How do you prepare for a job interview?

Before the interview

Getting an invitation to an interview is always a happy event, although exciting as well. You should remember that careful preparation helps you to cope with interview anxiety and that the interviewers are humans, too.

When you get the invitation, write down at least the place, date, time, and the names of the interviewers. If you are in a situation where you cannot write these down, ask the interviewer to send you confirmation, for example by SMS. This will save you from unfortunate any misunderstandings.
  • Research the company in advance. Find out at least its size, office locations, and products. The company's website is worth a visit.
  • Take a copy of your CV, application letter, and diplomas/certificates with you to the interview.
  • Think in advance what the interviewers will expect of you. Consider the normal questions asked during an interview and prepare your answers. Think about the reasons you are interested in the job in question. You can, for example, write down what motivates you, what accomplishments you are proud of, and what your areas of development are.
  • Think about the questions you should ask the employer. Read the job announcement once again before the interview.
  • Dress in a manner that is appropriate for the level of the job you are applying for, but which is also natural for you.

The interview process

In an interview, issues relating to both your persona and professional skills are usually discussed. A short list of issues that are almost certain to come up would be something like the following:

  • Your current situation in life
  • Your education
  • Your work experience and current job
  • Other expertise and background
  • Your strengths at work
  • Your expectations about the job in question
  • Your motivation and areas of interest
  • You as a person, co-worker, and in your spare time
  • Why should you be chosen?
  • Your thoughts and expectations about the future.

However, not all questions are allowed in a job interview. Prohibited subjects include, for example, religious or political beliefs, illness, family planning, trade union activity, military or civilian service (except regarding completion), and sexual orientation. If you are asked about these subjects, you have the right to refuse to answer. However, if you want to voluntarily give information on any of the above, that is absolutely fine. For a young man, it may be useful to tell about any leading experience gained from military service, and a mother can explain gaps in her employment with maternity leave.

Be yourself in the interview

The first impression is very important and you can only make it once. In particular, a negative first impression is very difficult to change. Therefore, remember to focus especially on the start of the interview; be on time and concentrate on greeting, make eye contact and offer a firm handshake.

A positive attitude takes you a long way. During the interview, concentrate especially on your strengths and don't be afraid to praise yourself. Do not criticise your former employers or co-workers, but try to tell the interviewer about your work history in a positive way.

Be yourself despite any nervousness and talk as naturally as possible. Concentrate on the interview and try to answer as clearly as possible. Listen carefully to all the questions, and answer the question asked.

Be honest. You shouldn't exaggerate your expertise, because the truth will be revealed sooner or later. Moreover, do not be afraid to say if you do not understand a question and remember that “I do not know” can also be a good answer for some questions. Remember the importance of body language as well.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. A job interview is not only a situation in which a company is looking for a suitable employee – the employee is also looking for a suitable job and company. This is why the interview should be a situation in which the employer and employee become acquainted with each other. If you do not have anything else to ask, find out the schedule of the search process and when you can expect more information. It is also a good idea to ask for the contact details of the recruiting person so that you can ask about the progress of the process if necessary.