Your well-crafted resume has done the trick, but now comes the tricky bit: nailing the job interview. Novorésumé walks us through three of the most common interview questions in Germany, and offers some pointers on how to shine on your answers.
You’ve completed your resume, submitted your job application, and now you’ve been called up for an interview. Well done!
But now the dread starts to set in. How do you prepare for your interview? Good question.
The good news is that, while every job interview will most likely contain at least one question that catches you off-guard, there are a few standard questions that are almost certain to come up. And so by brushing up on your answers beforehand (and practising delivering them in a natural-sounding way) you can make sure you stand out from the other candidates.
In this article, we look at the three most-asked interview questions in Germany, and provide you with some great answers that you can adapt to your personal situation, to help you ace that interview and land your dream job.
Surely, it’s not hard to talk about yourself, is it? You do it every day without even thinking about it.
But here’s the rub – the interviewer(s) don’t want to hear your entire life story – from birth to the present day. What they’re actually looking for is a pitch – a compelling pitch. This question will probably be one of the first they ask you. So, why not use it as an introduction? Just make sure your answer(s) are relevant to the job in question. You need to show them why you’re the perfect candidate for the position.
You could use the following structure:
Here’s what a good answer might look like:
Hello! My name is Jane Doe. I’ve worked as a marketing consultant for more than four years at Companies A and B. I have some good experience in marketing analysis, having studied Business Management at [Made-Up] University and worked in the field for more than six years. So far in my career, I’ve achieved some solid milestones. For instance, I’m particularly proud of my work at Company A, where my marketing strategy analysis and subsequent recommendations increased sales volume by 12 percent in the first quarter of 2020.
There are two different options for answering this question: either you talk about the strengths you possess, or just what you think the interviewer(s) want to hear. We would suggest always going with the first one.
It’s best practice to limit yourself to a maximum of three strengths. We suggest picking one or two skills that show how you will excel at the job and one or two personal, but unrelated skills.
Make sure you can back-up your statements with stories or experiences that show how these strengths benefited you on the job. The right words are good – but when you qualify them with real-life experience (with results), then the HR manager’s ears will prick up.
For this reason, don’t be tempted to just answer this one off-the-cuff. Prepare for it in advance and do a dry-run of your answers.
You could say something like this:
One of my strengths is picking up new skills – fast. I’m good at adjusting my skill set to incorporate the new abilities required for a job position. This is demonstrated by my varied job history – as you can see, I’ve worked in a number of different roles. I always picked up all of the required skills for these jobs in less than a week or two, and I’m confident I can show the same adaptability in this job, because I’m very motivated to learn and get up to speed quickly.
This is a question you’ll hear at every interview you’ll ever attend – guaranteed.
While there’s technically no right answer to this question, there’s definitely a wrong way to answer it, e.g. “I don’t think so – thanks – I’ll be on my way now.” That’s a sure-fire way to make yourself seem disinterested and put you out of the running for the job. Do you see what we mean?
It’s extremely important to show your passion and enthusiasm for the company. Think – what kinds of things do I want to know about the company I’m hoping to work for? But don’t ask the most obvious questions – you should have got that information when you were researching the company before your interview.
This is the ideal opportunity to show how interested you are in working for them and to get the finer details about the company. Remember, you really want to be certain that working for this company is what you want to do – and so, in a way, you are also interviewing them.
So, what should you ask? Here are a few ideas:
You should now feel prepared to tackle these three most commonly asked questions when you next get invited to interview. Just remember that preparation is key when you’re interviewing for a potential job position, and you should always rehearse your answers and questions.
But that doesn’t mean you should be mechanic about it – be yourself and let your passion and enthusiasm flow out of you. Good luck with your next interview!
Want more tips on nailing that interview? Check out Novoresume’s guide to getting hired in 2021, The Job Seeker’s Odyssey, or take a look at their job hunt guide, which contains an exclusive section on interview questions and answers as well as pro tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
Andrei Kurtuy is one of the co-founders and CCO of Novorésumé and an expert in the job searching process.
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