10 tips for a good job interview

Job interview tips

You spend much of your time at work, so make sure it’s a job that suits you and energizes you. But how do you make sure you get that job? One of the things you can do is prepare well for your job interview by following the following tips.


1. Show up well-groomed and in an appropriate outfit

You never get a second chance for a first impression, so choose your interview outfit carefully and make sure it fits the company you are interviewing with. The recruitment consultant knows the company well, so they can advise you. You can also check the company’s website yourself. That often includes photos of employees in the work environment. For a job interview, always dress a little neater than what you see in the pictures. It really doesn’t always have to be a suit. For many workplaces and functions, this is not necessary. Neat (jeans) pants, a shirt/blouse and neat shoes are usually sufficient.

Always make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and undamaged. And lay that out the night before. Of course, you also make sure you yourself are clean and fresh, including your nails! Perfume/aftershave is allowed, but don’t spray too enthusiastically. After all, it can be very distracting from the conversation.


2. Make sure you are well-read about the company

Even if you have already learned about the company before writing your cover letter. In preparation for your interview, revisit the website, their social media channels and newsletter. That way all the information about the organization is fresh in your mind. Your interviewer will definitely try to find out how interested you really are and start asking questions about what you already know about the company. For example, if there has been a recent launch of a new product, be sure to mention it and ask a question about it.

Do you know who you are interviewing with and what their position is? See if they have a LinkedIn profile and you will get a preliminary idea of the person who will soon be sitting across from you. Perhaps you have common acquaintances or hobbies. A nice icebreaker!


3. Make sure you have prepared questions about the position and the organization

Re-read the job posting a day in advance. Do you have any questions about it? For example, how big is the team and what specialties are you working with? Or in case of overlap, which tasks belong to you and which belong to the other? Also, make sure you have the requested competencies well in mind and think of examples that you can use to show that you have mastered them. Do you have a clear picture of the organizational structure and culture? If not, again ask questions. This is also the time for you to see if you fit in with this organization.


Case study engineer

4. Think of practical examples in advance about your actions in your work

HR professionals often use the STAR(R) method of interview questioning in a job interview to be able to find out very clearly in a practical example what your role was in a particular situation and what the result was.
stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result and (Reflection). You can prepare for this by writing out for yourself some relevant examples (e.g., around the collaborative competency). Did you get a very good result somewhere? For example, a project delivered completely to your satisfaction, on time, at no extra cost? Or devised a practical solution that now saves the company a lot of money? Mention that for sure!


5. Be prepared for questions about yourself and the choices you have made

One of the first questions of a job interview is often, “Tell me something about yourself? Know in advance what you are going to respond to that. Make it both professional and personal. For example, are you an avid cyclist in your spare time. Then name that above all, it says something about your personality. Your interviewer wants to know all sorts of things about you to determine if you are the best candidate for the role. Prepare for questions about your education, work experience, accomplishments, courses, training, and hobbies. And especially why you made certain choices. Tip: Practice the interview with a friend so that you go into the real job interview more relaxed. Nuance in this is that you are not supposed to rehearse your answers, that comes across as unnatural and you miss a piece of spontaneity as a result.


Check your social media channels

6. Be yourself and check your social media

Of course you want to show your best side during the job interview, but make sure you remain authentic. After all, you also want you to feel in place soon and really fit in at this position and in the company culture.

Google yourself, what information and pictures come up? And your social media, how do you present yourself there? Does the image that emerges there “conflict” with, for example, the requested personal characteristics or responsibilities of the job you are applying for? If so, hide them from outsiders or delete them. Of course you are allowed to do whatever you want in your spare time, but if you are drunk on everything then it may not reflect so positively on you when you apply for a job where you have to operate dangerous machinery. On the other hand, are you applying for a job in the events industry? Then all kinds of photos where you are partying may not be a problem at all and even positive if you are hosting parties.


7. Check your route to your job interview in time

An open door of course, but plan your route several days before your interview and also check your itinerary on the day itself. Arriving late or arriving in the last minute before time and then going into the interview sweaty or rushed usually does not make the best impression. So check in advance for detour. Is there a chance of traffic jams? Are you going by public transport, bicycle or car (tank full)? Is the bus stop nearby? Where is the best place to park? In short, leave nothing to chance so that you are on time, preferably a little earlier. Often you may take a seat at the reception desk. A great opportunity to simultaneously preview some of the atmosphere as people walk by.


Job interview via Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet

8. Job interview via Teams, Zoom or Google Meet

Online meetings and meetings have taken off in recent years. Similarly, it has become much more common to hold a job interview via Teams, Zoom or Google Meet. There are some basic rules for this as well, and good preparation is half the battle.

Check all the technical stuff beforehand; your internet connection, camera, sound (laptop microphone or headset) and make sure your face is nicely exposed. In any case, never sit with your back to the window; there will be backlight and you will be a dark shadow to the interviewer. Look into the camera frequently and try to maintain an active posture.

As mentioned in tip 1, pay due attention to your external care in this setting as well. On camera you see everything, so also make sure the space where you sit is tidy. Look carefully in advance at what can be seen on camera and make sure there is nothing in the background that could distract your interviewer. That also means turning off all your other programs so that notifications and chat messages do not come into view during the conversation. Of course, your phone is also on silent, but you have it handy. Namely, should the Internet connection fail, you can continue the conversation over the phone.


9. Job application etiquette

Always be friendly to the person receiving you, as well as to your interlocutor. Often you will also be asked for the opinions of others you have encountered in the company. Give a hand (not too limp, not too firm), look at the person, smile and say your name clearly. Sit down only when your interlocutor invites you to sit down. Address your interlocutors as “you,” unless he or she indicates otherwise.

Before entering the conversation, turn off your cell phone completely. Not on vibrate because when you get a call you hear it vibrate and that is distracting. Don’t chew gum, it comes across as disinterested. And don’t be negative about previous employers and colleagues. This makes your potential new employer feel that you will one day do the same about him. In conversation, take an active attitude, show that you are listening and let your interlocutor finish before answering. At the end of the conversation, thank your interlocutors for their time and shake hands again.


Do the power pose to appear confident

10. Nonverbal communication in your job interview

You’ve probably heard of the English expression “Smile before you dial. This is a technique often used in “cold calling” by sales. By smiling, even if it is not a spontaneous smile, you convey a positive and clear tone of voice that is perceived by the recipient as warm and trustworthy. Nonverbal communication also plays an important role during your job interview. Often you are not so aware of this yourself, but you can consciously use this to feel more confident and thus leave a positive impression. Before you go to your interview, you can adopt a kind of power pose for yourself. Stand up straight with your legs slightly apart, shoulders relaxed back and finally put your arms to your sides. Hold this posture for a few minutes. This makes you feel powerful and so you will go into the conversation feeling more confident. It is also important to have an active and open attitude in the conversation itself. Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed and try not to cross your arms and legs. This can come across as defensive. Make eye contact and alternate when you are talking to more than one person.

By following these tips, you will be well prepared for your job interview.


Best of luck!

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