How do I prepare for a job interview?
Have you been invited for a job interview? Prepare yourself well: you only have one chance to make a first impression!
Checklist: prepare yourself for your job interview
Read the vacancy
Make sure you read the vacancy text well. Do you know what the job entails? Do you still have some questions?
Research the organization
Look at the website and read annual reports and news articles so that you know what they do and what the latest developments are.
Research the interviewers
Google and look at the LinkedIn profile(s) of the person(s) conducting the interview. It is good to know who you are going to talk with. Are they going to ask questions from an HR perspective or more related to the content of the job? Are they potential future colleagues or your manager?
Prepare a strong introduction pitch
Prepare a pitch in which you briefly introduce yourself. The interview will probably start with the question: “Can you tell us something about yourself?”. Make sure you have prepared this beforehand: a short introduction of max. 2-3 minutes where you present the best version of yourself. Your answer will set the tone for the rest of the interview.
Prepare frequently asked questions
Some questions come up in every job interview. Think about these questions in advance and make sure that you have your answers ready.
Think of some examples
Prepare 2 or 3 practical examples according to the STAR-R method. Think back to past experiences that you are proud of or where you learned something. Have them ready to explain in detail what skills and competencies you possess with the help of an example.
Prepare some questions yourself
What do you want to know? What are things that you find important? A job interview is not just an opportunity for the future employer to decide if you are the best candidate for the job but also gives you a chance to determine whether the job and organization are right for you. For example: How would you describe the culture of the company? What is the composition of the team? How will I be supervised during my internship?
Contact details ready
Make sure you have the company’s telephone number ready or the contact details of the people who are conducting the interview. In case you get held up by traffic or public transport, or any other unforeseen events come up at the last minute, you can call them to inform them.
Don’t forget your non-verbal communication
Research has shown that applicants’ non-verbal communication during job interviews is decisive in the decision to hire an applicant. Dress for the organization and position you are applying for, give a good handshake and smile. More information about non-verbal communication.
Frequently asked questions during the interview
- Who are you? What is your story?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- Why do you want this job? Why is it the right job for you?
- What is special about you? Suppose you write 500 words about yourself, what would you put on paper?
- How would you describe yourself in one word?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you have to offer? What makes you stand out from the crowd?
- Why should we hire you?
- Describe the ideal workday for you. You're on your way home and you're all smiles. What was so great about this day?
- What are you most proud of?
- Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
- What do you hope to learn?
- What couldn't you put on your CV?
Navigate through the model to take your next career step
Please ask Student Career Services for advice.