One of the biggest reasons job seekers come up short during interviews is not a lack of skills, but having the wrong attitude.
This is according to former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, who is currently Old Mutual board chairperson, and Nora Dawud, a top immigration lawyer and founder of Black Pen Immigration and Recruitment.
Manuel and Dawud shared interview tips for job seekers during a seminar on unemployment hosted by the Youth Unemployment Prevention Programme (YUPP) recently.
‘Employees seen as brand ambassadors’
The seminar was held in Joe Slovo Park in Milnerton, Cape Town. More than 300 youths attended it.
Manuel said the reason many job seekers miss out on jobs “is not a lack of skills by an applicant, but in fact the attitude displayed be the individual during the hiring process.”
Dawud added, “Just remember, no one owes anyone a job. And without the right attitude, you won’t find a job, as any business looks for individuals that seem to be someone that will fit in with everyone else as part of the team, and also will be an asset in the way they treat and make customers feel.
“Therefore, if any doubts creep in about this, such a candidate will be unlikely to be the chosen one, specifically as employees are also seen as brand ambassadors for any company they work for.”
She said practising for an interview with a trusted friend or close family member a few days prior to the actual interview often helps tremendously.
Writing the ideal CV
Dawud advised job applicants to adapt their CVs to the specific position they are applying for.
This involves replacing generic characteristics with specific strengths suitable for the position and selling oneself similar to what one would do with a desirable product.
Applicants preparing for job interviews should also focus on convincing prospective employers that they have the exact skills and experience that they have been looking for and have been missing out on, she said.
Her job searching tips include creating LinkedIn and Indeed profiles while keeping an eye on all social media platforms for opportunities.
“Should you be invited for any job interviews, it’s absolutely crucial that you are punctual, attentive, positive, dressed appropriately and your passion, enthusiasm and eagerness should be undeniable at all times,” Dawud further explained.