Interview tips

Consider that the interviewer will want answers to the following questions:

  • Motivation – Why do you want this job?
  • Commitment – Are you passionate? 
  • Chemistry – Do you fit in?
  • Results – What have you achieved thus far?

You should emphasise the following qualities during the interview:

  • Commitment: Show that this job is the one you want. 
  • Active and aware: Be active, ask questions. 
  • Cheerfulness: A good sense of humour breaks down barriers.

 

Read through your letter of application and CV once again before the interview, especially if you wrote them some time ago. Always keep your CV up to date. Interviewers often base themselves on what you have written.

Think about how you present yourself. Try to prepare a three-minute presentation about yourself in which you can be at ease talking about yourself within the interview process. In addition to your professional qualifications, the employer will also want to know something about you as a person: your background, interests and personal qualities.
Prepare yourself for difficult questions. Practise formulating an answer to questions such as “What are you good at?”, “What are your weaknesses?”, “What have you achieved?”, “Why should we choose you?”. You won’t definitely be asked these questions, but you will feel more at ease if you have already thought about possible answers to them.

Job interviews are never 100% identical, but they have a number of common features. An interview is an invitation from a potential employer who is curious as to what you can contribute on both the personal and professional front. It is therefore not an oral exam or police interrogation.

 

Preparing for the interview:

  • Gather some detailed information about the company. 
  • Visit the company’s website.
  • Do you know someone from the company or the industry? Arrange to meet them for a chat. Social media can also be helpful in this regard. 
  • Read through the advert, your letter of application and your CV once again prior to the interview. 
  • Think about the reasons why you want the job. 
  • Why should the employer choose you? 
  • How will you present yourself? 
  • What questions might you be asked during the interview? 
  • What contribution can you make to the company? 
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

The day of the interview:

  • Take a notepad, your CV and application letter, certificates and diplomas with you to the interview. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing. 
  • Arrive on time. 
  • Remember which department you have to go to and who the contact person is for the job in question. 
  • A firm handshake and good eye contact always come across well. 
  • It is normal for you to be nervous, and the interviewers are also aware of that. If you tell yourself this, your nerves will decrease.

Take a pen and paper with you. Make notes while the interviewer is telling you about the company and the job. This will create an impression of seriousness and thoroughness and show that you are interested in the job!

How an interview generally progresses:

You will meet one or more persons. The interviewer will open the conversation by telling you something about the company and the vacancy. You will then present yourself and ask the employer additional questions. Below are some questions which may be asked during an interview. Think beforehand about the answers you could give.

  •  Why have you applied for this job? 
  • What was your previous job? 
  • Why did you leave your previous job? 
  • What are your professional qualities? 
  • What did you do during the period not described in your CV? 
  • Are you easily stressed? Can you work under pressure of time? 
  • Do you prefer fixed routines or would you rather have constantly new assignments? 
  • What kinds of tasks do you like doing most? 
  • What kinds of tasks do you like doing least? 
  • What is the most positive and most negative thing you can say about yourself? 
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team? 
  • Why should we choose you? 
  • What contribution could you make in this job? 
  • What sort of work do you think you will be doing in five years’ time? 
  • Tell us something about your family (civil status)

If there is any information you did not receive beforehand, you can ask about it during the interview. An interview generally lasts 45 - 90 minutes. You may sometimes be asked to take part in a personality test.

Some employers interview the candidates in groups.

 

The interview will finish with information about the next stage: how long the recruitment process will last, how many applicants there are and how many people have been invited for an interview. You will normally be told when you will be contacted. If you are not told, you can ask.

After the interview

Send an e-mail thanking the interviewer for his/her time and the pleasant interview.

If you still have not heard anything after a couple of weeks, you can give the interviewer or company a call.

Don’t lose heart, even if you didn’t get the job. Take the fact that you were invited for an interview as a sign that the employer thought you were suitable for the position. Attending an interview is good practice, and you may still have made an excellent impression even if you did not actually get the job.