Q&A with IT Recruiters from Its About People…session2

images (1)Here is session 2 of our Q&A with IT Recruiters from Its About People. Plenty of interesting and useful questiions were asked by the INNOvatorz.IT community members. Have a look at the interview and you might pick up something that you can also apply in your job search. Good luck and LETS GET HIRED

Mixo Fortune: Nice let’s do this. Thank you again for your time to help us out. We won’t be doing any intro but will just get down to the questions so guys you can start asking

Maite Letsoalo: Hi Vanessa Raath
my Question is why is it that Technikon Graduates are given less priority by companies on most Junior IT Jobs than University Graduates?

Vanessa Raath: Hello Maite – there shouldn’t be any discrimination between a BTech and a Degree. The BTech is just more practical and some companies are looking for this. They both score the same NQF level so you shouldn’t be experiencing this in your search for work

Maite LetsoaloVanessa Raath so basically we can say ND (NATIONAL DIPLOMAS) is no longer considered in the market?

Vanessa RaathMaite Letsoalo I don’t think that any qualification is ever a waste of time! They are still acknowledged and will still place you above candidates who only have a Matric Certificate.

Maite LetsoaloVanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela why is it that companies overlook WOMEN in terms of development jobs.

Lebogang Mojela: Maite Letsoalo Totaly not true, a lot of companies are looking for female developers as they have so many men on their staff. Also females count more towards BBEE ratings.

Maite Letsoalo: OK, Thank you Lebogang Mojela

Mixo FortuneVanessa Raath did you get people from this group forwarding you their CV’s and if so what area would you say they still need to polish?

Vanessa Raath Mixo Fortune – The guys need to make sure that their spelling and grammar is PERFECT in their CVs to start with. Try and get someone to proof read your CV for you?

Mixo Fortune: do you actually sit down with potential candidates and interview them?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune absolutely yes.

Xoliswa Ngonzi: hello Vanessa, thank you for giving us your time….say you are into programming how important is it to acquire other certifications like your  A+, N+ and what chances does 1 stand if they have those?

Vanessa Raath: Hello Xoliswa Ngonzi, it’s a pleasure. If you are into Programming you will probably follow a Developer’s Career path so you won’t need hardware or networking qualifications. I would advise that you choose a career in Development OR Infrastructure and become as skilled as you can in these areas

Lefa Lloyd Biya: We know every IT company wants some sort of experience and qualification. In this case let’s say I never finished my diploma cause of some other problems but have the necessary skills in terms of the job requirements, what position or state does this put an individual of this nature on getting the job? If there are things that one should do what are they?

Vanessa Raath: Hey Lefa Lloyd Biya, a lot of people that we meet with have not completed their qualifications due to financial or personal issues. I always advise people to be honest about this. Employees will understand if they know the circumstances. As long as you are still registered and show that you INTEND on finishing your studies, once you are employed, it makes life easier. At the end of the day, Life Happens and people need to understand this!

Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath what kind of questions do you ask potential candidates as recruiters? You have already seen their CV’s so what else are you looking for in them

Lebogang Mojela: We looking for good communications skills and the desire to do well. as grades do not have a lot of experince they are hired more on their soft skills, these are things like good manners, a passion for IT and a cheery attitude.

Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela if im a shy person will that make my chances slim?

Lebogang Mojela: Lot of people working in the IT industry are not that outgoing and confident.  You need to come across as a genuine and solid character who people know can trust

Mixo Fortune: “Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What’s your opinion?”….how does one handle this question?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune with IT being such a fast paced industry you constantly need to keep up with the lasted technologies. The best way to answer this is to say that you are building the foundations of your career and you want to consolidate on what you already know

OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa. In the case of a student studying financial information systems (part finance and part I.T (development)), why is it that companies over look us in terms of development jobs.

Vanessa RaathOMinz Minnie Let me start by saying what you are studying is a very very rare skill and you should be in GREAT demand in a few years’ time. They shouldn’t be overlooking you at all! Maybe you need to request an assessment from them and prove to them that you can develop too?

OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa, Thanks a lot, I’ll do that from now onwards.

