Going for job interviews

Practically everyone needs a job and to get a job, you have to go through job interview(s), unless you are setting up your own company or you are the son of a political agent/minister.

The first interviews are always a bit frightful (for most persons) but as you gradually build up your self-confidence, you will feel more comfortable in front of your interviewer(s). But be careful, if you have been going through interviews a hell lot of time, there’s surely a problem somewhere.

Remember, the guy is giving you an interview because he needs someone. Carrying out interviews is not fun but rather a lengthy process, requiring lot of commitment and time. And time is money.

During the interview

I believe that some main key points during an interview are to :

  • Leave a good impression of yourself by being smart, punctual, lively and knowledgeable.
  • Convince your interviewers that you possess the necessary skills they are looking for,
  • Provide sufficient reasons ( indirectly if you want ) why they should choose you over the other potential candidates,
  • Do not hesitate to share similar experiences if ever your interviewer mentions particular problems they are going through. Although not all solutions might be applicable, the person might appreciate your attitude and spontaneity.
  • Get a brief idea of the business, how it works, who are the clients etc. It might help you to get a better idea of the organisation and what type of work you are going to do.
  • Relax and keep cool. Don’t rush into interviews at the last minute. This will only increase the stress.
  • And ask questions!
    Listen attentively to what is being said and do not hesitate to clear any doubts about the job, company or anything else.

Usually, it is more easy when you already have some experience in your career, whether in previous job positions or from personal projects. Remember, lies during an interview will either make you land in a position for which you are under qualified/experienced or if ever you get caught, you might go through an embarrassing situation.

Can you bring your current pay slip?

Another important point to note : NEVER handle your previous employer’s payslip/statement to the company you are applying for. WHATEVER the reasons they bring forward, it is a complete bullsh*t practice.

Your payslip is something confidential between your employer and you. There is no law as such where you are forced to give a copy of your payslip. If they insist, tell them, it is fine, you are going (Do so only in cases where you have nothing to lose, for example, you are currently employed or you have other job proposals).

Going through technical/practical tests

This said, I will end this post with a small incident. I once went for an interview and had to go through a programming test. While answering, I stumbled on an error in one of the questions. I called the person in charge, who in turn called the technical guy who had set the questions. I was asked to bring some modifications in my own question paper before attending to this specific question. I completed my paper and I never got any response from them.

Either I did really bad in the paper or the guy felt threatened for his job.

A last piece of advice : Always trust yourself. You are the sole holder over your destiny.

I wrote the few points above based on my personal experience. I might not be totally right or wrong since I am no recruitment specialist. You are the most welcomed to add additional tips / comments or personal experiences. But please mask/omit name of companies etc.

So, how have your interviews gone so far?

27 thoughts on “Going for job interviews

Add yours

  1. Hii, nice post!

    Can you elaborate a bit more on job market (IT) for freshers.
    As a fresher you have several career path opened to you: java, web, ERP, mobile technologies. how to decide which one to chose?
    I had an interview in an IT company in Ebene recently, this went really nice, I was assessed both on logic and programming but what I feel was also important was the way you interact and talk with the interviewer..at some point in time it was more like a ‘friendly’ conversation between 2 person, this was cool 😛


    1. I would prefer you to change your question. It is not about going onto the most trendy career path but rather starting a career on what you like the most.

      If you are the geek type, fascinated by web sites, mobile devices or tablets, I would advise you to jump into a team where you make your passion a job. However, if you want to specialise yourself into ERPs or things like SAP/JDEdwards etc, you will be embarking into a niche market but be careful, there are not many companies offering these career paths. On the other hand, if you are good at web technologies (php, java, .net etc), you might have a wide range of choice when you apply for a job.

      The technology is also your choice. While some companies prefer .net, others go open source (java, php, etc). Again, I cannot advise you to develop using .net if you are limited on resources (cash). In these cases, companies prefer to go wild, using free opensource.

      I hope that I answered your question. Do not hesitate to ask anything else. And please share the article among friends 🙂


  2. great post man, really helped us on the mystery of job interviews….
    by the way, what are your views about a computer network career path in mauritius? is it on demand right now??


    1. In my opinion yes. btw, anyone with good experience in networks/security, please contact me. I might have something interesting for you right NOW!
      Getting yourself certified in networks (CCNA etc) is the best investment if you want to pursue in networking (the real one, not social networking).


      1. If you are interested in networking.

        Contact me. Networking is good..but saturated. U get CCNAs everywhere..but none really got the material we look for.

