No matter how many interviews you have experienced, job interviews always leave you wondering about what is the right thing to say. With every job interview, you learn how to sell yourself, your skills and your flaws. Staying calm and composed is crucial, especially when you are trying to get hired. We believe there are ways to keep you calm during stressful interviews. The more you prepare in advance, the more comfortable and confident you are in an interview. We have brought you a list of seven tips that will help you perform well during the interviews.

 

  1. Practice and prepare– Preparing for the typical interview questions, researching the company’s background and knowing why you would be an excellent fit for a job goes a long way. Interviewers appreciate answers that are specific, concise and highlight your skills. Your answers should include how, with your skill set, you are relevant to the position offered. Making a list of the requirements of the job and matching them to your experiences is a great idea.

 

  1. Develop a rapport with the interviewer – It is advisable to build a connection with your interviewer. Knowing about the interviewer’s background and developing a connection often increases your chances of getting hired. Interviewers tend to hire people they like and who are suitable for the organisational culture.

 

  1. Research the company and show what you know – Companies generally have a lot of information about their history, mission, vision, values, culture and recent successes on their official website. You must go through these and explain how you will fit perfectly into the company. Your resume can back you up with this and help you establish what you can provide to the company.

 

  1. Be ready well in advance – It is good to be prepared ahead of time rather than waiting for the last minute to pick an outfit or get extra copies of your resume. This helps you be ready for the interview even on short notice. Deciding in advance reduces anxiety before the interview and also saves you from using your brainpower.

 

  1. Be on time – Reaching the venue of the interview early does not cause any harm. It is always a great idea to have buffer time in hand, in case anything goes wrong. Having a few extra minutes before the interview helps you calm down and be prepared for the interview.

 

  1. Stay Calm – During the interview, it is essential that you stay calm and relaxed. Interviewers don’t just hire you based on your answers but also look out for your body language. Staying calm helps you give your best answers and do so with confidence.

  1. Follow-up– It works wonders if you follow up with a thank-you note expressing your interest in the position. This must be done within twenty-four hours of the interview.

incentive – is a simple concept: Place a sticker on your worthy possessions, and if one of them ever gets lost, the person who finds it SMSs the number on the sticker to 33105. The back-end system then notifies the owner via SMS and email, the owner and finder are connected and make arrangements to do the swap. The name obviously implies that a reward will be given for finding, which is a small price to pay for data retrieval, buying another device, the hassle of claiming from insurance, etc.
I challenged him on a few things though:

Me: “This can’t obviously replace insurance, ‘cos not everyone is a good person.”

Steve: “It’s not an insurance replacement, it’s relying on the goodwill of your fellow South Africans. Insurance companies are interested in this because they see their customers’ claims being reduced significantly.”

Me: “So can’t I just stick something I made myself on my possessions and hope people will phone me?”

Steve: “Of course you could, people do already (like on their luggage), but the service which is easy to use by sending one SMS or logging on to the site is a guarantee to get the original owner in contact with you, and the name suggests you’ll be rewarded, which is only fair.”

Me: “But what if someone holds my laptop ransom and demands a lot more than the reward I want to offer them?”

Steve: “RICA enforces all cellphone numbers to be attached to a specific person with all of their details. Should someone want to take a chance like that, the owner can contact us and we will go the legal route, bringing in lawyers and the Police, because we have their details and they can be found.”

So they’ve done their homework. But what I want to know is:

1. Would you use it?

2. If yes, would you pay a monthly fee relying on the honesty of others?

I have a sneaky suspicion that, somewhere through my lineage, someone banged Frosty the Snowman and left me, at the end of the line, with predominantly pale skin. Tanning isn’t easy for me, ‘cos I either burn if I don’t use sunblock, or I use sunblock and I get no colour at all. It’s a lose-lose, really.

Trev, on the other hand, has his own burden to bear. The male members of his family have a, for lack of a euphemism, balding problem. Trev is 25 and losing the hair on his pip at a rate of knots. Not cool. Background over.
Simply put, we’re going to pop pills, every day, to see who has more luck with the wonders of modern science in the pursuit to rectify his own specific handicap. Trev is taking 1x Bob Martin Condition tablet a day (for large breed dogs, he’s a big unit) to hopefully work towards a naturally shiny and healthy coat. I’ll be taking 4x Biogen Sunless Tan tablets to get that bronze continental look and hopefully work towards changing my name to Salvador the Spanish Lover with a penchant for performing the Pasodoble at the slightest opportunity.

