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Before the Interview

Make sure you know:

  • The time of your interview (Remember time zones)

  • Interviewer’s name and role (there may be more than one).

  • Interviewer’s number and email (in case line drops and you need to call back).

  • The number at which you are expecting to receive the call.


  • Make sure you are in a quiet venue - background noise is always amplified. Headphones will help you focus and will minimise noise.

  • Block out the time in your diary and make sure you don’t get interrupted.

  • If you are using Skype/landline keep a charged cell phone (on silent) handy

  • Gather your tools - notepad, headphones, water bottle.

  • Test your Skype and cell phone signal - we always give backup numbers

  • Make sure your voicemail message is professional

  • Book the meeting space an extra 15-30 minutes before and after the scheduled time.

  • Read up on both the company and the job description (JD). JD’s are often outdated but good to give an overview of the tech stack. Look at the company website and google them for news. This will help you in crafting tailored interview answers and asking thoughtful questions.

  • Compile two to three questions to ask the interviewer.


Create a Cheat Sheet:

  • You can have notes right in front of you without the interviewer having a clue. We often freeze up when nervous so a good idea to print out a copy of your cv as well as any other information you think you might need to reference

The Interview

  • Start off strong - Be punctual and pick up on the second or third ring. Something to the effect of “Hi, this is [Your Name]” . Thanks for calling, it’s great to speak with you.” works better than “howzit”

  • Have impeccable manners. You don’t have to jump straight into business especially if the interviewer inclined. Feel free to try a conversation starter if appropriate. This helps you connect with your interviewer.

  • If some kind of interruption occurs, apologise and address it.  It’s better to pause than have the interviewer struggle to understand you. If background noise is unavoidable, mute yourself when you’re not speaking.

  • Lean Into the Pauses - Not seeing someone face-to-face results in awkward delayed or overlapping responses. Don’t be afraid of moments of silence - it’s OK to let the conversation breathe a little.

  • When your interviewer asks a question, wait a beat or two before answering them to ensure they’re finished speaking. If you can’t hear them, politely say, “I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?” or paraphrase their question “Just to make sure I understood you, you asked ...?”

  • If they interrupt you, stop talking to let them finish before speaking again. They may be dealing with technical difficulties or they want to refocus the conversation.

  • Show enthusiasm - The interviewer can’t see you, so you have to work extra hard to show that you’re enthusiastic about the role.

  • Use gestures and smile while you talk. Even if they can’t see you they inject emotion. If something’s funny, laugh! That’s allowed!

  • Keep an eye on how loud you’re speaking and try to lower the volume when you find yourself getting too animated.

  • Talk Slowly - Self-awareness is crucial and with only your voice to carry you through, you want to make sure everything you’re saying is clear and concise.

  • Listen and be authentic - Pay attention, practice active listening, and don’t multitask. Don’t read your notes while the other person is talking. Take brief notes and use fillers like “hm,” “OK,” “yes,” and “right” to express that you’re taking it in.

  • The Salary Question - Feel free to leave salary discussions to us. We want the highest possible offer for you. It is very difficult to answer such a question without understanding their full benefits/bonuses etc. We also have deeper insight into a client’s history and are happy to The Pushy One rather than you potentially underselling yourself.

After Interview

  • Review your interview notes - Take a minute or two after you hang up to jot down any last notes you want to remember. Maybe they mentioned a new product or something about the culture you want to follow up on when you meet them for the next round.

  • Let us know how the interview went - Drop us an email or call.  We will send a thank you note to the interviewer on your behalf but your feedback will help us make it more personal.

  • We’ll do all we can to secure your dream job - let us know if you are feeling anxious or would like more interview preparation tips, it would be our pleasure

PS this advise is compiled from several global interview tip articles. By all means, help us refine it by letting us know if we should add anything else in. 

Typical Interview Questions

Tell us about yourself?

  • For South African interviews, our Hiring Managers love to know who you are, so by all means tell them if you are married/have kids/enjoy sky-diving or knitting - there is no right or wrong answer, they are looking to see a) how you communicate b) how you share information c) how energised/interesting you are.  International interviews are very different - let us know if you want more info)

Why do you want to leave your current job?

  • This is likely to be asked in conjunction with all your past jobs - past behaviour indicates future behaviour.  An argument with your boss for your last 3 jobs will paint a certain picture so give this question thought. Never slag off a past employer - without the correct context, this can be dangerous. 

What could your current employer do to keep you?

  • This is to check that you have tried to make things work at your current employer and that you have fully applied your mind to the upheaval of a new job. 

How does this position compare to others you are interviewing for?

  • They are checking to see that you really do want to work for a small or medium or large organisation as well as to see if this type of role is really what you want to do + how fast they need to respond with an offer.

Name 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses

  • This is to check your self-awareness. Everyone has weaknesses. Being aware of them and supporting them is important.

Biggest career mistake

  • This is important to acknowledge everyone makes mistakes + what did you do about it. Acknowledging the mistake, notifying affected stakeholders, apologising and doing all you can to fix it is the only option.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?

  • This is to see what motivates you - perhaps it was mentoring someone, learning something new, getting a bonus. No wrong answer but all are insightful into what type of person you are.

How do you manage stress and conflict?

  • These can be conflicting work priorities - how do you prioritise what comes first.  How do you deal with uncooperative team members? 

Be prepared to cover off any gaps in your cv

  • Taking a sabbatical to do a home renovation project, to travel, to work in the community is preferable to “looking for a job and not finding one” 

What areas of your work would your current manager encourage you to focus on?

  • This is to check that you realise you are not perfect. Everyone can improve

What is your favourite web site?

  • This is to check what interests you - the news, learning, Facebook, gaming or whatever

Prepare for The Salary Expectations Question.

  • Feel free to leave salary discussions to us. We want the highest possible offer for you. It is very difficult to answer such a question without understanding their full benefits/bonuses etc. We also have deeper insight into a client’s history and are happy to The Pushy One rather than you potentially underselling yourself.

CV Template

If you are looking for a CV template to make use of, then please feel free to download our template.

Please click the image below to download our CV Template.

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