10 tips for an interview
Every interview is different, but if you stick to a few basic things as an applicant, you can hardly go wrong in an emergency. Our 10 interview tips will help you to get to know each other better!
Good preparation is half the battle.
Of course you will be excited before your interview. But good preparation helps you to strengthen your self-confidence and get the job of your dreams. If you consistently implement the following points, you are in any case fully prepared for your interview.
How do I prepare for an interview?
Research on the company: In order to convince yourself in the interview, you should inform yourself sufficiently in advance about the company. What are the products? In which industry is the employer active and what are potential competitors? How many employees are there, how much turnover is achieved and what does the company philosophy say? Usually, a glance at the company website is enough for the necessary knowledge. If you can contribute this information to the interview, you will prove to the personnel management that you have dealt intensively with the company as a potential employer.
Prepare self-presentation: Usually at the beginning of the interview you will be asked to briefly tell something about yourself. You shouldn’t just rattle off your CV here. Prepare a short self-presentation. This should not last longer than two to three minutes and should cover your most prominent stations. Be sure to connect and justify the stations. This creates a red thread. It is also good to highlight the practical experience and professional qualifications that match the position you are striving for.
Practicing the interview as a role play: Especially if it is your first interview, it does not hurt to practice the interview very concretely. This interview training sounds childish but is effective. So let your parents or friends ask you the typical questions. This puts you in the conversation situation and allows you to get feedback on your answers. That way you will convince better.
Interview Question Training: Every interview is different, but certain questions and topics are standard and can be trained. For the HR manager, your personality, for example, is of interest alongside your professional career. During the interview, you will therefore be asked questions about your strengths and weaknesses, how you work, how you interact with colleagues or superiors, and your leisure activities. If you want to put yourself to the test, stress questions can also be used. Here, too, it is important to remain calm and not lose concentration.
Clarify organizational stuff.
You don’t need any stress before your interview. As soon as you have confirmed the invitation to the interview, you should start planning.
Journey/journey: When planning your trip you should always include a buffer. After all, traffic jams or train delays can occur quickly. You should also check how to get from the station to the company by public transport or where to park if you are travelling by car.
Possible overnight stay: If the interview requires a longer journey and therefore an overnight stay, you should arrange accommodation in good time. Here, a hotel is certainly the most expensive option, but a hostel is in danger of not getting a quiet night. It is best to ask friends and relatives if someone knows someone where you can spend a night.
Costs : You can ask the personnel department to what extent the company will cover the costs of your journey.
Wear an appropriate outfit.
Find out about the company’s dress code, preferably from the HR department. At banks and insurance companies you are in the right place with a suit, in advertising agencies or in marketing it is usually more casual.
Put your clothes together before the interview. Clothes should be ironed and shoes shined. Also make sure you have a good hairstyle and well groomed fingernails. All in all, when it comes to perfume, make-up, jewellery and neckline, for example: less is more! Here you can find more tips on outfits for job interviews.
By the way, it’s not just the outfit that counts, but also how you wear the clothes. Pay attention to your body tension as an applicant: back straight and chest out. The overall impression is also determined by your appearance.
Etiquette – be polite and show humour.
In front of the office sits the anteroom dragon and the personnel manager has felt actually no time for you, but now is not the time to get stroppy! Stay polite and above all friendly – smiling is the keyword here. Behaviour is an important factor in assessing personality and soft skills. Even if the interview didn’t go so well and you might have had to take it, you are still able to criticize, say goodbye friendly and thank you for your time.
If you are offered something to drink, you should always accept it. Water is best without carbon dioxide, so that you don’t have to burp. Just when you’re excited and talk a lot, you quickly get a dry throat. A glass of water can be the salvation. And if you have difficult questions, you can reach for a glass and have a drink while you’re thinking – then you have a little longer time to come up with a good answer.
Another tip: Do not place the glass or drink directly between you and the person you are talking to. This acts like a barrier. Put it a little to the side of you.
One of the most important tips: speak slowly and clearly. This seems more competent than if someone speaks very quickly. It also interrupts the flow of conversation if the HR manager doesn’t understand the answers correctly or has to ask for them. The best way to do this is to sit up straight, keep your head straight and look ahead. In other words, the way you normally sit and talk. You can also practice this wonderfully in preparation with your friends or family. If necessary, your cat will also listen to you.
Use body language correctly.
Since you permanently send signals to your environment with your body language, personalists also pay attention to it. Gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, posture and speech are of particular interest. Tension and nervousness before that do not let the body language work convincingly, for example if one does not make eye contact. If you are too tense, a trained observer will quickly notice. Some gestures or postures can also have a defensive and sometimes aggressive effect, such as crossing your arms in front of your chest.
Mirror your counterpart.
Mirroring means to imitate your counterpart (but not to imitate!). This also creates sympathy in the subconscious. Examples:
When the other laughs, one laughs too. But please don’t be too affected.
If the other bends forward, one does the same.
When the other reaches for the glass, you also drink a sip.
But you shouldn’t exaggerate the whole thing by doing any movement. If you are more concerned with observing the movements of the personals than with paying attention to the questions, it is suboptimal. But if you know the basic principle, you can apply it profitably at certain points.
Notes prevent you from forgetting important points that you could later take up in your own questions. In addition, it shows honest interest and conveys a structured way of working. The notes can also help to reflect the interview in the follow-up again, in order to learn from it for later interviews. So take a writing pad and a good pen with you. Despite digitalisation, however, it’s funny when you sit there with your iPad or mobile phone and “type along”.
Answer standard questions individually.
Avoid giving standard answers to standard questions. Trained personnel will immediately notice when you have memorized the answers from your guides. The solution is: Always make a reference in the answers to you, your career, the targeted position or the company.
By the way, you can already provoke certain questions with your application documents. In your hobbies, state better things than sports, reading and cooking. Instead of just “sports” you dance salsa or boulder. And if you like cooking, please specify and show your affinity to Thai or Spanish cuisine. You can also show your social commitment not only in your curriculum vitae, but also in your self-presentation. This also results in interesting starting points for small talk for the personnel managers.
Your own questions – ask clever questions.
Especially highly qualified applicants are expected to ask their own questions during the interview. If you don’t, you signal disinterest or shyness – and that doesn’t go down well. But beware: Try to ask relevant questions. If the HR manager asks you if you still have questions about the company, you will get the wrong impression if you directly address the salary. Here, too, it helps to be prepared: On the one hand, you can consider and note down questions in advance, other questions arise during the interview.