German Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. A job search in Germany requires more than just the obvious German CV writing and translation - it requires thorough preparation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning jobs in Germany.
Do not underestimate the impact they can have on your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to Germany are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The German authorities have carried out a number of arrests as a result of investigations into terrorist networks.
Prepare yourself for German interview - before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice your few-sentences "speech" (preferably in German) about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Be positive.
Remember, these same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to talk about them in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.
Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important aspects in not being hired.
So, check the German dress code
The German interview will be conducted in either German or English, depending on the company and on your fluency.
Germans respect order, discipline and are more formal and punctual than most of the world. So, arrive at least 10 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cellphone.
Generally, two job interviews are held. The first is with the personnel department, in which the personality of the candidate plays a major role. The second job interview is with the field management, sometimes accompanied by certain specialists, who test your technical and professional knowledge.
You will never get a second chance to make a first impression, so prepare yourself and find out information about the company you want to work for.
When introducing yourself with a friendly face, use only your last name without your title. However, use last names and appropriate titles of your hosts. Titles are very important. Never use titles incorrectly and never fail to use them. Shake hands firmly and slightly bow with everyone present. Exchange business cards. Never put your hands in your pockets when talking with someone. Do not sit until invited.
Applicants are expected to include evidence of their accomplishments at initial job interview, so present your CV in a binder, which should include copies of all your educational certificates, diplomas, testimonials and references.
Be ready for questions regarding your current activities, expected wage and activities of former company. Answer them with precision providing examples to illustrate your achievements, avoiding yes and no answers. It is likely that you will be asked to solve a problem, which might occur in your future job.
German interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.
Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers. Maintain eye contact while talking to someone.
At German interview you do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, "In my country, that would be a strange question."
During the German interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask relevant questions about such areas as operational structure, reporting lines authority and your future responsibilities etc. but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).
Thank for interview and shake hands with everyone present when leaving.
After the interview, send a short thank you letters, to thank the interviewers and subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Psychological and aptitude tests are common. A medical examination is required for some occupations and some employers test all their prospective employees for drug abuse. For management positions, Assessment Centres are usually used even at the beginning of the selection process, before the interviews. During such tests, which can last up to three days, intelligence, social and communication skills and management qualities are tested.
Other German Interview Info
We hope that your German interview has been successful. Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Good luck with your German interview!