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How To Win That Job Interview
And Become A Better Employee

Word-for-Word Job Interview Answers to Use
To Get Hired and Become a Better Employee

Goitseone Sladden Gagoope
© Gaborone, Botswana

Publisher’s details

Botswana Advertiser Plot 5635 Nakedi Road,
Broadhurst Industrial,
Private Bag 00394, Gaborone

Author Details

Goitseone Sladden Gagoope Private Bag 0020
Gaborone Botswana Cell:75534233

Sowfin Investments is a trade name of Tri Storm (Pty) Ltd, a Botswana registered company.

Copyright Notice

Copyright subsists in this work. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or copied in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher or author. Any unauthorised reproduction of this work will constitute a copyright infringement and render the doer liable under both the criminal and civil law.

First Edition, 2015

Edited by Sowfin Investments Published in Gaborone, Botswana

Copyright © Sladden G. Gagoope 2015 All rights reserved


Care has been taken to check the information, grammar and spelling contained in this book, similarities has been encountered with other published books but no infringement of copy rights has been intended, however there may still remain some errors which have been overlooked. I regret that neither I nor the publishers can be held responsible for any loss that may be suffered as a result of each of such inaccuracy or omission.

The epigraph

“Why, after countless advice and articles about being honest in interviews, do people continue to mask the truth?’’

“Experts say that countless people are hired for skill and fired for fit’’

"All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them." ~Walt Disney

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." ~Goethe

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Church Hill.

‘All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me.’ ~ Walt Disney

We have the authority in our mouth; confess your success” ~ TB Joshua

Are chencheng” ~Ratsie Sethako.







Job search strategies

Tips for an attractive cover letter


How to prepare for an interview

How to fight the interview adrenaline

What you should do after the interview











I wish to personally express my gratitude and humble thanks and honour to God the Almighty for giving me faith out of my fear to write this book to change the world. God helped me turn my mess into a message. I am also very grateful to the authorities of the University of Botswana for making my dream of writing this book come true. I’m also grateful to Brand Botswana and Botswana Investment &Trade Centre authorities for declaring me a brand champion out of this mammoth piece of work. My enormous support also goes to Mr Justice Mothabane, former Big Brother participant for securing a cordial relationship with Smashwords Company from United States of America.

My sincerity goes to none other than my lovely family; I say God has an answer for every situation. My deep undying love goes to my lovely daughter Kago & Temie ; you are the reason why I put this in ink. I’m also indebted to my University of Botswana professional accolades, Dr. Batang Comma Serema, Prof Kgomotso Moahi, Prof B.N. Jorosi, Dr. Log Radithokwa (MHSRP). Radio & TV personality Mr Cliff Kepaletswe, local author Mr Mothowamodimo and last but not least my honour respect goes to my mentors Mr & Mrs Awounda, the legends.

I have not attempted to cite in the text all the authorities and sources consulted in the preparation of this manual, to do so would require more space than is available. The list would include departments of various governments, libraries, industrial institutions, periodicals and many individuals. However, their contribution is greatly appreciated.

Scores of people contributed to this book. Information and citations have been contributed by the University of Botswana Library and 1st National Open Access Conference, Botswana.


This book is written for those who want to discover how to win their designated job interviews and become better employees. Winning a job interview still remains a fugitive challenge to every graduate and those who want to change career paths in Botswana and Africa.

I hope this book will be the spark that fires your enthusiasm and the encouragement that will keep you persevering until you achieve success in job searching. The secret of success lies in knowing the tips on how to win a job interview. In this book I suggest some of the ways on how to do that. Though they are more, they do not all apply across different job interviews, therefore the contents of various chapters in this book are based upon different interviews whether for blue or white collar jobs.

Mostly amid whirlwind of unemployment, self-doubt and silencing pains that African people especially youth graduates find when looking for jobs remains a robust challenge, I therefore deem fit to address this such challenge through a Botswana and African based conceptual context. Despite professional approaches from western countries used in this book, African writers still remains integral part for developing its people in finding career jobs.


How to adapt to life after college

You have been in school for the majority of your life. What will your life be like, now that you have graduated from college? How will you adapt?

The transition from being a college student to a working professional affects almost all aspects of your life. Not only will you have to adapt at work, but you will also have to adapt to your new life outside work. After graduating from college, you may find it difficult to progress into the "real world." Here are some tips to help you out:

- Make new friends. After graduation, you and your college friends will probably disperse to other areas in order to pursue careers. Eventually, you may lose touch with even your closest friends. If this happens, it is imperative that you build new relationships. Make friends with people you work with or get involved with your community in order to meet new people.