        Having myself conducted many interviews for network engineers, i can tell u that having certifications would not matter if u can answer questions.

        Yashvin mentionned about being knowledgeable. Very important. In the networking context, its not about knowing about what u learned or read in ur ccna book. But to know a bit more than what is convered is a definite plus.

        If you are looking for a career in networking, look into unified communications. Tooo many ppl do routers and switches. Hell i have technicians who are ccna. Yet youd see that many company recruot engineers with ccna.

        One thing i like to do in my interviews is to put the candidate out of his comfort zone. The best candidates are always those who analyse and respond evem of they are out of their comfort zone. Very often in working environment, you’ll be called upon to get out of ur comfort zone.


  3. The thing i would like to include is that the need is both ways, they need you as much as you need them..sometimes they need you much more also

    Remember what is the going price for someone with your skill set.. don’t agree with whatever crappy salary that is laid in front of you.

    Look around, find out what is the going salary on the market, if you feel that during the interview they like you.. don’t hesitate to something ask a bit more than the going market price.

    Asking too little salary gives an impression low confidence on your abilities.


  4. hello,
    nice topic..i think the most icky part of an interview is when they ask you your salary expectation. This is when you are torn between the feeling of not wanting to sound like a gold digger in order to secure the job and the feeling of wanting to be paid a fair amount for the effort you will be doing.



      1. My personal feeling. As an interviewer and interviewee.

        Salary expectation is the part asked by the HR. If i interview you, and you are good enough, if u asked a lot, we’ll definitely negociate.

        Now, generally, it is a good practice to dig around about the company. Generally, mauritian owned are most cost conscious that bigger groups. Doesnt mean you wnt get what u are asking for. But might require more justification if you are asking for above market rate.

        Generally fpr a fresher, with no experience if u r getting 15k, u r damn lucky. From there, generally salary commensurates experience.

        Next is experience,find out about the company, if ypu are a fresher, and dnt have experience, dnt expect a lot. On the other hand go for the wxperience, salary will follow.

        I would rather say, for the first 5 years pf your career, focus pn gathering experience. You’ll make money anyways afterwards.


      2.  @yashvinawootar:disqus @8b27cd62402c10960ec83cb139d93194:disqus And what should a fresher expect as salary. Let’s say he’s got a degree in IT and he already has his CCNA. Also what questions do you ask? Networking taught at the univeristy is purely theory. Last one, what are the career advancement in the Networking field in mauritius? Thanks.


      3. @74d703f4e3c64e934f302d75d405c207:disqus  : To be franc, I cannot give you any estimate because that’s the job of HR actually. My figures date some years back, when I was still a fresher.

        Questions that are normally non text-based, I mean that you probably won’t be questioned like in an exam paper. An interview is more some kind of interactive session where the interviewer can assess you, your personality and your potential. 
        Some people might not hold degrees but they do have a damn good experience of the job.


      4. @74d703f4e3c64e934f302d75d405c207:disqus Fresher with or without CCNA should expect something in the range 12-15k

        but trust me if you are good, that would increase fast.

        I wouldnt be telling you what i ask, but let just say, i would verify you knowledge of networking, in practical work situation. and yeah, it wont be an exam. I would want to see your analytical and problem solving skills, those are important. Most of the time in networking, configuration is simple, troubleshooting is the pain in the ass. 

        True, the network module at uni is pretty theory, but you do need to know the theory, not the whole of it, but u need to know. i did my ccna course before joining uni, and found it pretty boring at uni.

        Career advancement there is a lot opening. It all depends on what you are good at, and like to do. Options there are many, Security, Unified communications, datacentre virtualization, wireless..networking is vast..


  5. @yashvinawootar:disqus @8b27cd62402c10960ec83cb139d93194:disqus 
    Can you please give some more details about what are expected from a computer networking guy for potential jobs in mauritius ?
    Are you targetting people with knowledge of specific technologies ? Which ones ?
    What are those companies ?


    1. What is expected is i believe what is expected in any other job.

      Dedication, curiosity, thirst for knowledge, use of brains, and also entrepreneurship. 

      What u need to know, well you need to have a good knowledge of networking. now networking is NOT Cisco. True CCNA is a good base, but it would be of no use being certified but are technically zero. I have seen ppl who had many certs, but technically is a zero.

      first get your base right. Next dnt stay at the base. CCNA and CCDA are good start. Then you need to start digging, reading, there isnt only Cisco out there, there are others like, Procurve, Juniper, Checkpoint, Ruckus, fortinet etc…

      Nowdays, it would be a good idea to get specialised in unified communications, data centre networking, and security.

