like: does this job require travelling? what are the biggest challenges faced in this job? Is working overtime mandatory? etc.

What interview questions can I prepare for?

You can prepare for as many interview questions as possible. Start by answering common questions that are listed in this article as they are frequently asked in an interview.

What interview questions can I expect?

You can expect as many interview questions as possible. In fact some interview questions will come unexpectedly so you can’t know all interview questions.

Why are interview questions important?

Interview Questions are important as they reveal to the employer what they of a person you are beyond reading your CV. Questions of work and personal life can be answered and understood better.

Why should I show confidence in an interview?

Confidence in an interview is a sign of aplomb. Feeling confident about yourself creates an atmosphere that is positive and easy to remember.

Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted at lethabo@rateweb.co.za

Published by
Lethabo Ntsoane