A job interview can range from a one-on-one meeting to a meeting with a larger group. Remember to ask about this prior to the interview. In order to be better prepared it is a good idea to take note of the name and position of the interviewer. The job interview is not only about the employer gaining a better picture of you, but it is also your chance to find out as much as possible about your future workplace.
· Find out as much as possible about the workplace.
· Think about a few questions that you want answered and write them down.
· Maintain eye contact with the person/persons that you are talking to.
· Show an interest for the job.
· Ask questions about the workplace and about your future work duties.
· Be yourself - honesty will see you through in the long term!
· Be positive - market yourself.
· Contact your referees beforehand and bring their names and contact details to the interview as well as any relevant documents.
(further examples of questions are available at the information centre at Zenit House on the Valla Campus and in Kåkenhus)
· Tell us a little about yourself. This question is normally asked for two reasons: it is considered to be a good start to an interview, since everyone can say something about themselves, and it is a good way of assessing how well you are able to summarise and present your life in a few minutes.
· Why should we employ you in particular? Here, you have to make it clear to the employer in a convincing way why you are the right person for the job. Develop the ideas in your application letter.
· Why did you choose to study XXX?
· What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Even if you find it difficult to discuss your perceived strengths and weaknesses, it is important to consider this. Perhaps you have some characteristics that are less positive but that may be developed? Remember that nobody is perfect and the strength lies in being aware of your weaknesses without losing self-confidence.
· Have you got any questions that you want to ask us? Take the opportunity to ask about the place where you might be spending the next few years of your life. The questions may relate to the company, your duties and working conditions, training possibilities or when they plan to announce the successful candidate.
· Personality: Can you work under pressure? Can you cooperate with others? Do you take initiative? How do you handle conflict?
· Other questions: Do you have a family? What do you like to do in your spare time?
· Remember to always give concrete examples of the qualities and experiences that you take up. Everybody can say that they are good at teamwork but what the employer is interested in is hearing about a concrete example of when you have successfully worked together with others.
After the interview
Think about the interview - what went well? What should you think about for next time? Why did it go the way it did? Difficult questions? It can be good to write down your thoughts straight after the interview; these may be useful if you get called back for a second interview. If it takes time for the employer to give an answer, you can always ring and ask - it shows that you are interested in the job.
If you do not get the job, ask for feedback. Is there anything that you should think about with regard to the interview situation, any specific experiences or qualities that you lack? Via constructive feedback you can then grow as a person and deliver a better result next time.
Last updated: 2012-06-18