Job In­ter­view

Your job interview is not an oral exam. No points will be given for correct answers and you will not get the position just because you gave a certain percentage of ‘correct‘ answers.
The interviewing company is interested in you, otherwise they would have never invited you and would not have invested their time in preparing a personal interview. Try to initiate a conversation on the same level as your interviewer to convince them of your personal and professional skills.


Gen­eral In­form­a­tion

There is one thing that all employers have in common: There are specific basic questions that the employer seeks to answer in the job interview. These questions are usually not asked openly, but they are usually based on the following:

  • Why are you applying to work at our company? What is your motivation to work here?
  • Do you possess the proper skills and knowledge needed to help our company succeed?
  • Will you fit in well with our current team? Will you fit in well with our company / Institution?
  • What differentiates you from other applicants with similar qualifications?

Pre­par­a­tion

To have the best job interview possible please pay attention to the following points:

  • Your skills and knowledge related to the position are considerable qualifications that can help you get the desired position. In order to advertise yourself in the best way, you should know in advance what qualifications the employer is seeking for. It is more likely that the applicant can impress the potential employer by showing special technical knowledge than with general answers. This last aspect will be critical when the potential salary is discussed.
  • Learn as much as you can about the potential employer. Go over their homepage. Try to find out as much information on the company and their branch as possible. It is not necessary to learn everything by heart, even less so to start listing everything about the company in a job interview, but it is important to give the impression that you are well prepared and informed about the targeted company or institution.
  • You have to know about the world around you to be able to present appropriately!
  • Please read books and articles regarding the generic job interview questions; not to learn generic answers by heart but rather to be prepared for the type of questions that will be asked. Doing this will minimize the risk of finding yourself in an embarrassing situation where you don't feel prepared to provide a good answer, or where you are unsure how a specific question should be addressed.
  • For more literature on the subject feel free to stop by the Career Service office at Campus Center - ground floor. (Literature mostly in German)

Ex­ample

  • Try to read up on current world events before going to the job interview. Current events can be a topic in the job interview, especially if they are related to the field in which the company works.
    If a rival company was, for example, shortly bought out by a foreign competitor, such topic might arise during the interview and the applicant should be aware of this and able to give input on the matter.


Dur­ing the In­ter­view

Job interviews can proceed quite differently. No one job interview is the same as another: the length, the number of interviewers, as well as the type and content of the conversations can vary greatly.

During the job interview pretty much the same rules as with the letter of application apply: Please discuss concrete examples and not just give generic answers or phrases! Goals, solutions, potential problems, and specific facts or numbers come across quite nicely when used in a context.

At the end of the interview the question, "Do you have any questions for us?", is often asked. Here you can take the opportunity to show your interest and motivation by asking a relevant question. Think of an appropriate and interesting question to ask at the very end. Please consider that statements such as, "You've answered all my questions", do not usually go very well.

An ex­cel­lent ex­ample

"When I was doing X I had Y problem and I did XY to solve said problem."

Empty Phrase

"I am always motivated and am very responsible. It is important to me that I give my best. Responsibility and high motivation are my strengths."