Penny is a Digital Strategist with extensive cooperative experience. She is a mom, wife, student, Head of Technology for messaging platforms at one of the big banks in SA and is the host for the YouTube talk show #HotseatwithPenzola. The show is aimed at deconstructing societal norms by exploring and engaging in a dialogue with guests on topics that are taboo or maybe controversial in our current society. It looks at the relationships, culture and ambitions different people have and how those evolve with times and circumstances.

Her greatest passion is in the field of leadership and coaching. Penny is passionate about the success of young women within the digital space/ environment and has taken up the role of mentoring and coaching these young women. Her Human resource background has played and continues to play a critical role in advocating the interest and needs of people and organisations in order to create and sustain an admired and consistent corporate identity. 

Penny holds a Bcom degree in Human Resource Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, AIIPM international Certificate in Product Management and a Certificate (NQF8) in Advanced Programming Management from WITS Business School and is affiliated with IPSC (APSO certified). 

As the job market slowly begins to pick up again, there are a few #JobSeekersSA who may need help after having applied for a job. Here are some of Penny’s tips. 

1. Preparation, preparation and more preparation. 

Walk into your interview prepared, research the company and the role. Prepare potential questions such as “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you faced & how you resolved it?”. Remain calm & professional, remember to focus on the solution rather than the problem when answering.

2. Speaking about your work history and accomplishments 

When speaking about your experience, remember to give quantifiable results when sharing your accomplishments. This will help the interviewer understand your experience better & showcase that you are aware of what you’re talking about.

3. How will the company benefit from having you as an employee? 

After researching the company, identify where they could be lacking and state how your skillset and experience can solve their problem. 

4. When the interviewer asks you “tell me about yourself.“ 

This question is about sharing what your skill set and experience are and whether it is aligned with the job spec they are trying to fill. Remember to keep your answer concise. E.g. I worked at x-company and was responsible for x-tasks. It is easy to waffle here, so be mindful when answering this question.

5. Managing your salary expectation with your potential employer

This is one of the most difficult questions to answer if you have not been given insight into the salary for the role. Answer with “What is the budget for this role?”, wait for the reply then respond with your figure.

6. How should you decline when a potential employer requests your previous payslip? 

“Thank you so much for the feedback however I don’t believe my current payslip is relevant to the role I have applied for, I am happy to wait for your offer and we can take it from there.” There could be various scenarios in this regard so but the above is probably the most generic answer. Be bold and firm about it. 

7. Bettering yourself – a tip from a Twitter follower

Ask the interviewer for permission to record your interview with your mobile device. When you’re done with your interview, listen to it again and identify where you could improve. Apply what you have learnt in your next interview. 

Penny hosted an episode of #HotSeatWithPenzola, where she speaks to Zinzi and Dinare about the evolution of careers in relation to traditional norms. They speak about navigating varsity and entering the workspace to career disruption. You may watch the full episode here:

You may find Penny on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

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