Interview Mistakes

Get a balanced view on your interviewer. Emphatically your interviewer is important, every human being is, but remember this – You are important too! So when you meet with your interviewer make it a policy to think “We’re just 2 important people sitting down to discuss something of mutual interest and benefit.

Interview Mistakes

  1. When an interview has been arranged and scheduled for you – make sure you pitch. Do not re-schedule or postpone an interview – it looks extremely unprofessional.
  2. Always be on time for an interview. Give yourself ample time to get there as lateness always gives a bad impression.
  3. Take interview notes! Record the names and titles of everyone you meet and interview with.
  4. Always attend an interview in smart clothing, preferably of conservative colour.
  5. Do not wear more than 7 pieces of jewellery.
  6. Always be extremely courteous when announcing yourself in the reception area.
  7. SMILE big.
  8. When you are introduced to the person you are going to see, shake his/her hand firmly, look directly at the person you are meeting, wait to be offered a seat and say “I am very glad to meet with you”. It is viewed in good manner to accept something to drink.
  9. Always be interested in what the interviewer has to say and do not let your eyes wander during the interview.
  10. Keeping good eye-contact lets the interviewer know you are honest and above board, you believe in what you are telling the interviewer, you are not afraid and you are confident.
  11. Do not smoke or chew gum/sweets during an interview. Despite the nerves, don’t smoke straight before an interview either. The smell of smoke on your clothes won’t leave the right impression.
  12. Answer all questions in a positive manner, and do not wander too far from what the interviewer wants to know. If you do not know the answer, be honest and explain that you do not know, but you are willing to learn.
  13. Always highlight your strengths.
  14. Remember to speak loudly and clearly – it’s a confidence building vitamin.
  15. Never interrupt or talk over the interviewer.
  16. Never be over familiar with the interviewer.
  17. Never make derogatory or nasty comments about your previous employers/company.
  18. If you feel nervous during your interview, let the interviewer know, after all they would have had to attend interviews themselves at some stage or they would not be in a position to interview you.

18 Ways to Impress a New Employer

It can take 3 to 14 months to find the right job… and fewer than 90 days to lose it.

Most professional and managerial dismissals are due to failure to understand and fit into a company’s culture. It is during these first weeks on the job that your boss and colleagues form the most lasting impressions about you.

But remember, they don’t expect you to be perfect. As long as you show intelligence, versatility and a willingness to work and learn, people will be happy to have you on board and rooting for you to succeed.


Here are 18 ways to make sure you get off on the right foot

  1. Take a break. Try take aweek’s break between jobs to clear your head. At the very least, get a good night’s sleep before your first day so you’ll be at your best.
  2. Check your interview notes. Recall the names and titles of everyone you met and interviewed with so you will be able to greet them and pronounce their names correctly.
  3. Study Up. Collect back issues of the company’s newsletters, annual reports and press clippings. Check out your competitor’s literature too, to get a better handle on the “big picture.”
  4. Work Full Days. Know where and when to report on day one. Get there 30 minutes early and leave when or after most of your co-workers do. Notice people’s schedules and work habits, so that you’ll know the optimal times and means to connect with others.
  5. Show positive energy. Look and act as if you’re happy to be joining the team.
  6. Look good. All eyes are on you, so pay attention to your grooming. Dress tastefully and slightly above dress code.
  7. Keep a journal. Write down procedures, names of key people and contact numbers, so that you’ll look like a quick study.
  8. Be flexible. Expect and embrace the inevitable challenges of your position. A flexible attitude will decrease stress for you and others.
  9. Show appreciation. Be kind and appreciative to everyone who helps you learn the ropes.
  10. Listen 80% – Talk 20%. Resist offering opinions or assessments – that road is full of land mines. You’ll get more respect by listening and absorbing what your co-workers have to teach rather than by showing off how much you know.
  11. Get to know your boss. Observe your boss’s personality and work style, and tailor your interactions to his or her preferences.
  12. Clarify expectations. Make sure you and your boss are on the same page. Find out what priorities and issues need to be immediately addressed. How often and in what format you should provide project updates. How your performance will be evaluated.
  13. Connect with colleagues. Get to know as many people as you can especially your teammates and those with whom you will work regularly. Establish the foundation for a relationship, trust and information will follow.
  14. Identify key players. Find out whothe decision makers, influencers as well as who the up and comers are. Notice the traits they have in common and try to emulate them.
  15. Uncover hidden agendas. Identify any political forces at work. While you want to avoid getting involved in politically charged situations, it’s helpful to be aware of undercurrents.
  16. Take initiative. As you finish assignments and are ready to handle a bigger workload, ask for more. Pick projects that have support from upper management and buy-in from your staff.
  17. Don’t make major changes. Even if you have been informed that the company is looking for fresh ideas, proceed carefully. Show respect for those who have invested energy in a project or system before trying to change it. There may be obstacles you aren’t aware of. Ask why things are done the way they are and seek feedback from people whose support you need. Applaud what is being done right and frame changes as enhancements.
  18. Be a team player. Don’t engage in gossip. Always make your boss look good. Share credit with your workmates.

