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Telkom Interview
Questions

32 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Published September 1st, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Job Interviews     Companies     Business     Communication Services    

Question 1 of 32

How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?

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1.

How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?

Others don't always communicate with you in the style that you would prefer. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you have handled a supervisor who does not interact with you in a way that you like or that is clear to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When I consider the fact that Telkom has clearly stated values of continuous improvement, respect, honesty, accountability and teamwork, I feel confident that this won't be much of an issue. But whenever I have had a supervisor who does not properly communicate with me, I first try to learn their style of communication and emulate it. I also try to ask a lot of questions and document instructions in writing as much as possible in order to make sure I'm understanding."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I try to be independent and find as many answers as possible on my own. As much as I would love to always work with supervisors who are great communicators, that is not always a realistic ask. I also try to repeat instructions just to verify that I'm hearing and interpreting what the supervisor really wants. If I'm really having trouble getting the information I need, I may also proactively schedule a meeting with my supervisor to discuss. I believe this approach would fit well within Telkom's culture of teamwork and accountability."

2.

When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

Due to a wide variety of personalities, relationships can take time to form. How do you ensure that you have a strong line of communication with your co-workers and supervisors, right from the start?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I believe the first few weeks of any new posiation should be devoted to listening and understanding the culture, landscape, needs and expectations of team members and colleagues. I'm very excited about Telkom's purpose-driven and collaborative culture, and would be eager to start meeting as many colleagues as I could. In previous positions, I have found 'listening tours,' valuable, in which I schedule coffees, lunches or short meetings with as many colleagues as possible during the first few weeks to discuss their challenges, successes and expectations for the position. This sets us up as collaborators from the very beginning."

Michelle's Answer #2

"First impressions are everything, and I make a strong attempt to build relationships with all of my peers right up front when starting a new job. I schedule meetings to make an introduction and ask discovery questions to learn how I can best support them when working together. It is also important to gain insight into their preferred methods of communications. Also important, I try very quickly to show an interest in their lives outside of work - who they are, their hobbies, their families, etc., so that it's clear that I value them as individuals, not just as professional roles. This approach seems to mesh well with Telkom's clearly stated values of teamwork, respect and accountability."

3.

Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.

On occasion, mistakes will happen, and communication will be broken. Talk to the interviewer about a time that this occurred in the workplace. How did you resolve the situation?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"This happens so easily when people are involved! I recall one instance where I misread an email from one of my team members. The tone was unclear, and I read it as sarcastic rather than in the positive tone my team member intended. After a tense conversation, the employee clarified her intention, and I learned that I was mistaken. She and I agreed to pay closer attention to email tone and to err on the side of positivity to avoid a similar situation in the future. Considering Telkom's value of learning from mistakes in order to enhance performance and be more responsive, I can see how this is an important quality for your employees to display."

Michelle's Answer #2

"This can be a major hardship for any team, and I appreciate Telkom's commitment to continuous improvement, transparency and honesty among its team members. My current team recently suffered a missing link in communication with one of our vendors, whom we engaged with to complete a large service contract. We did not clearly communicate a change in the agreement, which affected the way the company executed against the contract, costing my team wasted time and resources. We were able to identify the breakdown in communication and change the process to ensure it does not happen again."

4.

Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine occasionally?

Are you the individual who prefers to know what the routine will be, or do you thrive on the challenge and excitement of unpredictability? The interviewer would like to know if your work style will be a fit with Telkom SA Ltd.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Certainly, completing routine, day-to-day tasks is easier, in the sense that it's more predictable and less stressful, but I also believe it doesn't allow one to grow very much professionally. I believe the best environment is a mix of both - enough day-to-day that one can perfect an approach to those tasks, combined with enough complexity and uncertainty to allow for collaboration, problem-solving and intellectual challenge. Since Telkom describes its work culture as one of accountability and continuous improvement, I feel confident the work day will provide enough challenge!"

Michelle's Answer #2

"I like to have a bit of both, honestly. I have a general schedule that I follow in the morning including a team huddle, setting objectives for the day, following up with clients, and then setting new meetings with prospects. That said, the in-between of that framework is always pretty unpredictable. In sales, you never know what might happen, especially when selling a product, as I do. More often than not, there is some challenge or drama throughout the day (or 20), so that variety keeps me on my toes, engaged and excited."

5.

When a major problem arises, what is your first reaction?

The interviewer wants to know if your reactions to problems reflect maturity and professionalism. How you react will significantly determine how you fit with their existing team at Telkom SA Ltd.

