Job interviews

Being called in for an interview shows that the employer believes you appear qualified for the position. It pays to be well prepared.

Preparing for the interview

Learn as much as you can about the employer:

  • Find information on their website.
  • It may also be a good idea to read their annual report.
  • Do you know anyone who works for the employer or in the industry you can contact?
  • You can also call the employer to get information, but do not ask about obvious things that you can easily learn from their website.

Read the job ad, your application and CV again before the interview:

  • Think through why you want this job and why the employer should choose you.
  • Think carefully about how you want to present yourself.
  • Prepare for the questions you may be asked during the interview.
  • Think through what you can add to the employer.
  • Think through your strong points and your weaknesses.

On the day of the interview:

  • Bring your notes, CV, application, certificates and diplomas to the interview.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Arrive on time.
  • Remember which department you are visiting and the contact person for the position.
  • A firm handshake and good eye contact always make a good impression.

A typical interview

You will meet two to five people - as a rule they will have different roles in the organization.

The employer will start by describing the organization and the vacant position.

If there is some information you have not received in advance you can ask about this during the interview. Examples of this include duties, development opportunities and working environment.

An interview normally lasts 45-90 minutes.

Sometimes you may be asked to undergo a personality test.

Some employers interview candidates in groups, but you will normally be told of this in advance.

You present yourself and the employer asks you questions. Below is a list of some of the typical questions asked in interviews. You may not be asked some of these questions and you may also be asked other questions. Think through how you would answer these questions in advance.

  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • What have you worked with before?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • What are your strong points in a work situation?
  • What where you doing during periods when there are gaps in your CV?
  • Do you easily get stressed out? What do you think about working with short deadlines?
  • Do you prefer fixed routines or to be assigned new tasks all the time?
  • What duties do you enjoy the most?
  • What duties do you enjoy the least?
  • What is the most positive and negative thing you can say about yourself?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to this job?
  • What do you think will be difficult in this new job?
  • What do you think you will be working with in five years?
  • Tell us about your family (civil status).

After the interview

Feel free to send an email thanking the employer for a pleasant interview.

You can call after 14 days if you have not heard anything from the employer.

Do not lose heart if you do not get the job. Do not lose sight of the fact that you were invited for an interview, so the employer believes you are qualified for the position. Going to interviews is good training. You may have made a good impression even if you did not get the job.

You can contact the person you interviewed with and ask why they did not choose you.