      Companies there are way too many..do your research 🙂


  6. “Leave a good impression of yourself by being smart, punctual, lively and knowledgeable. ”

    As an interviewer in a previous position, may I add something to this, especially for the people of the younger generation: in whatever circumstances, a job interview is not a parade. Do justice to yourself and your qualifications by showing that your want this job: prepare well before the date, revise your technical things well in advance, gather your certificates / exhibits (updated CV, portfolio, etc)  and prepare copies some days before, sleep well on the day before, dress formally (neatly ironed, ideally no patterns on shirts, dark trousers/dress, minimal jewellery and make-up/perfume), switch off your mobile phone, comb your hair without gel (or whatever styling ‘substance’) dripping from spikes / hair ‘structures’ (if you have long hair like me in the past, it’s not a problem if you tie them up neatly), have clean nails/face/teeth, be polite (dir bonzour ena pa koné), switch off your mobile phone, show respect (don’t cut someone’s speech), be alert (“ayo, pa’nn bien sézi ki ou ti pé dir telephone ti pé sonné”), switch off your mobile phone, show composure and avoid taking the interviewee for an intimate cognizance (when no-one in front of you smiles and your first joke falls flat, it’s a sign that you’re in for seriously unfunny moments ahead, so be warned) or for an ignorant (pa rodd montré vié zako…). And switch off that bloody mobile phone!  If in doubt about anything, it costs nothing to phone back and ask what kind of interview you may expect to be undergoing – you may need special tools like a calculator (for technical jobs – accounting, engineering, etc…) and this is crucial in succeeding to convince the interviewer that you are the right person.

    To some, the above may seem an exaggeration, but according to my experience, recruiters always want to speak to a candidate because they are genuinely hopeful to select him/her, but there are many people who lost this kind of open opportunity by just letting themselves down – grooming, behaviour/attitude, absent-mindedness – small things that say a lot more than what their certificates gave hope about.


  7. bonn mo pu coz creole mo penser mo pu express moi pli clairement 😀 mne fer n diploma in networking mne fer impeu java ,web programming ,network 1-3 ,network security(linux), network project kot mne design ek impliment n resseau pu n compagnie(group work) , system analysis , SQL mo penser saem ban main subjects ena enkor les zot ki mne fer…dan mo cours mne fer pli bku pratik mne travail bku lor router cisco par type command tousala mne fer dhcp,acl, mne servi ban protocol cuma rip, rip v1, ospf , eigrp..mne fer vlan lor switch mne gagne la chance travail lor exchange koT server mne fer tou mo penser file, print,web etc…mne join domain ek 1 win 7, linux , xp ect.. enfin mne traC impeu cav dir 😀  mne fer bku mcse aussi…..dapres ban comments mo p truV mo truv parmi zot in fer network mo tia content kon zot views lor cki mne fer actualment mo p fer mo degree eski mo pu ena n prospect dan cki mne fer moris merchi mo attan zot comments ;p


  8. Ok i will reply you in networking prospects … first your level of knowledge is basic which is ok for a start,  but do not get stagnant from what you’ve learnt and do expect more things to come such as new and improved concepts from popular vendores listed above which deliver current bgp,mpls,rtp,voip etc protocls in this industry but you should be prepared to embrace new technology which i find rarely found, this desire to bring knowledge to the next level for some mauritians. for the time being i liked what i read above, you are practically apt and knowledgeable enough and i you’re good explaining also not just not learned by heart,so why aren’t you applyeing for jobs then ?? you can earn more practice in a working environment and really see if you can troubleshoot something when you are expected to so.


    1. thats the prob am abroad and it quite difficult to get an IT job here… what am finking i want to start as a trainee first gain some experience


  9. Good idea to write this article. A few things to share from my experience as a job seeker and interviewer..
    1. Come prepared. What if you had only 60 seconds to convince someone to hire you? What would you say?
    2. Confidence works everywhere
    3. Not all companies want to hire the best. Some want the 2nd best, or those who do not portrait themselves as being overly ambitious.
    4. Like you said, it can happen that you show you know more than the boss and the boss feels threatened. What happens next can only be good. If you are not hired, it means you’ve been saved from working under a difficult person. If you are hired, it means you are valued for your contribution.


  10. One last thing, interviews have been proven to be inefficient. The best way to recruit (according to research) are tests (psychometric and programming), or real life problem solving tasks.


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