- Say goodbye to your copious free time. In college, it is easy to schedule classes only two or three days a week so you can have days off. However, once you have that full-time job, your days off will be few and far between. If you are lucky, you will get two weeks of vacation at your first job. Use those two weeks to reenergize. Spend your weekends (or whatever days you have off) wisely too.

- Set goals. Even though you have reached your goal of obtaining a college degree, you still have many more goals to achieve. What do you want to do with your professional life? Do you want to climb the corporate ladder? Own your own business? Turn your hobby into a career? What about your personal life? Do you want to buy a house? Travel the world? Do you see kids in your future? Think hard about the goals that you want and strive every day to achieve them.

- Change sleeping habits. Once you enter the "real world," there will be no more staying up until six in the morning. Six o’clock will more than likely be the time you have to get up and get ready for work. Say goodbye to nap time too. With a standard forty-hour work week, you will not be able to take five- hour naps anymore. Try to go to bed at a decent hour so you will be refreshed for work. You should try to get around eight hours of sleep per night.

- Purchase work attire. Transitioning from a college student to a working professional means trading in those torn jeans and sneakers for more appropriate attire. If you want to be seen as a professional, you have to look like one. Save the t-shirts for the weekend and invest in a business appropriate wardrobe to wear throughout the week.

- Find a place to crash. Do you know where you are going to live after graduation? You could always move back in with your parents (if they do not object) and save some money. If you choose this option, be sure to discuss house rules with your parents. It is always hard for a college student, who has been pretty independent for the last four or more years, to move back in with his or her parents and follow their rules. Be sure to discuss with them how much you have grown over the past few years. Just remember: if you want to be treated like an adult, you need to act like one. If moving back in with your parents is definitely not an option, then you have other decisions that you need to make. Do you want to rent or buy? Do you want a roommate? Do you want to move out of town? These are just a few of the questions you need to consider.

- Learn to manage your finances. As soon as you land a job, you should enrol in a 5 year, 10 year, or any other retirement plan. This will allow you to plan a sound retirement as well as teach you how to save money. You will also need to budget wisely. If you are low on cash and your rent or mortgage is due, do not buy those shoes you have been eyeing. Wait until you can afford them. Furthermore, if you use credit cards on a regular basis, try to pay off the balance in full each month. Once you are in debt, it takes a lot of will power to get out of it.

This may sound crazy before you get a job but it must at first stick in your head before you get a job

- Be prepared for entry-level jobs. Even though you have a college degree, do not expect to have the perfect job and bring in a huge pay cheque. A large number of jobs available to new graduates are entry-level. These jobs often require long hours, low pay, and hard work. Most employers want to see all employees start at a certain level in order to better understand the business. Working hard at this entry-level job will show your employer that you are dedicated and thus open up new doors for you.

- Network wisely. As you transition from college life to the working world, don't overlook important associations that can contribute to your professional advancement. Stay in contact with old professors, friends, or family members who have connections with people in major corporations and organizations. These people should let you know when they are aware of opportunities that could benefit you.

Knowing what to expect after graduation and following some of these guidelines should help launch your post college life on a positive note. The transition into the "real world" may be shocking at first, but you will become acclimated to it after a while. Good luck!


A few years ago finding a job after studies was a difficult task but now it seems to be simple! Even though finding job has become easy, it is necessary to keep our job searching skills up to date since ways of finding a job nowadays have changed from the way they were years ago.

It is necessary to use as many different ways as possible when searching for a job. Concentrating on the usual methods leads to restriction of opportunities in job search.

A. Job Search Strategies

1. Networking: In the advent of technology and internet, we must not forget the old fashioned ways of communicating such as face to face and through telephone. They really can make a big difference since not everyone may have access to the internet.

When you search for a job, network with everyone you know and never leave a meeting without asking for a referral to more people. A majority of successful candidates find their dream jobs through networking and not by sitting back waiting for job boards to deliver offers to their desktop. Start paying more attention to people around you. Tell them what you are looking for and find out whom they know or how they might be able to help. Expand your network by joining professional associations and attending local events.

2. Job Sites: Post your curriculum vitae (CV) to all popular job sites like Find industry specific job sites (Example: Botswana Jobs for Graduates, Premiere Personnel, and find jobs there and apply.