Perhaps your computer crashes and you realize you may have just lost all of your hard work. Or maybe you are limited on time and have a deadline rapidly approaching. Demonstrate to the interviewer that you take a very methodical approach to problem-solving, rather than reacting in an impulsive way when a problem occurs.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I know that Telkom emphasizes speed, efficiency and innovation, so remaining calm when a problem arises is key. When a major problem arises, my first instinct is to take a step back and absorb what just happened. I then go into 'brainstorm' mode, jotting down potential ways to resolve the issue. From there, I can generally use a pros and cons list to determine the best course of action for a fast and amicable resolution."

Michelle's Answer #2

"Being an industry leader and seamlessly connecting customers to a better life is bound to bring with it some challenges and bumps along the way. The important thing is to remain calm and carefully discuss scenarios with the team in order to brainstorm possible solutions. I love that Telkom's culture encourages team members to cooperate and to share resources and knowledge; that will be key when deciding which path forward during a crisis."

6.

What are your career aspirations beyond this job at Telkom?

Everyone has some dream or aspirations on where his/her career could go. Openly share with the interviewer where you'd like to see your job with Telkom SA Ltd. take you. Be sure to include how you feel Telkom SA Ltd. would fit in with those specific aspirations.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I have some pretty lofty career goals, and I also want to make a positive difference in the world. I'm willing to work very hard on behalf of an organization, and I'd like for that work to matter far beyond bolstering the bottom line. After researching Telkom and learning more about this position, I feel that this role fits with my future aspirations and allows me to do both. I'm drawn to the Telkom vision of leading in the converged ICT market through deep and credible relationships and a distinctive customer experience. That's a purpose that's worth working hard for."

Michelle's Answer #2

"This particular position is a goal that I have set my sites on for quite some time. I believe it is the next step in a long and fulfilling career in the telecommunications industry. The industry leadership that Telkom offers, combined with its purpose-driven approach and its emphasis on innovation and customer service, is immense for me, and I feel confident I will gain skills in this role that will make me both successful and professionally fulfilled."

7.

How often do you discuss work with your colleagues, in order to think up new systems and styles of working?

Do you use your creative mind with your colleagues to discuss ideas and systems in the workplace? Talk to the interviewer about how you have used creative thinking in the workplace and how this will benefit Telkom if hired.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Based on your culture and focus on innovation, I believe that this is an important ability for Telkom's teams to have. I currently have a policy with my team that if they have an innovative and helpful idea they can bring it to me at any time. If their idea or system is something that I think could work, we then create a plan, and sometimes even a prototype, together to present to our head office. This policy has generated some powerful ideas in our office over the past three years including a work-share program and some health and safety initiatives. I would relish the opportunity to brainstorm and ideate with Telkom colleagues to provide real-world options and solutions that help connect customers to a better life."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I think it is important to discuss work with colleagues in a collaborative nature to encourage all types of ideas to come forth. Often, when people put their heads together, they will create something better than one individual could have done alone. I'm a big fan of the improv comedy philosophy of 'Yes, and,' in which team members always say, 'yes' to one another's ideas and then try to build on them to make them more viable. I believe this will be a positive addition to Telkom's focus on solving real-world, complex technical and business problems. "

8.

What do you believe are the greatest benefits Telkom SA Ltd. and the Telkom Foundation bring to South African society?

This is your opportunity to showcase research you've done about both Telkom SA Ltd. and the Telkom Foundation. In addition, you can connect the higher purpose of each to your own goals personal/professional desires.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I think you all at Telkom have said it best yourselves: you're transforming disadvantaged communities across South Africa. The programs implemented through the Telkom Foundation make it possible for so many young people to have access to science, math, English and technology education who otherwise wouldn't know that this world existed. Beyond providing the day-to-day services that connect people to a better life, Telkom is ensuring that tomorrow's customers, employees and investors understand that their potential has no limit."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I think that, overall, Telkom's greatest legacy may be the sense of national responsibility it instills in its employees and its customers. Telkom is very clear that, as a successful South African organization, it feels a sense of responsibility toward providing opportunities for those across the country in disadvantaged circumstances. It's an expectation that employees, board members, investors, etc., share that responsibility, which, for me, really sets Telkom apart from many of its competitors."

9.

If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?

