No matter how many job interviews you already have, it is still quite exciting to receive an invitation. Good preparation is all you need to convince your future employer. You can not only rely on your scores at online slots.
BREAK THE ICE WITH SMALL TALK
After the initial greeting, you will be led into the meeting room – if you have not already been – and asked to sit down. The rule here is: Do not sit down until you are asked to do so; anything else could seem impolite. As a rule, the HR manager will now start the conversation with a bit of small talk, such as “Did you find your way here okay?” or “You certainly didn’t come by bike in this rain, did you?”. Do not worry, small talk is not yet about tricky questions or “wrong” or “right” answers.
Instead, your interviewer wants to loosen up the atmosphere, take away your nervousness a bit and find a gentle way into the interview. Stay calm during the small talk phase – at best, of course, throughout the interview. Breathe calmly and think briefly before answering. But still be open-minded, because too short and terse answers are just as unappealing in this situation as talking without periods and commas. Here is a small example:
Personaler: “Did you find your way here okay?”
Wrong: “Not really, there was a detour on the highway, so I had to go via another city. But you certainly know the jumble of one-way streets there, so I got completely lost. As a result, I had to get out of the car and ask a passerby for directions. When I happened to pass by McDonalds, I treated myself to a little snack, because luckily I had enough time. I know that I always have to plan buffers for such things. But this morning I was much too excited to eat something. After I had looked briefly into the Navi on my smartphone, I found then however still here and zack: here I am.”
Right: “Without problems, the area is very well signposted. Really nice you have it here!”
In this first small talk phase, you will usually also be offered something to drink. Refusing this offer is often considered impolite by the questioner. So at least have them bring you a water – even if you do not touch it in the end. Too exotic or even alcoholic wishes are taboo when choosing a drink, however.
The fifth phase is probably the one that applicants are most afraid of. It is about presenting oneself as the suitable candidate and convincing the personnel managers of one’s own merits. At this point the “tricky” as well as the core questions are asked, which are important for the decision makers. First, however, you will be asked to introduce yourself briefly. “Short” means about five to ten minutes, in which you should present your resume in a structured way. However, you should by no means string together irrelevant facts or even read them from your application portfolio. Instead, show a common thread that inevitably leads to the conclusion that you – and only you – are a perfect match for the job.
Due to the limited time frame, only mention events prior to your training or studies if they are really important for the job posting. Otherwise, you go through your professional stations as well as your areas of responsibility from the past and the reasons why you have applied. Afterwards, the personnel managers will cross-examine you again. Depending on the company, this may be more or less “tough”.