Job interview: preparations and procession
If you were invited for a job interview, this means that you successfully overcame the first hurdle on the way to find a new position. Now the task is to convince your future superiors that you are the proper match for the open position. Nevertheless, just by thinking about the forthcoming interview, many applicants become uncertain and nervous. Thorough preparation will help you to collect important extra points during your interview. A few tips to think about:
- Collect information in advance about your future employer
- Questions and background knowledge will show your competence
- Build upon your soft skills
- Radiate self-confidence
- First impression is key for interviews, too. Your clothing should be aligned to the style of the company
- Prepare well for the interview
The 5 most frequently asked questions in a job interview
In a job interview, recruiters would like to get acquainted with you. Your application has already convinced them about your qualifications, now it is about your personality traits. In order to have a realistic idea about who you are, they will most probably ask you some questions about your career development, your qualifications, your strengths and weaknesses.
That's why it's worth to prepare for the five most frequently asked interview questions.
1. Tell us something about yourself
This question is often the very first one, serving as an introduction and also for easing the tension. As your CV is just in front of the interviewer, there is no need for a complete survey of your education and professional career. Instead, use this opportunity to outline the important milestones of your career, showing that based on your qualifications, you are the optimal fit to this position.
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
By asking this classic interview question, recruiters aim to find out something about your self-assessment. Please avoid over-emphasizing your strengths here. Instead of stating that you had always been the best and busiest of your team, your answer should be as natural and authentic as it can be. The best would be to link your strengths directly with the requirements of the position in question. You can add qualities like good communication skills or customer oriented approach. Recruiters like to hear if you are a good team player or manage well to handle stress.
When talking about weaknesses, it is advisable to mention something that is not crucial for the position you applied for. For example, this could be the lack of manual skills in case of a leader position. You can also refer to manageable shortcomings in your language or IT-skills that may be remedied within a short timeframe.
3. Why would you like to work exactly for our company?
This beloved question during an interview is again about finding out whether your application could be considered serious. So check the employer's website in advance for things like company philosophy, key points, major principles, statements, and link those with your qualifications during the conversation.
4. Where do you think you will be in five years?
With this question, the other party would like to find out how goal-oriented and ambitious you are, and whether you have a clear picture about your future professional career. Answers like "I would like to develop and gain more responsibility" are clear statements and well received by recruiters.
5. Why should we hire you?
This one belongs to the so-called stress questions. Recruiters can see how you behave in a stress situation. Don't get yourself irritated.
15 mistakes you should definitely avoid during your interview
The first hurdle has been overcome: your application has scored and you have been invited for an interview. Now let's be smart enough to avoid the pitfalls.
1. Being late
Arriving late is an engraving mistake that creates a bad impression. So be careful to plan with some extra time for getting there.
2. Absence without advance notification
Are you ill or have your car broken down? Call your contact in advance to postpone the interview. Apologizing too late (or not doing at all) implies that you are unreliable.
3. Inappropriate greetings
First impression counts. Greet your conversation partners in a polite way and don't forget about eye contact. Too informal or uncertain greetings do not go down well.
4. Missing information about the company
Collect enough information about the company before the interview takes place. You should know in which industry the company operates, what they are especially good at, and who is the managing director. Questions from your side show interest.
5. Gaps in your CV
Is there a time-gap in your CV and one of your references is missing? Be prepared that this will be addressed. Reacting in an uncertain manner would make the employer suspicious.
6. Scruffy appearance
Even just a small thing may spoil the impression: an imperfect shaving, untidy nails, stains on your shirt or blouse. Pay attention to show an overall tidy appearance: recruiters have an eye for detail.
7. Ignore dresscode
Improper wear for the interview is a big mistake. Don't forget that the dresscode of a bank and an advertising might be very different. When in doubt, rather be "overdressed" than too casual.
8. Exhausted look
Those who seem to be tired right in the beginning of an interview would not convey the message that the meeting was important to them. Better skip the party night if a job interview is in your calendar for next morning.
9. Bad manners
Breaking off your partner in mid-sentence, ignoring the assistant without a greeting, chewing a gum are no small offences during an interview. Be polite and unobtrusive for better scores.
10. Dismissive body language
Sit down straight, with your feet facing towards the other party. Leaning back in a casual way or sitting with legs spread does not make a good impression. Checking the time every other minute is also irritating.
11. "Mobile" distractions
During the interview your cellphone should have a break. Switch it off and let it disappear in your pocket or briefcase. Keeping it switched on and putting it onto the table is impolite and a definite no-go within the context of a job interview.
A little bit of small talk is fine. However, don't get pulled into indiscreetness about your former employers. This is a deal-breaker for recruiters: those who disclose confidential information about their former company, would do it again in their new position, too.
13. Self esteem exaggerated
Emphasize your strengths and skills, but without exaggeration. An overblown ego will cut your chances for a new job.
14. Aggressive reaction on criticism
Keep calm even when critical questions are being asked. Sniffy answers reflect incapability of taking criticism, therefore are not welcome during an interview.
15. Inappropriate questions
Questions about conditions like holidays, sick pay and holiday benefits should be saved for the second interview. Starting with demands is not a winning tactic here.