Who wins? Mostly, the pill manufacturers. Who wins between Trev and I? The first one to get noticeable results, or the last one to either turn orange or have an uncontrollable urge to chase a frisbee.

I parked my car in the parking lot. Easy enough. Walked downstairs and saw two queues facing a wall: One to a window, the other in a zig-zag for the next available automated machine. I joined the zig-zag and eventually found myself standing in front of a big touch-screen with a few slots for cards underneath it. At first glance it seemed like there was way too much going on for such a simple transaction, but I found the ‘Pay by card’ option and went through the process. As my phone beeped with the SMS from the bank to say the money had been taken from my account, and as I eagerly awaited my brand-spanking-new Gautrain card, the touch screen beamed “TRANSACTION FAILED”, and I received nothing. Then the text on the screen changed to “MAINTENANCE IN PROGRESS” and a card slot was pulled from inside the machine to reveal the other side. I called the (out of uniform) helper-lady who was hanging around and asked her to please explain to me why the fuck someone had pulled the card slot thingy from the box while I was busy with a transaction, and she shouted at someone through the hole. Awesome.

So now I’m standing between an automated machine and the teller window, waiting for a card to pop out somewhere. Either one would do, I’m really not fussy.

Nothing.

I was then told to stand in front of the people in the line for the teller and explain my problem. Now, if I was in that line, and some dude jumped in front of me, I’d be pissed. But, I felt it was no fault of my own, and if anyone was gonna make a scene at this very moment, I’d be that guy. The guy who was (now) behind me asked what happened, to which I replied “They fucked up, so now I need a card or my money back.” The (out of uniform) helper lady gave me a look, so I rephrased it to a very sarcastic “I’m sorry, there was a problem with the machine, and she told me to stand here.” Blame-shift: A beautiful thing.

I asked the lady behind the window to just give me a card with my R510 on it and I’d be on my merry way. She said she couldn’t until I filled out a full-page form with all my details, including my bank details. She also said that the money would be returned to my account, and I’d have to pay another R510 to get the loaded card.

What. The. Fuck?

I was running late, and so were the people who were behind in the line that I’ve just joined (and inconvenienced), so I scribbled, purposefully, all my details and had to do the whole buying-a-card transaction again from scratch. By the time I’d reached B9 (the platform where the train would be) I’d missed the train and had to wait a further 18 minutes for the next to arrive. Cellphone reception is also non-existent down there, so don’t think I could get some calls in before I jumped on the train. Also, no benches or vending machines meant no sitting or eating either. Brilliant.
I can guarantee that if I drove to the airport it would have been faster, but more importantly, I would have drummed on my steering wheel while singing along to some of my favourite new tracks and would’ve been cool, calm and very collected by the time I reached the airport. Very much the opposite to how I did feel when I arrived, when I realised I still had to walk across a large part of the airport to get to domestic departures. If I drove, I would’ve had to walk across the bridge joining parking and the terminal. Easy. I have nothing against walking, but if you’re late, it’s a problem. No-one likes to be running through an airport.

I think the title of this post should actually be “Why Cell C’s marketing team should consider a career in sales”. Now, I’d imagine Trevor Noah (tw) to be a pretty smart guy, but to be sold into becoming the face of a widely considered struggling brand, they must have sold him the world. Not just in payment, but in the overall strategy going forward. And well done to them.

I don’t recall Cell C (tw) getting as much exposure as they have over the past few weeks, ever. It started off with praise and applause, then the ‘it was all a scam‘ fiasco when everyone (particularly journos who felt like their little feelings were hurt for being betrayed) slated the campaign at every opportunity. Now the logo story. When will it end? It probably has. And all Cell C can do from here is improve, because they are, essentially, starting from the bottom. And I have a feeling that they will.

Why? Because what the’ve done is completely polarise themselves to the market. You get the people who love what they’ve done, and the people who absolutely hate it. Both sides have the same amount of interest in waiting for what they’ll do next, and both sides are so passionate about their standpoints that they will vehemently argue over any platform, live or online, to try and prove their point. The result: A conversation about the brand. Awesome. So now Cell C has the whole country focussing on their next move, and when you have that much pressure to perform, you work your ass off to make it happen.

On the other side though, what if they don’t? What if this all came too suddenly, they’re not prepared for it, and Cell C loses everything? What does this mean for their new CEO?

