Inspiring interviews: how to prepare for an interview, in person or online, and then nail it

The Unigrad College Principal, Riaan Loubser says one of the most often asked questions by students is “how do I know that I’m well prepared for a job interview”. 

When you apply for a job, you usually have some sketchy image of the company you wish to join, say Loubser. 

To prepare for the interview, gather as much information about your prospective employer as possible.  Sources of such information may include the company’s website.

Here are some tips to help you make a good impression during the interview:

  • Plan to arrive early to allow for delays. Obtaining a visitor’s permit at security may take some time and you may have to fill in a job applicant’s form before the interview.
  • It is best to look smart and professional.
  • Stand and sit up straight with shoulders square, head high and project self-confidence.
  • Be polite to receptionists and other staff members, who might give ‘feedback’ on your behaviour.
  • When you enter the office, walk tall, make eye contact with the interviewer and introduce yourself, using your first name and surname. Smile as you do so.
  • Wait until you are invited to take a seat before sitting down. Then sit down comfortably, folding your hands in your lap.  Don’t put any of your possessions on the interviewer’s desk.
  • When you address the interviewer, use his or her title and surname, for example, Professor Mnisi, Doctor Green, Mrs Watson.
  • Answer all the questions logically, intelligently and confidently. Formulate your answers clearly, briefly and politely.
  • Be careful not to be too friendly or familiar. Make sure that all your actions are correct, courteous and professional.
  • Be prepared to answer questions on your goals and expectations.
  • Don’t enquire about subjects such as leave, salary and benefits too soon. In fact, it’s best to wait for the interviewer to address these topics.
  • After the interview, stand up immediately, thank the interviewer for their time and leave at once.

Tips for Online Interviews

  1. Dress for the job, don’t wear your pajamas.

It’s essential to wear something professional if you want to make a good impression and it will make you feel more business-like.

  1. Stage your video area.

Keep in mind that the interviewer isn’t just seeing you, they’re also seeing whatever is behind you. Arrange your space so that your camera isn’t facing a pile of dirty dishes or the laundry hamper.

  1. More light is better.

Video quality is dramatically improved with more lighting. And don’t you want to be seen now that you’ve gone to the trouble of putting on actual clothes? An extra nearby lamp is usually helpful. Just make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you – being backlit makes you harder to see.

  1. Try to look into the camera.

When answering the interviewer’s questions, looking into the camera will give the appearance of eye contact.

  1. Do a test run ahead of time.

Make sure you do a test run so that you’re aware of your audio and video settings before the interview starts.  

Riaan Loubser is the Principal at Unigrad College.  For info on Unigrad College visit or visit the campus 34 Ferreira street, Mbombela (Nelspruit). T: 013 755 3503  |  | WhatsApp Msg 0760691993

Are you overlooked in the workplace?

The working environment: skills that will make you successful in the workplace

In addition to the qualifications and skills that we need for our jobs, there are many soft skills which can help to ensure that the environment within which we perform our jobs is pleasant through harmonious and effective interaction with others.

Employers value an employee’s ability to communicate effectively, get on well with people, function  within a team and build positive interpersonal relationships.

Some worthwhile soft skills to acquire include:

  • Becoming Management Material
  • Building Self Esteem
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Time Management
  • Customer Service and Decision Making
  • Problem Solving.

Soft skills programmes are often available in online format.  They are quick and inexpensive and provide you with impressive skills to add to your CV.

Unigrad College in Mbombela (Nelspruit) has an extensive range of soft skills programmes and short courses offered in a variety of learning modes.  Visit for info on soft skills courses or vist the campus at 34 Ferreira street, Nelspruit.

3 Ways to get noticed on Instagram

Do you want to be as famous as a Kardashian, have millions of followers and influence others through your experiences? Perhaps you want to earn money from it. This is possible in today’s social media territory. Word of caution, there is no guarantee of success, but you can try.

1. Who are you?

Decide on what image you want the world to see and stick to it. It is easier to be authentic and yourself. Don’t copy others. You are unique, use it to your advantage.

2. Snap those photos

Make sure the photos you post are clear and interesting. Unless you sell makeup, close-up selfies become boring. Share experiences. Remember the old saying; “a picture speaks a 1000 words”. Instagram is about quantity and quality. Post regularly. Give people a reason to like, share and comment on your posts.

