You managed! An invitation to an interview! Your CV and cover letter were convincing and the company would now like to get to know you personally. The first hurdle has been overcome and you are one step closer to your dream job. Now it’s time to convince the recruiter of you in a personal interview. Proper preparation plays a major role here. In this article you will learn important tips to ensure that your job interview is a complete success.
Preparation for the job interview
Preparation is everything! Nothing makes a worse impression than going into an interview unprepared! So don’t take it lightly and prepare well, after all you want to make a good impression.
1. View website
The first point of contact for preparing for the interview is the company website. Here you can find all sorts of information about the company. Be sure to note some key data. In addition to the names of the founders, this also includes the year in which the company was founded and the core activity of the company. As you browse the website, you may already have some questions that you want to ask during the interview.
2. Social media
In recent years, social media has become increasingly relevant and life is now unimaginable without it. Not only private individuals use the various channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Co., but also the majority of companies use them for their marketing. So it’s worth taking a look at all the channels before the interview to find out about the company’s latest activities and to shine in the interview.
Process of an application interview
Most job interviews tend to be similar. First, a little small talk is held about the condition or the journey, also to take away your nervousness a little. Then the actual interview begins. At the beginning, the recruiter briefly introduces himself and the company. After that, it’s usually your turn to tell a little more about yourself. You will most certainly be asked a few questions about your cover letter and, above all, your CV. Recruiters usually choose a few points that they find particularly interesting. If you mentioned special skills or if you have an unusual activity, these are popular topics for questions. Once the recruiter has enough information about you and your skills, it’s up to you to ask a few questions. You should also do this to convey interest. For example, you could ask what a typical day at work looks like, or how big the team you will be working with is. At the end of the interview, you say goodbye to each other and the recruiter assures you that he/she will get back to you in the next few days. In the rarest of cases, you will be offered the job right at the end of the interview. If this is the case, you can of course ask for a little time to think about it. Just don’t take too long!
Typical questions from a recruiter
There are some questions that are particularly common during an interview and cause most candidates to panic. These questions are often asked on purpose to upset the candidate. Luckily, many of these questions are well known, so you can prepare well for them. Here you can find some examples:
1. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This question is probably one of the most well-known and is asked very frequently in job interviews. However, most people find it very difficult to answer this question. That’s why you should definitely prepare a suitable answer in advance. Be honest, but try to avoid weaknesses such as perfectionism, as these are mentioned so often and are therefore not so popular with recruiters. If you name strengths such as a sense of responsibility, you can back them up with a suitable example. Have you perhaps taken on the supervision of a group of children in your sports club? Perfect!
2. What makes you different from other applicants? Why should we choose you?
When answering this question, you should focus on your qualifications, skills, and experience. It is best to back this up with concrete examples and successes. Also refer to the knowledge requested in the job advertisement. Answers such as “because I’m the best”, “I don’t know” or “I can’t judge because I don’t know the other applicants” are not recommended.
3. Why exactly do you want to work for Our company?
If you have prepared well for the job interview, you will be able to answer this question well, because here you can make perfect use of the information you have previously researched. Here you should refer exactly to the company. Try to explain exactly what you like about it and what fascinates you. For example, you could name the further training opportunities or the international orientation of the company. You could also pick up certain activities or events that you find particularly good and thereby show your interest.
4. Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?
Another classic interview question. This question is usually difficult to answer, especially for students. Maybe you already know exactly what you want to do later? Very good – then this question shouldn’t be a problem for you! You should make your answer company specific. Here you can name skills and knowledge that you hope to learn in the next few years.
5. Why is there a gap in your CV?
A gap in the CV is defined as anything that extends over a period of at least one to two months and is not explained. The best solution here is to just be honest! Did you not like your studies and dropped out because of that, or were you ill for a long time? No reason to be ashamed. There are a number of reasons for a gap in the CV. Especially with graduates, a month-long job search is often the case and a gap in the CV quickly arises. As long as you have a good explanation for it, a recruiter shouldn’t object. What you shouldn’t do is lie, because lies are known to have short legs! For example, if you give a part-time job that you didn’t do at all, it can very quickly backfire and be exposed.