Mixo Fortune: Many people in IT are constantly changing jobs, it appears as the norm but does it have some negative effect?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune Yes it has a negative effect unless you are contracting and that is why you moved around a lot. Clients do not like job hoppers

Batha Bile: So basically candidates with degrees are given 1st preference than national diplomas or it depends on the company?

Vanessa RaathBatha Bile Degrees have a higher NQF Rating so they do get preferences over National Diplomas during the screening process. Again, this does differ from company to company

Batha Bile: Ok, thanks

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Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi Vanessa, in your opinion, what’s the most suitable qualification without any experience that will get you a job without being either under/over qualified?

Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane that’s a tough question as it is all down to the Client’s needs! I would say that a BSc Information/Computer Science and a Btech Information Technology are the best to have. Engineering Qualifications are also very common in the IT Industry

Mokate White Moreki: Hi guys thanks again for this opportunity to mingle with you. What is the case of people who has done internships at companies where they were not given the training at all, where their so called mentors were non existent? Some of us used that opportunities to teach ourselves some techniques and skills. But this came to bite us cause it seems one can’t get the jnr level jobs because they have some sort of experience even though we are eager to learn more

Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki Unfortunately that happens a lot. You see the Government pays companies to have Internship programmes and they are often badly run and do more damage than good. You should still be able to get junior level jobs though. Maybe explain to the people hiring you that you received no training during your internship so it is almost like you are a Grad again?

Mokate White Moreki: Some of us at tertiary did computer systems of which is the mixture of all the courses ranging from electrical to engineering, and we failed most of the courses dismally but eventually we overcame the challenges we passed and graduated. But now if we try to apply for Systems analysis jobs we are over looked by the requirements stating that it want university students only not N.Dip students.  @Vanessa if we talk like about our previous companies doesn’t that mean we are bad talking our previous our employees?

Vanessa Raath: It’s the way you talk about your previous Employers that matters here. I wouldn’t write it on my CV but I would definitely chat to the person interviewing me about it. Or maybe put it diplomatically on a Covering letter?

Mokate White Moreki: thanks Vanessa for that advice

Vanessa Raath: As for the System Analysis positions, it does depend on the Companies Base Qualification requirements. Some companies want candidates with Degrees ONLY, where some are happy to look at people with any 3 year qualification

Mokate White Moreki: For some of us don’t want to do Programming for the rest of our lives, hence i chose a course that has Systems Analysis and Software engineering. I believe that maybe if we can be given at least six months contract jobs so that we can prove our performance and understanding to business principles we can show that we can make it

Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki I agree with you. Why don’t you say to the client that you are willing to work on a 3/6 month contract to prove yourself?

Mokate White Moreki Vanessa Raath the problem arise from the Job posts available, none of them accommodate that suggestion, i even send out cover letters with no luck. Even for the junior roles for Programming with suggestions of why i need junior roles, i might have 3 years development experience but that does not mean i can apply for senior post because i believe that i need some sort of guidance and mentoring so that i can reach my potential

Vanessa Raath: As discussed on our page, you need to come and see me so we can assess your skills!

Mokate White Moreki: ok then it means i have to schedule a meeting/interview with you guys and give my side of the story hopefully we can be on the same page, you’ll be able to help me nail that illusive job I’ve been looking for since 2005

Mokate White Moreki: In-case of the referees on the CV what happens if the one you have is deceased and he/she was you boss and was the only senior who knew you? Do you keep that job or you remove it from the CV?

Lebogang Mojela: You mustn’t have any gaps on your CV, you must include every job. As for your Reference try to use someone else as a character reference.

Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi again, Do people with disabilities also count on a company’s “BBEE” score card more than females or what? Why I ask this is because it seems companies want to spend the as least as possible to get a skilled employee and in most cases, people with disabilities need custom equipment for examples sake which lead to expenses on the company’s side. . . .

Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane People with Disabilities are the highest scoring people on a BEE Rating. Unfortunately I do not make the make the rules but I do agree with you!

Thembelihle Neo Sithole: Hi,
1. I have a natioal diploma, 2 certificates that i obtained overseas and in ITIL qualification. I always emphasize that these can pad the Bsc degree requirement but it seems recruiters don’t think so. How can one get these to be acknowledged

2.What is the best way to write up a CV?

Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole Have you taken your qualifications to be SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) and then you will be approve what it is equivalent to?

Thembelihle Neo Sithole That is in progress, however I do believe that each qualification will achieve at least an NQF level 3 rating. What I also have done is put myself in a good position for a BA career by combining I.T, Business IT and Project Management which I have qualifications for, i also have exposure to some consulting, project coordination and management, systems analysis, BI, web development and design, CRM customization a range of collaboration platforms. I feel this is great and rare for a graduate. I do not seem to be getting buy in from companies and recruiters…how do i sell it right?

Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole you just sold yourself to me in one paragraph very easily. You also have good communication skills which help! Please email your CV directly to me at info@itsaboutpeople.co.za

Mixo Fortune: Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela here is a question posted on our twitter account by Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: @INNOv8torzIT why do we get it hard to be employed or preferred or get learnership by IT companies if we are students from UNISA in IT side?”

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali – whether you studied at Unisa or a University should not make any difference at all. Maybe you need to ask the people running the internships? I cannot see the difference?

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: I am left with one module that I will write on May /June next year so do I qualify to apply for job with following description: internship programme for graduate 2013?

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes you do

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Ow wow I missed so many opportunities not knowing I qualify to do so. Thanks Ms Vanessa

Fisto Wka Mabena: Firstly I’d like to appreciate this MOMENT OPPORTUNITY , Mixo Fortune uBosso ma man. And not forgetting Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath ! God Bless.
Question: I’m a Software Development student and loving it. But when it comes to applying I’m a bit discouraged because of the fact that You not sure how much you are expected TO NOW (as Programming is very very dynamic).
So as developers, what is really expected of us? How much knowledge of that specific language they are requiring…

Vanessa Raath: Fisto Wka Mabena that is almost – How long is a Piece of String? You would need to know enough about Programming in order to complete basic entry level tasks. A good bit of advice is to make sure that skills are current and as developed as you can make them!

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: If you have small growing company, having franchise and running NGOs.. Do u have to mention them in your CV when applying for job? Are they not going to hire you because they see you are kind of busy person involved in many things?

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes – you need to add in all of these outside jobs as it shows what sort of a person you are. If I see a CV and the person has done volunteer work I want to meet with them immediately as they will be kind and have a good charact…See More

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Oh mmmm Ms Vanessa I get you though still have more questions on that question ,but will continue next time you available.

thanx to Mixo that’s all your Job boss you shaping us in all ways ..

Secondly thanks Mis Vanessa and Ms lebohang for your availabilty your time and your helpfull information , we love and still need you more n more thank you very much..

WE nOw HireD !! Mixo the star*

Mixo Fortune: Alright, once again thanks a lot Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela for your time and I hope the next person you will be interviewing will be from INNOvatorz.IT

Fisto Wka Mabena: hmm wow… Ms Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela please do bless us with your time during the course of the weekend, if possible. This is very helpful so much

Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Thank you Vanessa Raath

Fisto Wka Mabena: Thanks Mixo Fortune… Thanks Bra. Be blessed all the way

Maite Letsoalo: THANK YOU SOO MUCH Vanessa Raath

Mokate White Moreki: Innovative Stuff great thanks GUYS

OMinz Minnie: Thanks a lot guys, this session was very informant.

 

 

Its About People on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/itsaboutpeople and twitter: @its_about_peopl

 

Don’t be left behind. Join INNOvatorz.IT to connect with the rest of our community on  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/innovatorz/ and Twitter: @INNOv8torzIT

 

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LETS GET HIRED….Part2

What do you think of the last company you worked for?

You should stress the positive aspects of your last company saying that they were a good company to work for. Tell them about the training you received or the work related experience you gained.

Why did you join your previous company? Did they live up to your expectations? Why are you leaving now?

Always be positive about your reasons for joining and leaving a company. Be very careful that you do not say anything negative about your present employer. If you do, the new company will wonder what you will say about them when you leave. You might want to stress that you are looking for a new challenge and that you feel that the company who is interviewing you fits the bill!

Explain the organisational structure in your last company and how you fitted into it?