3. Follow others

Follow as many people as you can. Comment positively on their posts. The more you interact with others the more they will interact with you.

Side whisper

Whether you use Instagram for fun or to generate money, be careful of what you post, how you comment and who you like. You don’t want posts from the past to haunt you in the future.

For more information on social media or graphic design, contact Unigrad College, a leader in creative design education. | E: | T: 013 755 3503 (calling from another country +2713 755 3503) | WhatsApp 0760691993

Do you speak WhatsApp?

By Pieter Nel – Unigrad College Career and Study Advisor

The world of modern technology is forever changing; in fact it is moving forward at such a rapid pace, if you blink you might just miss it. We are all living in a society of social networking. The world is all about like, dislike, application downloads, accept as friend, emails, texts, blogs, tweets and WhatsApp. Like it or not, technology is on the up. However, is this information overload affecting its users?

Let’s take Whatsapp for example. It has fast become a convenient and inexpensive means of communication. Yet, with every seemingly wonderful invention there will always be a downside. WhatsApp, amongst teenagers has been long blamed for declining standards of spelling and grammar. Some people have even gone as far as to say that it has become a crisis. So is WhatsApp really changing the face of the English language?

WhatsApp users are beginning to create a language of their own. To date there are more than 13000 WhatsApp abbreviations. In fact, this language has even made its way into school assignments. A prime example was when a teacher asked his students to write a couple of paragraphs about their school holidays. To his dismay a 13 year old girl wrote the following,

“My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2go2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 🙂 FTF. ILNY it’s a gr8 plc”

In translation, “ My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before we used to go to New York and see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York. It’s a great place.”

The whole object of this lingo is to use the least number of characters to convey a message. By doing this, punctuation and grammar are largely ignored. To get the grey matter of the brain working a bit more, here is an example from one of the most famous quotes in English literature, an extract from Hamlet.

“To be or not to be – that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

and by opposing end them.”

If Shakespeare could WhatsApp, it would probably look something like this,

“2 b, r nt 2b dat iz d Q wthr ts noblr n d mnd 2 sufr d slngs & arowz of outrAjs fortn r 2 tak armz angst a C f trblz by oposn ndem?”

This is where the major concern lies with most academics. The English language has gone through a gradual transition and they are worried that the purity of the language is already slowly disappearing. A lot of finger pointing is aimed at the new teenage lingo. Studies have also shown that even though it may be easier to send a WhatsApp, with grammatical errors and all, it takes the recipient twice as long to read it. However, despite the invention of the QWERTY touch screen on most phones, there is no evidence that this lingo is on the decline, proving that this is not just a phase.

Despite all this abbreviation blasphemy, getting to know this lingo is actually a lot of fun, especially for us grownups. The big question still remains, will it change the face of the English language? Who knows, maybe we are jumping to conclusions a little too soon, only time will tell. One thing is certain, we won’t be buying books or magazines published in text anytime soon.

We U opin may B <3 it or H8 it d lang of dis ling is hre 2stay :-).

This blog was written by Pieter Nel, a Career and Sudy Advisor at Unigrad College.

For more information on courses, contact Unigrad College, a leader in creative design education. | E: | T: 013 755 3503 (calling from another country +2713 755 3503) | WhatsApp 0760691993

Want to study? What now? The inside scoop from a college career advisor.

As a career advisor at Unigrad College, the biggest part of my job is engaging with future students and answering questions. It’s alarming to see how many school leavers seem to be embarrassed by the fact they that they are not sure what career path to choose once they have completed Matric.

The importance of asking the right questions and choosing a tertiary institute that will suit your education needs is vital to your future career success. This is why being a Unigrad College student will benefit you immensely.

At Unigrad College our mission is a constant focus on face to face teaching where we provide each student with the motivation they will need to achieve their potential. With over 100 years of combined experience, the vast experience of Unigrad’s lecturing team, both in academic and business arenas ensures that lecturers bring passion, commitment to excellence and practical know-how to the classroom.

Our accredited national qualifications and professional endorsements are relevant to the job market. Many of the courses involve practicals whereby students are exposed to the industry in their field of study, adding a hands-on dimension which makes the Unigrad College graduate extremely marketable. Final year students participate in our job readiness workshops.

With 2021 full-time registrations already open, it’s not too early to be planning next year’s studies. Come find out why Unigrad College has won Best Tertiary Institute in Mbombela for six years in a row.