The Good Job Interview

It is important that you do not view the job interview as just an interview but rather as a conversation where you maintain a dialogue with the people sitting across from you. They, of course, want to learn more about you, what you have to offer and what your expectations are. And you want to find out whether the job and the company live up to your expectations. Thus, it is worth your while to be honest and sincere.

The overall impression you give at the job interview is crucial for the final outcome. We offer 9 small measures you can take to help present yourself in a positive light.

9 measures to help present yourself in a positive light

1. Appearance

Start the interview out right: Arrive on time and preferably five minutes early. Remember to turn off your mobile. It is important that you can remember the name of the person with whom you will be speaking. Smile and give a firm handshake (without squeezing too hard). Be polite. Make sure to look everyone in the room in the eyes. Avoid sitting with crossed arms and try to appear calm and open. And avoid playing too much with your hair or with the pen on the table. Take the first few minutes to get a reading of the situation. Is it okay to crack a little joke, or is the atmosphere more serious? If you are a little nervous, try to speak slowly rather than too fast.

2. Nervousness will not disqualify you

If you are very nervous, don't give up in advance. It just shows that you are interested in the job and that it is important to you. If, on the other hand, you are too calm and laid-back, you can appear overly nonchalant and indifferent. Confidence is really good, but not if it makes you seem arrogant. It is best if you show some commitment and show that you take the interview seriously. But try to quell your nervousness and say the things that need to be said. Things usually go better if you are thoroughly prepared for the interview. That helps boost your confidence and helps you answer the questions more freely.

3. Presentation

Often an interview will be begin with the interviewer telling you a bit about the company. Here it is a good idea to make a few comments or ask a few questions. But make sure you don't interrupt! Try to appear positive and interested. You should still be yourself, of course, but don't exaggerate your enthusiasm.
Sometimes an interview will begin with you being asked to present yourself briefly. Make sure to say something that is relevant to the job.

4. Make sure to get your points across

You may find that some interviewers are not very experienced and ask their questions in an unstructured manner. If you have specific points that you want to get across, then it is important that you take some control of the interview. At the same time, it is important to listen carefully so you don't go down a tangent.

5. Don't hold back and be descriptive

It is important that the interviewer does not have to force the worlds out of you at the interview, but that you can speak on your own initiative. But take care not to interrupt. Instead, provide long answers to the questions. Always make sure to give examples from your own experience. Show it – don't tell it. Link your experience and your ambitions to the position in question. That way you will always be giving reasons why you are perfect for the job.

6. Fictitious cases and constructive criticism

You may be asked to consider fictitious cases and problems. Often you will also be asked to give your opinion in relation to the company or a product. In such situations, you should provide constructive criticism. It is especially important in relation to a product that you can take a critical stance and possibly incorporate a future perspective. But everything in moderation.

7. Rounding up

When the interviewer seems to be rounding things up, don't draw it out. And don't ask how many applicants they are interviewing. You do not need to know unless the interviewer wants to tell you. On the other hand, it is a good idea to ask about the further process – will they call you up and will there be a second interview. Make sure to bring your calendar in case they want to arrange a date for a second interview. If there will be no more interviews, you may conclude by giving your references.

8. The second interview

There will often be two interviews. Sometimes the first interview is a kind of screening, where focus is on professional competences. At the same time, the interviewers will assess whether your personality matches the company. The second interview will often be tougher, and you will have to explain your choices in more detail. With some companies, the same people will be present at both interviews, which means you can be much more concrete at the second interview. Other companies will use a whole new team, perhaps with more experience than the first team, so the two interviews can be similar.

Read about how to prepare for the job interview here.