Preparing for an interview

In preparation for an interview you should focus on the following

  • A presentation of yourself
  • Your motivation for the job
  • What do you have to offer?
  • Your questions to the interviewer
  • Your answers to typical questions

1: A presentation of yourself

How will you answer the question: Tell me about yourself? Formulate a brief, concise and relevant presentation of yourself. Practice saying your presentation aloud in front of the mirror and be especially sharp in your introduction. The presentation should last only a few minutes. What are the three most important things an employer should know about you for the job? Think in both personality and professionalism.

Trap: You tell your whole life story based on a review of your resume. This signals that you cannot prioritise and tell the essence.

2: Your motivation for the job

Why do you want the position? What are you enthusiastic about for the job? Why is this position exactly right for you? The answer can be part of your presentation. Focus on your positive reasons for applying for the job. This requires that you have spent time researching the company and you're familiar with both the company and job content.

Trap: You talk about everything bad in your current or previous job - for example, that you are tired of your boss, get too little pay or that you apply for the position because you're tired of not working.

3: What have you got to offer?

How will you take on tasks? What defines you as a person and your way of working? How do you create results? What are your strengths? Also think about how you can tell your weaknesses in a nuanced and constructive way. This shows that you have self-awareness. Tell concrete positive stories about how you used your skills to achieve good results. The stories demonstrate your skills and strengthen your credibility.

Trap: You tell long boring stories that are not directly relevant to the job you seek. Or: You exaggerate your adventure exploits, becoming untrustworthy.

4: Your questions to the company

Prepare relevant questions about the company, job content and tasks. Also questions about the corporate culture and management style may contribute to a constructive dialogue. Possible questions include: What is the biggest challenge of the job? What is the most important task to solve? What are the success criteria for the position? What characterizes a successful person in the company? Why is the position vacant? What is the culture?

Trap: You ask too many self-indulgent questions that will signal that you are more concerned with what the company can do for you instead of what you can do for the company.

5: Your answers to typical questions

Prepare the questions you may be asked at the interview. You can be inspired by the questions in the box below. Most people experience some form of nervousness before a job interview. You can take the top off the nervousness by preparing yourself thoroughly. Consider also the nervousness as positive when the adrenaline gets you to think faster.

Trap: You have not prepared for the questions you will be asked. For example: Why did you stop in your last job? What will you be paid?

6: Typical questions at interview

Could you tell me more about yourself? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want to work for us? How much do you know about the company? Why do you want a new job? Why are you this particular position? What can you do for us that no one else can? How do you see the job - can you give a definition of it? Describe your greatest success. Describe your biggest failure. What is a good boss for you? Where are you in three years ? What are they paying you today? Why did you leave your last job? How long have you been unemployed? What do you think you should have to pay? How satisfied are you with your career so far? What are your future goals?

Questions employers should not ask - but still gets asked once in a while

As an applicant, you may find that the employer asks questions about: Sex, race, religious beliefs, political opinion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy, childbirth or adoption. It is not illegal for the employer to ask those questions, but seeing the employer is not allowed to take the information into account, he or she should completely refrain from asking them.