This sort of question may be used to find out whether your old job is at a comparable level to your new job. If the new job being discussed would be a step up the ladder you will need to show that you are ready for a more demanding position. You may be able to show that you have already had many of the responsibilities and the necessary skills which would be required for the next step.

How long have you been looking for a new job?

If you have been unemployed for a long time this may be a rather tricky question to answer. But be honest. If you have been away on holiday or done some voluntary work you could mention this.

Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?

Remember where you are! If the company interviewing you is a small to medium sized company say that you enjoy a close atmosphere with a good team spirit. At a large company say that you enjoy the stability of working for a large and established company.

What are you looking for in a new job?

Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones.

What would your ideal job be?

Again, remember where you are! Describe the job in terms of the criteria they have used to describe their job. An ideal job might include things like challenging work, a fair rate of pay for the job, nice colleagues, good career prospects, good team atmosphere, opportunity to learn new skills, apply old skills, etc.

Are you considering any other positions at the moment?

If you are say so, but do not give too many details away – it will weaken your negotiating position later. If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you have a few irons in the fire.

What did you think of your manager/supervisor?

Say that he/she was the sort of person you could learn from and you communicated well, which meant that the task in hand was completed on time.

What did you do on a day to day basis?

Stress the positive things you did including your achievements. Even if some or much of it was paperwork, you can still show your interest in the way it was tackled.

Did you increase sales or profits in your last job?

This question is only relevant for senior managers or sales people. If you have increased sales and/or profit then do not be afraid to shout about it. If you have not increased sales say why not, e.g. general downturn in the market, etc. It might then be a good idea to mention an achievement in a previous job if your performance was better there.

How would you describe yourself? / How would others describe you?

Pick your best attributes and achievements from your career.

Do you consider yourself successful?

You should say you do. Pick some work related achievements that are in line with the position that you are discussing.

What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?

You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs.

What has been your biggest failure?

Try to pick a failure which you were later able to correct or something that is not really important. 

How could you improve yourself?

Do not mention anything negative about yourself – the interviewer is looking for a chink in your armour.

Did you feel you progressed satisfactorily in your last job?

If you progressed faster than normal you should say so. If growth was not as good as expected then be careful how you phrase this.

Are you a leader?

State how you have successfully acted as a leader, giving examples of your successes.

How do you handle criticism?

Your answer should be along the following lines: “I always think that it is important to get feedback on how I am performing so that I can improve any areas which my manager/supervisor highlights. Do you have regular staff appraisals and a staff development plan?”

What sort of manager are you? / What makes a good manager?

You should say that it is someone who listens to other people and can delegate whilst maintaining overall control of the task at hand, bringing in the project on time and to budget. Good planning skills are essential.

Do you work well with others? Or are you a loner?

Some jobs mean that you have to work very closely with other people whilst other jobs mean that you are largely working on your own, so you need to say that you are happy in both situations.

Do you need other people around to stimulate you or are you self-motivated?

You need to say that you are self-motivated.

Are you accepted into a team quickly?

Hopefully you can answer a resounding “Yes” to this question.

Can you act on your own initiative?

You should say that you can. You could ask how much responsibility you would have

How do you run a meeting?

You could say that you must start with an agenda and stick to it. You could add that you would try to get the views and ideas from everyone present, working in an air of co-operation. If people moved off at a tangent you would bring them back to the item being discussed.

What motivates you?

Our suggestions are career growth, opportunity to learn new skills, good co-workers, etc.

What management style gets the best results out of you?

Try and think about how you have reacted to different managers and which factors have motivated you. Do not say too much in reply to this question, because if your answer is contrary to the management style of the company they will not be keen to employ you!

Do you know how to motivate other people?

Hopefully you can say “Yes”, and say that you have to find out what motivates a person and give them recognition for a job well done. You should always give them encouragement and help them when required.

Are you competitive?

Your answer depends on the sort of job you are doing. If you will be working as part of a team you will need to show that you can work in the best interests of the team and not just for your own benefit.

Are you aggressive?

If you mean by this someone who gets things done, then the answer is “Yes”. You need to defuse the implications of this question.

What do you dislike doing?

Say that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done well and on time and try to do disagreeable things first to get them out of the way rather than putting them off.

What problems did you encounter in your last job? What annoyed you about your last job?