Often we will leave the tasks that we don't like for last in the act of procrastination. Other times, we will mindfully move a particular responsibility for last because we feel that it makes the most sense. Help the interviewer to determine which personality type you are by answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"If given a choice, I would leave my documentation tasks for last. I say this because I like to spend my time selling and hitting targets; that's the most energizing and satisfying to me, so completing tasks related to documentation during business hours often feels like a distraction from business development. I do understand the importance of appropriate documentation; I just prefer to save it for after the workday."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I think it's natural to want to save the hardest or most demanding tasks for last, so I make a conscious effort not to do that. I try to review my to-do list each morning and pick the most difficult task on the list to complete first. That way, I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment, and it's a nice confidence boost as I move on to tasks throughout the day that aren't quite as challenging. In this way, I also believe I could make a more meaningful contribution to the Telkom team."

10.

Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker or client.

Possessing the skills to improve communication in the workplace is a very valuable asset. Talk to the interviewer about your ability to enhance communication in the workplace. Be sure to tie in how your skills will benefit Telkom.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Based on its stated values, I know that Telkom is committed to continuous improvement, honesty, respect and teamwork, so I can see how strong communication skills are imperative. In my current position, I have one particular client who is a very brief communicator. If I ask two questions, he tends to answer only one. I learned quickly that he would not acknowledge anything for which he did not have a direct answer, so I began to ask him questions in a different way. For example, I would say 'Do you have an answer for me on question X?' and he would say yes or no. We would then go from there. This method was an effective form of communication for that particular client. I have a few approaches that will be useful when working for Telkom, especially with its focus on an open, collaborative culture."

Michelle's Answer #2

"Good communication is really important to me, and a skill that seems to get at the heart of Telkom's purpose of leading the ICT space through credible relationships and distinctive customer service. I believe I have significant experience improving communication in relationships. For example, I once had a client who often missed email updates. It caused us to cross our wires a few times. I suggested that we book a quick call every week to review any outstanding areas that need to be addressed, and I followed each call with a status report so that the conversation was documented. I believe this process would work nicely for Telkom as well."

11.

At your current or former place of employment, how important was communication and dealing with others?

Are you accustomed to working in an environment where clear communication with others is critical? Talk to the interviewer about your most recent work and how communication played a part.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my previous role, healthy communication was required to protect the safety of our employees. We transported dangerous goods, and our management required that we all take specific workshops on team communication and appropriate documentation. The company was committed to upholding the body of research that shows that teams who communicate better also perform better. Because of this, I feel confident in my prior training and am sure that my communication skills are solid."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I currently do not enjoy a healthy level of team communication in my workplace - communication skills are neither required nor modeled by our management team. This is part of the reason I am seeking new employment. I highly value clear communication and believe I do my best work within teams who are highly communicative and collaborative. How do you encourage strong communication among employees here at Telkom?"

12.

What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?

There are many options for communication software and messaging applications. Give the interviewer a brief overview of the applications you are experienced in and assure them that you can learn their internal system, should it be new to you.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"Considering Telkom's commitment to seamlessly connecting its customers to better lives, I can see how this is an important question. I have used a variety of team-based messaging applications - they are powerful tools for encouraging and organizing team communication. I am most familiar with Slack, Apple Messenger and Google Hangouts Chat. Most of these programs are fairly user-friendly and intuitive, so I feel confident that no matter which system you use, I can pick it up very quickly."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I do not have a lot of experience with team-based messaging applications besides MSN Messenger years ago. I do pick up on technology quickly and have no concerns when it comes to my ability to learn. I would be eager to learn whatever tools would be necessary in order to contribute to the kind of team culture Telkom aspires to - one that strives for continuous improvement and accountability."

13.

When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?

It is a great skill to have when you can approach a problem in a new way. Discuss with the interviewer your ability to approach a problem using new methods.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"When our company came under new management last year, many new methods and policies were implemented. As a result, I was able to learn many new approaches to our challenges in sales and customer management. Ultimately, they were very effective, and I enjoyed the process of taking a different approach and trying something innovative. Considering the lightning pace of your industry, I'd imagine that all Telkom employees are comfortable with complexity and a swiftly changing landscape; I'd welcome that challenge as well."

Michelle's Answer #2

"I'm very open to learning new skills and approaches, and I believe that openness will fit well within the Telkom culture. Recently, my current company switched to an SAP system that I was not familiar with. Rather than let myself get lost, I enrolled in a 4-week evening course at our local community college so that I could quickly learn the system without it affecting my performance at work. It helped a great deal, and my employers were impressed with my willingness to learn. In addition, I was able to share with colleagues new ways to employ the system to solve some of their day-to-day business challenges."

