Even if each interview takes place differently, many parallels can be identified. The conversation can be divided into several phases. The following pattern presentation talk, shows the typical phases of a job interview.
1. Welcome & Small Talk
2. Introduce Yourself
3. Getting to know: company presentation
4. Application and performance motivation
5. Organizational questions
6. Own questions
Facts about the process of your interview
a. Most of the talks take place according to a similar pattern.
b. An interview usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
c. The higher the position, the longer the interview takes.
d. Many people say they already know in the first 90 seconds whether they hire someone or not.
Step 1: Welcome & Small Talk – Let the game begin
The interview usually begins with the greeting outside the actual conversation room. Typical process is that you arrive at the company and introduce yourself to the reception. Then you are either taken to a room or you are asked to wait in the main waiting room.
As soon as you meet the staff, you will shake your hand and say the person’s name. Please avoid the not so dynamic “cheek kissing” here, and instead return the greeting with a firm, dry handshake. Now the first small talk takes place. They can ask you, for example, “How was your journey,” “Are you feeling good,” or “Such a nice weather today, isn’t it.” Here, you should answer friendly and chat a bit; on the one hand for sympathy points and on the other, to relax yourself.
Important: Many employers claim that they decide whether or not to hire someone within the first 90 seconds. The first moments of personal acquaintance are therefore not to be underestimated. The motto is therefore, smile, be friendly and polite, and make good eye contact.
Once you get into the conversation room, you will only site down when they say so. You will also be asked if you want to drink something, you should take it because on one hand, it is polite and on the other hand, you can use the drink as an excuse to think about a good answer or to simply drink it to calm yourself down. You do not have to drink what’s in the glass, but having it there on the table is a good option.
Step 2: Introducing Yourself
Hands were shaken, small talk exchanged, and now all are sitting on chairs. We have arrived in the learning phase. Now, the participants present themselves briefly to each other. This is often simply initiated with “Then tell me something about yourself.” Of course, you are ready for it and have already prepared a small self-presentation at home, which lasts no longer than two or three minutes. If you do not know exactly how the whole thing should look, you can find some tips on self-presentation in my other articles.
How important the personality is in the course of the interview, is also shown by the results of different surveys. In this case, 78 percent say that the personality of the applicants is a decisive factor for the final selection.
Step 3: Getting to know the company
You introduced yourself briefly, now it’s the company’s turn. The person briefly presents the company as well as its products and services. Here it is important to stay focused and interested, and not to relax. Look at your conversation partner and signal by nodding that you are attentive. You can also take notes for future questions. If you have previously informed yourself about the company, you can then gently ingest this information as you already know all or most of it. But please do your homework before the interview.
Also it may be that you are asked what you already know about the company, and the staffer only then continues. This is also the biggest mistake that immediately worsens your cards if you have not informed yourself about the company, for example, simply by reading the content on homepage of their website or in company profiles.
Step 4: Application and Performance motivation
After a little banter, you can collect sympathy points; the crucial questions are now coming. For now, your opponent wants to know why you are the perfect candidate for the vacancy.
a. Why did you apply for this position?
b. Why would you like to work in our company?
c. Why would you like to change jobs?
These questions should be well prepared. You must now justify these question with good answers.
What interests you in this job?
An answer that is always good is to simply say: The tasks!
Why is the company interesting for you?
With an honest smile say: It is a great company, and has exciting customers.
What qualifications do you bring for the job?
Study + experience with correct examples.
Why does this job fit perfectly to you and your past career?
Here you can go back to experiences. Also nice is if you say that you want to develop skills in this area; now, you can play your trump card, if you have one.
Remember: People love stories, a bit of storytelling, as long as it remains credible, does not hurt at all. Include stations from your resume and access your application documents to make references.
Also good to know for the interview:
Trained personnel will use various conversation and questioning techniques in the interview. Even if the person asks closed questions (yes/no questions,) one should still justify his answer.
Your responses should be clearly structured and have a job reference instead of simply listing the keywords. With typical phrases such as “team-player” and “creative,” you should not expect good results.
In addition to professional qualifications and objectives, the employer is also interested in the candidate’s personality. It is not only important to be able to fill the position competently, but also to fit into the existing team and company’s culture.
Step 5: Organizational questions
This step involves some dangers, because you can break down again and again what you have just built up. Now, organizational matters are clarified. This includes how much the salary is and how many days of holiday there are. If you already have to specify your salary requirements in your application documents, you will be asked for them. In an internship or a trainee program, salaries are usually fixed. Now it’s a bit like a poker game and you have to guess what is going on. It is important, however, to show the company that you want the job not only because of the money! If the salary is somewhat under your expectations, you can then also ask, for example, about the time frame for promotions.
Step 6: Your Questions
This question is likely to be put into the room by the staff, “Do you still have any questions?” But beware! This is actually not a voluntary option, but a clear invitation to ask questions in the interview. If an applicant does not ask questions, this can be interpreted quickly as disinterest or shyness. Often the vacancies offer connecting points for meaningful questions. Another starting point is to be as clear as possible in the run-up to how you really want to work.
Supposedly, there are no stupid questions, but in the interview, there are some. You should not ask questions about things that have already been said or clarified in the conversation or which you can answer yourself. Also questions about working or vacation times, as well as special and salary increases should not be asked (at least in the first interview) because that puts one’s own motivation into question. These things should be secondary or at least to be dealt with later.
Step 7: The farewell after the interview
The conversation comes to an end. Now it is about setting the deadlines and how to proceed in the selection process and when you can expect an answer. After that is clarified and no questions are open, the staff will thank you and say goodbye. You also can say thank for the fact that you have taken the time for the interview; say that you would very much like to work in the company and shake hands again good. Then leave the room with a quiet step. Countenance is everything.