Stick to the problems that you were able to solve, i.e. “I had problem X, which I later managed to resolve by doing Y”. Show that you are a person who can solve problems rather than someone who lets things get on top of them.

What would you like to avoid in your next job?

You need to be positive here and say that there is nothing in particular that you would like to avoid.

Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?

Show how you have progressed throughout your life and how you have accepted and taken on responsibility for the actions of yourself and others. If you have not really had many work related responsibilities you can mention other responsibilities you have had outside work.

Can you work under pressure?

You need to say that you can. You could ask how much pressure the job involves.

How many hours are you prepared to work?

You would be prepared to work the necessary hours to get the job done on time.

Hire ME!!!!

I recently received some t-shirts from Microsoft written “Hire Me”. I love that t-shirt but sadly my body couldn’t fit into it. Eventually it did fit after a few months of sweating hard at the gym although it feels like I’m wearing a muscle shirt. Don’t worry, I don’t intend stealing your next 10min talking about my weight and about a t-shirt. It’s just that the t-shirt has given me a few ideas to play with.

I wrote a blog a few months ago called “I’m unemployed…” and it focused on the challenges the youth face with regards to getting jobs and getting hired.  I also spoke about how we the youth shouldn’t just sit down and do nothing with our lives. You can read about it here http://bit.ly/yXHyEJ

So many of the youth still remain unemployed, it’s like the requirements for getting a job just keep going an extra level the moment one reaches the previous required level. First they want you to have at least Matric (Grade 12) qualification. Once you get that they want tertiary qualification. You go sweat it out for 3years and complete your studies but can’t graduate because you first need to do 6 months (1 year in certain fields) of experiential learning. Majority are not that lucky in obtaining that experiential learning. Those that do and manage to graduate are told that they either need to improve the qualification or must gain more work experience. Question is where must they get this work experience if nobody is taking them? Jobs don’t fall from the sky

One has to feel for all those guys who have graduated yet are staying at home doing nothing. Sadly time waits for no man and some are forced to venture into areas where they didn’t study for. It might not be the ideal situation but sometimes one has to take a different route to reach their destination .It’s worse if you are in a field like Information Technology because it’s constantly changing every few months and a qualification that is two years or more is pretty much quite old

I am saddened by those students who have never done any experiential learning but when the opportunity arises their first question is “How much are do they pay? Yes money is important but let’s face it opportunities are very rare so one should cling to those that come because you never know how long it will take for the next one if ever.

I am no hiring expect nor am I a recruiter but I have been lucky to talk to a few recruiters and learned a lot from them. Some of us don’t get hired because we just are not hirable. We don’t follow instructions on job post; we have outdated CV’s, we are very picky, we wait until the closing day to go certify our CV’s and apply. If you are not sure about your CV then pass it to someone. I constantly do that just to get feedback. One lady once told me that if she was hiring she would have thrown my CV away because of the cover letter. If you’re not serious about getting a job nobody will be serious about hiring you

Sometimes your CV alone won’t get you that job. We are social beings and must learn to network with others. It’s interesting how much information one can get from a stranger. We spend most of our time on social networks but fail to create strong networks. At times one can’t do it alone. I am not afraid of approaching anyone, even if it’s a CEO because I rather have them tell me that they don’t have time for me instead of me walking away with regrets. I don’t do it to get hired but to learn and connect with them. We also shouldn’t focus on just the “Top Brass” but connect with people from different levels. My network is always expanding because of this approach.

Recruiters will advise you that while you continue to look for that specific job you can try volunteering positions. It’s actually not really such a bad option. You gain that required WORKING EXPERIENCE and give your CV extra weight. I know of a few guys who went the volunteering route and have managed to secure permanent positions or got hired somewhere else because of that bit of work experience. It’s way better than sitting and doing nothing

Not everything works for all of us. Some have jobs waiting for them; some just keep getting interviews while others keep moving from job to job. The rest will just need to continue knocking on those doors, filling in those application forms, checking for posts and praying that someone will eventually call you for that interview.

Plenty of posts floating on social media just keep an open eye. Have a look at a group on Facebook called YDIDI. It’s a nice group with plenty of post that covers different fields.