3. News Paper Classified ads: Newspapers are often the first place people turn to when they start their job search. It makes sense since newspapers are a good place to find local openings. The job opening section is usually filled with a number of adverts and fewer real jobs run in these listings. Though it takes time, it can provide you with an advantage over those who are not willing to do so.

4. Use Social Media in job search: Social media is right now one of the best ways to find a job. Most of the recruiters and employers have quit traditional methods of searching for a perfect candidate. No longer are they spending their time going through job portals, but they also search for interesting candidates on social media sites, blogs, forums and professional networking sites like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and so on.

5. Job fairs: Nowadays one way that companies use to recruit new juniors, experts and executives is through job fairs or job conventions. Employers bring information about their company and look for eager applicants.

Job fairs are becoming a more common method of entry level recruiting and initial screening. For many students, job fairs provide a freebie opportunity to meet with multiple potential employers they might not be able to access in any other way.

6. Prepare Effective CV: Keep in mind, first impressions have a strong effect. With only a few seconds to capture the attention of the reader and show your extensive skills, you need to make the most of your CV.

When you are in job search, you need to be prepared for all possibilities. So definitely you would want to have your CV ready to help you be selected at first glance.

Also remember to consider CV keywords since many CVs that are submitted online are used both for the present job and future openings. Moreover, many companies keep the CVs in databases. Your cover letter too needs to quickly let them know who you are and what makes you the exact match for the particular job opening (see sample of a cover letter at the end of this chapter)

7. Classified ad websites: Today, online job search is possible through classified ad websites. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to find a job. Through online classified websites, you can find jobs not only in local area but also around the world. From online classified websites you have several different ways to search and find the perfect dream job.

Start your career today; by searching hard online for jobs you really want instead of taking what you can find. Many companies are now turning to the internet to find quality employees. Some of the best online classified websites to find dream job are BW jobs for Graduates on Facebook Botswana, Botswana Jobs and among others.

8. Employment Agencies: Just post your CV to the existing agencies and indicate which type of job you prefer, either temporary or permanent. Remember to indicate the field you are expecting to work in. Build relations and stay in touch with them. However, keep your expectations real because the employment agencies also rely on employers who network with them.

9. Knock on every door: It is necessary that you do not give up when looking for a job. Some doors will open when you least expect it, therefore keep knocking on all doors.

10. Stay motivated: Looking for a job can take time. Seek support from your friends and family, and consider joining a job finding club to help you stay motivated.


Here are 10 cover letter tips to keep your resume/CV from ending up in the trash can. Before reading these cover letter tips, make sure you open your mind and let it all in.

1. If you have connections, use them: Name-dropping works. For one, most employers in Botswana feel a subconscious obligation to give you a solid chance if you have a mutual contact. In fact, they will probably have to find a good reason not to hire you if it might affect their social life or business. Also, human beings are ethnocentric creatures – which means that they are hesitant to let anyone they do not know into their world. This is one of the oldest cover letter tips ever used, but it still works. Establish a connection and they are more likely to take a chance.

2. Never address “To Whom it May Concern”: This is one of the cover letter tips you need to keep at the forefront of your mind. Even if they know you do not know them, saying their name gets their attention, as if the letter is truly to them. It makes it more personal. However, if you do not know a name, ‘Dear Sir / Madam’ is the best alternative, not ‘To whom it May concern.’

3. Keep it Conversational: Keeping the cover letter conversational is one of the best cover letter tips out there. Show some personality and the reader is less likely to crumple it up and shoot a basket. This type of language makes people feel like you have rapport even if you have never met.

4. Brag about yourself: While your dedication to telling the world how awesome you are has not scored you many friends in the past, here is your chance to put it out there without everyone leaving the room talking about what a douche bag you are.

Finally, tell them why you are the man or woman for the job. Having the confidence to state it straight up sends the signal that you really are qualified. The more specific, tangible, and measurable, the better because it tells them that you are not just winging it.

5. Always talk about your achievements: They don’t just want another employee – they want the best, and achievements mark you as a high-value individual. Use bullet points to cover more space, creating the illusion that there is more information than there actually is. Most cover letter tips will tell you not to list your accomplishments, but this is where you want to brag away.

6. Do not just parrot your CV: Your cover letter, though short and simple, is an asset that will pave the way for your future income. However, a lot of prospective employees make the mistake of writing the cover letter exactly as the CV . Don’t do this – it shows a lack of creativity. Your cover letter should expand and serve as a bridge to your CV. Since it’s the first thing they see, make it count. This goes back to the previous point – it is one of the crucial cover letter tips. Brag and talk about how great you are but do not just summarize your CV.

