Anyone who receives an invitation to an interview after the written application has already done a lot right. To prepare for the next hurdle, the interview, we recommend these 11 practical tips, supplemented by 10 link tips with more detailed information.
The 11 tips for the job interview
1. The systematic preparation
Careful preparation is the key to a successful conversation. In addition, thorough preparation helps against excitement and nervousness.
For example, extensive internet research means that you can ask more specific questions than the competition. That leaves a lasting positive impression.
On this page you will find detailed information on all the tips for preparing for the job interview.
2. Familiarize yourself with the individual application process
How does the interview with the potential employer work? Anyone who has information about it can go to the interview with more certainty because they know roughly what to expect.
There are now a number of Internet portals in which applicants have stored their experience reports from job interviews with certain companies and organizations. With a research on these portals (link to the Google search results) you will know roughly what to expect in the job interview.
3. Use Google Maps for your journey planning
Google Maps has now also integrated a route planner for the train and local public transport. Depending on the distance, applicants should plan a time buffer of half an hour to two hours for the journey, because time pressure leads to unnecessary nervousness before the interview.
4. Practice the interview
The conversation can be practiced on the phone or in person with a friend, for example using the most frequently asked questions applicants expect. If nobody has time, you can answer the questions out loud in a self-talk. What may be a bit strange at first can be a great help, because where the answer still sounds bumpy, there is a need for improvement.
5. A handkerchief
If you are prone to sweaty hands, a handkerchief, ready to hand in your right trouser pocket or in your handbag, can be of practical use. This can be used to dry the hand just before shaking hands. A tissue handkerchief works best, but if you don’t have one, you can also use a tissue.
6. Your own attitude
The following thoughts and attitudes not only help against the excitement before the conversation, but also help to get yourself in a good mood for the conversation:
- Not only are you looking for the right job, the right job is also looking for you, or the company or organization is looking for the right employee.
- Look forward to getting to know the people you are talking to and learning more about a hopefully interesting new task.
7. Show personality and build sympathy
In terms of content, you are trusted to do the job, otherwise you would not have received an invitation to an interview.
In the job interview, the main focus is therefore on your personality and whether you fit into the team and the company or the organization.
It is therefore important that applicants also show their personality in the interview, e.g. in the self-presentation.
8. The most important thing in conversation
- Make eye contact again and again
- Bring enthusiasm for the potentially new task and for the company over
- Pay attention to your posture, e.g. sit upright
- Show interest and ask questions
These factors not only convey motivation and interest, but also build sympathy with your interlocutors.
9. Be prepared for stressful questions
Be prepared internally for the fact that a stressful question will suddenly be asked in an otherwise friendly and benevolent conversation. The most important thing here is that you don’t get confused and that you stay friendly. The substantive answer is then of secondary importance.
10. Prepare your own questions
Your own questions not only loosen up the interview and show how well you have prepared, but they can also give the interview the decisive turn. As a rule, towards the end of the interview, the applicant is given the opportunity to ask their own questions. This last section of the conversation begins with the invitation “Do you have any questions?”
Questions that are still open from the conversation can be asked here, as well as a few prepared questions. Tips for your own questions from various application professionals and the best specific questions are compiled here.
Tip: Good questions are specific questions. Thorough research enables applicants to ask more specific questions than the average and that is a positive thing.
11. Interview checklist
The checklist has the following sections:
- Appointment confirmation by email or phone
- Extensive tips for thorough internet research
- The personal preparation – your own attitude and motivation, strength analysis and the preparation of a self-presentation – the answer to the question “Tell us something about yourself!”
- List of materials – what is needed for the interview – from the right clothing to a complete application folder
- The short-term preparation – a few days before and on the day of the conversation
- What to look for in the conversation yourself
- How the interview can be evaluated – also in preparation for further job interviews