CV Writing Guidelines

There are no absolute rules, so please accept this as merely a way to get going on the correct path for your own personal CV

How do I produce a decent CV?

  • Include the kind of information that matches the type and level of job that you plan to apply for.
  • Prioritise your information so that what is most important catches attention first. You do not want to look naïve enough to draw focus on trivia and that the detail is left for the interviewer to ask at your interview. (Start with the most recent achievements, job experience first)
  • Include enough evidence of what you have to offer to appear convincing and professional, without boring people or sounding like a rehearsed job definition
  • Stretch yourself in terms of the way you write and the words you use. A CV may have its own grammar that need not use sentences and paragraphs, but if you think of a recruitment consultant writing a very concise report about you, then you will not go far wrong.
  • Choose an attractive style, which means simplicity. Avoid boxes, graphics, templates in MS Word programme, photos and get your fonts right (Tahoma and Verdana are the best when you email your CV to recruiters). Fonts such as Comic Sans are not generally appropriate.
  • Ensure there are no gaps in your CV in terms of employment dates.
  • Provide solid reasons for leaving.
  • Ensure the references you provide are aware that you have enlisted them on your CV.
  • The information that you provide must be accurate and a true reflection of who you are and what you have to offer.
  • Test and check your CV. Try your CV out on friends and partners and have at least one person proof-read it. There is no room for error and spell-checkers do not find every mistake.

6 Ways to stay Positive when Retrenched


It happens everywhere and not pleasant!  Being retrenched can leave you feeling as though your skills and knowledge are no longer in demand.

Re-brand yourself as you need to first trust in what you know. 


Stay positive and understand that you were not retrenched because of your capabilities but because of market demands. 

At a time like this it is very important to keep positive people close to you who will keep you motivated because retrenchment can be a major confidence knock. 

Remember to stay calm and try to sign up with the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) sooner rather than later.  

Things to keep doing for Positivity

  1. Get up every morning at your normal time, don’t break the routine you were in before you were retrenched. Get dressed, don’t stay in your Pj’s for the whole day.
  2. Schedule your day into compartments of things you need and want to do to achieve one of your goals. (eg.  Use your mornings for job hunting and anything else work-related and use your afternoons for the less important goals that can be completed over a period of time)
  3. Keep to a proper meal plan and eating habits. Don’t let your emotions dictate what you eat.
  4. Exercise, even if you go for a walk around the yard, play with your pets, water the garden or go to the nearest coffee shop for a nice cuppa Java.
  5. Use this time to learn a new skill or add to your qualifications. There are plenty of ways to learn something without having to go and pay for a course – you just have to sometimes think outside the box.
  6. Keep your connections going with people you know after you leave. You never know when you may need them or they may need you and try not to burn any bridges whilst going through a challenging time. 

How to prepare for a Video Interview

As today’s demands are difficult, we understand it is sometimes perplexing for candidates to attend interviews, however our ambition is to accommodate both the client and the candidate in the best and safest possible way. 


  1. When preparing for a video interview make sure you are seated in a well-lit. quiet and private place. You want to be free from interruptions.

  2.  Do a test run, make sure you have a strong and stable internet connection. Check your audio, test your webcam, close any unnecessary applications and browser tabs and make sure your cell phone is on silent.

  3. Dress professionally. Even through you are not meeting anyone physically it is still important to make a good impression. Dress appropriately and avoid bright colours.

  4. A few tips to help present yourself correctly. Have a pen and notepad on hand, keep a copy of your resume on your desk. When listening