Trevor has become the face, the captain of this huge faceless ship. It’s a lot easier for us to blame individuals when things go wrong, because shouting at a large cold building never helped anydoby. It’s exactly what they wanted to achieve with the new campaign: Speak to an individual (Trevor) and he’ll sort you out. People buy in to that. But it has it’s disadvantages too.

Bottom line: If the brand you advocate goes down, you’re going down with them. It’s the captain’s duty. Let’s just hope the powers that be (unfortunately I don’t think Trevor is one of them) can steer this ship past the iceberg and sail it to greener pastures.

The Bookmarks are an opportunity for agencies, publishers, teams and individuals, working in the digital space, to showcase their work and appreciate and recognise their peers for phenomenal work done in the industry. The organising team, particularly Nikki Cockcroft and Rob Stokes, asked me to MC the event. It was an honour to be asked to be included in the event and I immediately accepted. It was an astounding success overall, their hard work really paid off. Well done. And well done to all the winners.
I could not believe the lack of respect for each other in the industry. The crowd couldn’t keep quiet, so the rest, who were paying attention, were struggling to hear who won which award. It was pathetic.

When I walked on stage and started the gig, there was still a murmur through the crowd as they were completing drinks orders at the bar and finding their spots for the remainder of the awards ceremony. As a professional MC I understand this dynamic, so I made small talk until it quietened down. Or at least, until it should have quietened down. It didn’t.

Now, I’ve been doing this for years, so when people don’t want to pay attention to the host or MC, it more than likely means they’re really not in the mood for it (or they don’t like his/her style of humour), they want you to get on with the show. I have no issues with this at all, you’re there for the awards, not me, it’s very valid. I’m paid to keep you entertained, and entertain I will, so I introduced the awards. Thing is, though, the crowd still kept making a noise through the entire awards ceremony. I had to constantly reprimand the crowd and ask them to keep quiet, and have some manners and respect for the winners, but they still just didn’t give a fuck.

Long story short: A team of people, through their own time and capacity, spent at least 9 months working hard to make last night a reality, and the crowd couldn’t have cared less. They paid their R400 for their tickets, they drank their free (mostly) drinks, and felt an entitlement to do whatever they wanted to. Reality check: You can’t. It’s an event for everyone, not just for you. So why would you act so badly and not respect your peers in your own industry?

  1. Write down a list of skills that you have, including ones you gained during your previous job and then ones you have a guess on and would like to learn. This list will help you objectively frame your career goals based on which you can make your career choices.

 

  1. Match your resume to the company you’re applying. Every organization has different goals and needs. Choose from the skills you have the ones that would be beneficial to that company.

 

  1. Have the strengths included in your resume have both technical skills specific to the job as well as soft skills such as communication, relationship-building, teamwork, balance, etc.

 

  1. Have good job references. Make sure you and your previous employer are on good terms as references will play a massive role in the selection process.

  1. Another referral beneficial to have is from existing employees in the company you’re looking to get hired. See if there are either alumni from your school/college or mutual friends that you can link up with and form connections.

 

  1. In job interviews, know when to listen. We may forget to do so because of being so focused on conveying a particular message and image to the interviewer. However, it is equally important to know when to talk and when to stop talking and listen carefully without interrupting.

 

  1. Don’t search for jobs only when you’re unemployed. Keep yourself updated, and on the lookout, so you don’t miss out possible opportunities. Set up job alerts by signing up on as many online recruitment sites as possible.

 

  1. Keep checking for vacancies at all places possible. Newspapers, ad columns, supermarkets. If you are searching for any particular job then join certain groups on social media that will make it easier for you to find these specific jobs

 

  1. Networking. The importance of networking cannot be emphasized enough. Find people who are influential enough to find you a job or are well experienced in the field of work you are interested in. It makes it easier to find a job when you know other people doing the job you want to do.

 

  1. Attend workshops and events where there maybe opportunities for finding a job. Any place that is hosting a workshop or an event may at the end of it be announcing job or placement opportunities. Go for as many of these as possible.

 

  1. Do not be scared to intern. Intern in as many different places as possible. If you are not intent upon finding a particular job and are open to anything that comes your way then even better. Keep interning at different places. This will not only help your resume but could also get you a job.

 

  1. Remember to make yourself visible online. Social media presence matters and it matters even while applying for a job.

 

  1. Remember to relax and not stress yourself too much. The more stressed you are for the job the more desperate you will seem.

 

  1. Expect the job hunt to take a long time. The hunt for jobs is longer than the hunt for deer in the wild.