14.

If Telkom hired you today, what would you accomplish first?

When you start a new position, it is essential to set a goal on how you will make a positive impact quickly after being hired. Tell the interviewer what your impact goal is, should you be the successful candidate and hired at Telkom SA Ltd.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My first priority would be soaking up as much information about culture, process and KPIs as possible. I'd embark on a 'listening tour' in order to engage in deep conversation with my team and with my colleagues to discover the greatest current needs and how to prioritize them based on company goals for the quarter. Overall, I would strive to meet or exceed all KPIs for the business quarter as efficiently as possible."

Michelle's Answer #2

"If hired today, I would start with analyzing all quantifiable data from the last month, quarter and year to identify any challenges and set a plan to address them. I'd also look for team and company strengths in order to capitalize on or expand them in order to increase the company's bottom line. Overall, I'd be looking for patterns that help me make an immediate contribution to the team and the organization."

15.

Work volumes can become very high at Telkom. How do you handle a larger than average workload?

The interviewer wants to be assured that you can handle the workload required of you in this position and that you will not become overwhelmed if/when workloads unexpectedly increase. When workloads increase, stress levels do too. How do you react?

Rachelle's Answer #1

"You don't connect customers to a better life through technology without taking on an ambitious workload, so I'd expect nothing less from Telkom. When I have a large workload on my plate, I do not stress over the tasks that are in front of me. Rather, I make a simple plan of which tasks are a high priority and which tasks are a lower priority. The higher priority tasks, I complete first. Through this system, I can focus on my tasks individually, rather than stressing out about the multitude of tasks ahead of me. I also love the satisfaction of being able to cross things off my list!"

Michelle's Answer #2

"Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I try to take a few deep breaths, review my list of tasks, and concentrate first on those that are of highest strategic priority to the organization - in other words, the tasks most likely to positively affect the company's bottom line. For Telkom, that also includes and innovation that provides outstanding customer satisfaction. If I can put my highest expenditure of resources there, I'm more likely to make a positive impact on the organization overall."

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32 Telkom Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.

Interview Questions

  1. How do you handle a situation where your supervisor does not properly communicate information to you?
  2. When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.
  3. Tell me about an error or mistake you made because of a breakdown in communication from you or one of your team members.
  4. Do you prefer doing work on a routine day-to-day basis or do you prefer mixing up your routine occasionally?
  5. When a major problem arises, what is your first reaction?
  6. What are your career aspirations beyond this job at Telkom?
  7. How often do you discuss work with your colleagues, in order to think up new systems and styles of working?
  8. What do you believe are the greatest benefits Telkom SA Ltd. and the Telkom Foundation bring to South African society?
  9. If you were given a choice, which work related task would you leave for last? Why?
  10. Tell me about a time when you improved communication between yourself and a co-worker or client.
  11. At your current or former place of employment, how important was communication and dealing with others?
  12. What experience do you have using team-based messaging applications?
  13. When have you shown a willingness to learn a new method or new approach to solving a problem?
  14. If Telkom hired you today, what would you accomplish first?
  15. Work volumes can become very high at Telkom. How do you handle a larger than average workload?
  16. How can Telkom motivate you, as a leader?
  17. We put great effort into being the best in the rapidly changing telecommunications industry. In your opinion, what can Telkom SA Ltd. do to remain competitive?
  18. What excites you?
  19. When planning, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?
  20. Telkom SA Ltd. encourages continued education. Tell me about a time when you took on a new course to study in order to improve your own work performance.
  21. Give me an example of a time when you had to troubleshoot to solve a problem.
  22. We appreciate innovative thinking at Telkom SA Ltd.. When have you created a new product or service?
  23. What do you know about the culture at Telkom SA Ltd.?
  24. Tell me about a time when you undertook a project that demanded a lot of initiative.
  25. At Telkom, we value calculated risk. When have you taken an unusual risk in the workplace? What was the outcome?
  26. At Telkom, we give everyone the opportunity to be a mentor. Have you had the opportunity to teach an important skill to a co-worker?
  27. Would you say you are a better oral or written communicator?
  28. How do you handle communicating bad news to a fellow worker or subordinate?
  29. Tell me about your experiences giving presentations in front of large groups.
  30. How would you describe your written communication skills?
  31. Tell me about a time when your communication skills greatly benefited your team.
  32. We value communication at Telkom. Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
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