7. Language: The language used in the cover letter should be clear and simple but also professional. There is a difference between spoken and written language and be sure to take note of this. Nevertheless, do not be sophisticated while trying to be professional.

8. Application letters sent through email should be short.

9. Attack them from all angles: If you don’t have submission guidelines, send the CV as an attachment and an email. Then point it out. “I’m such a great candidate I sent this as an email AND attachment.” The message is you are the type of person who will make their life easier.

10. Be confident: Sound confident in your letter so that the employer may somehow be convinced by your words. Statements like “My professional CV is included if you would like to look at it,” are discouraged because subconsciously, you just told them you are not even sure if your CV is worth their time. Grow a pair. Say something direct and casual like, “As you can see in my CV, I’ve worked in the sales libraries industry for many years.” EXPECT them to read it, and they are much more likely to do so.

Tapping into the hidden job market

The hidden job market contains job vacancies that are available but haven't been advertised. Experts say that it is a large part of the job market. Only half of all job vacancies are advertised in the media or through job search websites. That means half of all available jobs do not get advertised.

Applying for a job that has not been advertised can improve your chances of getting that job. If it has not been advertised, then less people will know about it, which means that less people will apply for it and you will be competing against fewer people.

So how do you find out about these unadvertised jobs?

There are a variety of ways to tap into the hidden job market, including networking and cold calling. Since advertising jobs is an expensive and time-consuming process, employers often approach their networks first and rely on referrals to find the right person.

If you are looking for a particular kind of job, let the people in your networks know. They might be able to refer you to an employer who is looking for someone just like you.

Cold calling, another way of finding out about an unadvertised job, means contacting companies directly to find a job. It can be scary at first, but most people react well and offer encouragement and further leads. If you are polite, very few people in business will bite your head off for trying. It is likely that you may get knocked back by a lot of people you call, but don't give up. Cold calling is worth all the trouble in the world if it pays off in the long run and gets you a job, or even just an interview. Find out more about what cold calling is and learn how to make it work for you.


There are different types of interviews being:

1. Screening Interviews: These are often done over the phone and are used as a way of reducing the applicant pile. First impressions are very important.

2. On site interviews: These take place at the organization. You usually will meet with several people on this type of interview. In some instances you may have to present on a topic relevant to your experience and the work you may be doing. You could meet with a panel of interviewers or meet with a series of people in separate meetings.


The key to a successful interview is preparation. Based on your CV, the interviewer has determined that you meet the qualifications required for the job. The interview will allow you to provide additional details about yourself it will also give you an opportunity to articulate how you will be a good fit for this position and how you will contribute to the organization. Although you can never predict the exact questions that an interviewer will ask, you can be prepared when it comes to answering questions that relate to your direct experience, your accomplishments and your CV.

Follow these tips:

- Research about the company or the organisation through all possible sources (i.e. web, professional magazines, libraries or direct contact with a professional working in that area). Specifically you should be familiar with major developments and trends in the field as well as the mission and direction of the organization.

- Familiarize yourself with the job description; determine your deficits and how you intend to compensate for those.

- Know whom you will be interviewed with and discuss the position with anyone you know who might have insights into the organization. This will target your questions and demonstrate your interest. Be ready for a variety of interviewing styles, some interviewers may be well versed in the process and will guide you smoothly from one question to the next, while others have little experience in the art of interviewing and this could be more challenging.

- Learn to discuss your values; what sort of environment are you most comfortable working in? Thoughtful responses to these questions show that you have thought about the culture and values of the organization.

- Familiarize yourself with your CV so that you can talk confidently about your previous work experiences, education and training. You should also be able to discuss skills and accomplishments gained at each employment.

- Be ready to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Provide examples from previous employment or volunteer experiences to showcase your skills. The answer should focus on something that is business related but not a critical job task. Talking about what is being done to overcome the weakness is key to answering this question.

- The interview is a two way street; it is just as important for you to learn whether this might be a good fit for your needs as it is for the organization to learn whether you might be a good fit for their needs.

- When preparing for an interview, it may be helpful to review the following attributes that are valued by employers.

- Communicating Effectively

- Working well in a Team

- Problem Solving

- Being Initiative

- Being Well Organized

- Being Adaptable

Behaviour Tips during interview:

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