How to Prepare for a Job Interview
PREPARATION IS EVERYTHING!
The right preparation is essential. Of course, every job interview is structured a little bit differently and the questions depend on the job you applied for, but even if a lot has to be very spontaneous, you can rely on some things that are the same with every interview. Prepare well for the situation.
Very important: Research important facts about the company. At international companies, the interview may possibly be held in English and it is important to find out beforehand in order to come up with the right vocabulary.
Keep in mind, that your new employer can also ask you questions about their company during the interview, so it is important to do your research before the interview in order to be able to give a good answer instead of stuttering and just replying empty words.
Practice makes perfect. You are currently preparing for your very first job interview? In this case, nervousness is very normal. Ask your friends or family members to conduct a practice interview with you. This helps you to get a feel for the new situation. It is best to approach the unfamiliar situation from the comfort of your home and get a first idea on how you can give professional answers.
The more you practice the question-and-answer game, the more confident you will be and ace the interview! What is very important, however, is that you do not learn any answers by heart, but only familiarize yourself with the situation and always address the particular HR manager and his/her specific questions during your interview. Try to avoid run-of-the-mill answers as well. Show who you are and what makes you unique!
What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How would your friends describe you? Challenging questions can quickly throw you off, but if you are prepared and perhaps already have some answer at hand, it is easier to act professionally even with complicated or surprising questions. Especially when you are asked about something like your weaknesses, it is really important to be honest. Everyone has weaknesses and you are not doing yourself a favor by pretending to have none. Be honest and make sure to emphasize that you are constantly working on these weaknesses. Here’s an example. I often take on too much work, but I am working on my time management. Check out some more tips that will help you master even the toughest questions.
THE RIGHT OUTFIT
Everyone knows the feeling of standing in front of their wardrobe, not being able to pick the right outfit. At a job interview, it is important to dress appropriately because your outfit makes up a large part of the first impression. Depending on the company, operation and industry, you have to adapt your outfit. After all, you dress differently for an office job than when you milk cows on a farm. A general basic rule: not too revealing, clean clothes and preferably no bright colors.
You can score points in the job interview with these colors:
- Blue exudes trust and authority, but little creativity.
- Black expresses elegance and seriousness
- Green is the color of growth and serenity. It suggests that you are open to training and learning
- Yellow and orange are the happiest colors. A small yellow or orange detail in the outfit makes you look like a happy person
BE ON TIME!
If you take public transport to your interview, you cannot rule out possible delays. So, plan enough time in case you miss a train or have to choose another route at short notice. Time stress can also make you more nervous, so it is advisable to arrive with a little bit of spare time at hand. If you still have time on site, you can just walk around the block and take a moment to gather yourself and take some deep breaths.
Not only your outfit but also your behavior and body language influence the first impression that future employers will get of you. If you sit in front of the interviewer with your arms crossed or bury your head deep into your shoulders, it radiates insecurity and that is exactly what you should avoid! Greet the person interviewing you confidently and with a firm handshake, try to smile, sit up straight, and make an open and warm first impression!
THIS IS ME!
Self-presentation! Your appearance speaks for itself, but you have to say a few words about yourself and your abilities too. One thing is particularly important: do not memorize anything and recite it like a poem! Try to make it look as natural as it possibly can be. For many people it is particularly difficult to talk about themselves or to market themselves and their skills well, but that’s exactly what it’s all about! Show your unique selling point! Be authentic! Sympathy is just as important as your qualifications!
In order to present yourself well, we recommend that you orient yourself to this content structure:
I am … age, name, origin, degree, previous professional experience
I can … work experience, special qualifications, great successes or milestones
I want … motivation for the job, personal and professional goals
INFORM YOURSELF IN ADVANCE?
Make sure to be well informed about your rights ahead of the interview. Like that, you will know what to expect and argue, should it, for example, come to a negotiation about salary, making a confident and capable impression from the start. Take a look at the recruiting platform YoungCapital and find tips and tricks about the employment law in Austria, to be fully prepared for your next interview.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS?
At every job interview, there will be a time when you will be asked “Do you have any more questions?” This is an opportunity that you should definitely take advantage of! By asking questions about the company, the cooperation or the actual job, you show interest, prove that you are well prepared and, in the best case, find out more about your possible future employer.
You can think about this in advance. What would you like to know about your future employer? Ethical backgrounds, special products, locations or payment – show that you are interested and that you have already informed yourself extensively in advance!
At the end of every interview, you should say “thank you” before you even say “goodbye”. A goodbye directed at every person and a confident handshake will always leave a good impression. You can also ask about the next steps in the application process before saying goodbye!
After the interview, take a moment to reflect on the interview for yourself. What went well? What did you do very well and what could you have done better? This self-reflection helps you to improve yourself and even if it didn’t work out this time, it gives you tips and ideas for your next interview!
We wish you a lot of success, we know you can do it!