The cover letter and curriculum vitae are two key components of the application process. They are, however, merely the preliminaries to what you want most: a personal interview. We will discuss the job interview in more detail here. How do you prepare for such an important meeting and what can you expect at the interview?
The job interview
Being invited for a job interview is good news in itself. After all it means that your letter and CV have worked: they were good enough for you to be invited for a personal interview. But now that these documents have gained that seal of approval it is time for the next step: preparing for the job interview.
Making the proper preparations for these interviews can be tricky. Naturally, you never know in advance what questions they are going to ask. That’s why thorough preparation is highly recommended. There are a number of elements you should consider before going to the interview:
- First impression
- Your voice
- Your posture
Making a good first impression may very well be the most important part of the interview. You can only make a first impression once, after all. Keep this firmly in mind and make sure you appear relaxed, even if you are possibly feeling nervous. Remember also to always look people in the eye when you shake their hand.
Not all job interviews require a three-piece suit, but it is often noted and appreciated if you have taken care with your appearance, clothes and hair.
Your tone of voice is very important. Obviously one should never speak so softly that it is hard to hear, but talking too loud comes across too strong. Ensure you strike a safe medium between the two.
Posture says a lot about a person and this is no different at a job interview. Make sure you are sitting up straight and do not display an uninterested attitude. It is best to dispose of any chewing gum before you go to your interview.
Example job interview
Once the interview has begun the important thing is to communicate as naturally as possible. The employer can ask various questions from various categories:
- General questions
- Questions about your way of working
- Questions about previous employment
- Questions about you as a person
- Professional questions
General questions in example job interview
General questions will address some basic issues, such as your strong and weak points, working in teams and your previous employers.
Questions about your way of working
These questions are about your own qualities and skills. What are you good at, what are your weak points and in which areas do you see opportunities and room for improvement?
Questions about previous employment
These questions deal with earlier successes and pitfalls you have encountered in your previous jobs. Always be honest when answering these questions and give clear, well-founded answers.
Questions about you as a person
Sometimes questions are asked that don’t seem work-related at first. These kinds of questions are meant to find out what kind of person you are.
Some questions are intended to test your professional knowledge. Be prepared for these too!