Updated: May 18, 2019
Stats SA told us this week that 6.2 million South Africans are unemployed...that's 27.6% of all South Africans!
Thankfully, these shocking unemployment numbers are not prevalent in the IT Sector. However, the IT sector is not immune from pre-election jitters. Parvana saw a very busy 2018. However, during the period pre-election 2019 it was apparent that recruitment had slowed significantly. We suspected that companies (especially those with overseas reporting lines) were holding off but we couldn't be sure. Maybe it was the much predicted economic downturn? Less than a week after the elections, we have been flooded with job specs from new and existing clients. For the IT knowledge worker community, there is clearly a significant upturn and we predict your skills are now or soon will be in high demand. It is not just developers that are needed. There are jobs for all disciplines.
Get ready for that interview
We have noticed that companies are putting an increased emphasis on behavioural attributes. Tech skills are still important but one can lose out if one doesn't measure up on the softer attributes. We have included some of the current trends in interviews as well as why the interviewers are asking these behavioural questions:
What was the most exciting or invigorating component of your current job?
This is to establish what motivates you - It could be client negotiations, achieving project deadlines, R&D initiatives or coaching junior team members. It points to what you enjoy and where you would gravitate in a team. Remember, what you enjoy is probably what you will be good at.
Tell me about a time of adversity such as missing project deadlines, your concept was dismissed and you felt defeated. How did you respond?
This happens to everybody and they are wanting to see how you respond in difficult times - do you quit or come up with another solution?
Tell me about a time you had to do an activity that went against your values?
The interviewer is assessing your values, your integrity and how you communicate your personal needs.
Talk about a time of conflict with a team member and how you resolved it?
We have all encountered serious conflict at work. It may be a difficult team member or maybe you were the problem. They want to see how you adapt and to whether you were flexible or stubborn.
Tell me about a time when you had too many deliverables and not enough bandwidth to do the job. How did you overcome this shortfall?
This is to see how you problem solve. In this case good communication is the best answer. It is better to let key stakeholders know that deadlines (even unrealistic ones) will be missed and that you need support than it is to bury yourself in the task and fail to deliver on time with quality.
Tell me about your biggest mistake at work?
We all make big mistakes occasionally. The prospective employer wants to make sure you acknowledge you are human and do make mistakes. No-one wants to hire someone that constantly blames others and cannot accept responsibility. The key here is did you own up and take responsibility, apologise, and then work hard to rectify the issue? Just as important, did you learn from your mistake?
If you get a question that you genuinely haven't experienced before, by all means say that you haven't encountered it, but if you did, this is how you would handle it.
We hope the above was beneficial to you, we remain committed to doing all we can to support your career aspirations and to securing your dream job. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.