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Germany Job Interview Tips

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. Nevertheless, jobs in Germany need more than the German visa and just the obvious German CV with German cover letter writing and translation - they require careful preparation and passing of Germany job interview. You will face problems that in all probability did not even cross your mind when you decided to try overseas careers.

Do not underestimate the impact employment in Germany can have on your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.

Most visits to Germany are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the German authorities have carried out a number of arrests as a result of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety

Prepare yourself for the German job interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice your few-sentences "speech" 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 one of the most important parts of being hired for available jobs. So, check the German dress code

The interview will be conducted in either German or English, depending on the company and 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 the 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 the 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.

Manage your online presence on LinkedIn or Facebook. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online CVs should not include sensitive information as they could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

Applicants are expected to include evidence of their accomplishments at an 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 the 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.

The German job 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 a couple that had less than favourable 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.

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 job interviews, 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 the interview and shake hands with everyone present when leaving.

After the interview, send 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 during German job interviews. 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 Germany Job Interview Info

When you receive an invitation to the job interview, take a quick look at job interview tips and other job search skills pages. Check the job interview dos & don'ts.  Find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

We hope that your Germany job interview has been successful. So, follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.

In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Germany job interview!