prepare for a job interview with these 9 tips

  1. learn about the company
  2. read the vacancy one more time
  3. prepare your personal story very well
  4. discover your strenghts
  5. pick out your clothes
  6. prepare for (though) questions
  7. think of questions you want to ask yourself
  8. determine your salary indication
  9. dont's during a job interview

1. learn about the company

Maybe you already learned a lot about the company while writing the application letter. But it does not hurt to look up everything you can about the company online. Their website, social media, news letter, etc. Do you know the name of the person the job interview is held with? Search for his/her LinkedIn profile. All of this gives you a better picture of the company as a whole and also helps you in answering potential questions about it. 

2. read the vacancy one more time

In case the vacancy is still online or you made a screenshot of it, you're lucky! You can read about the jobfunction demands one more time and read about what kind of person they are looking for. Tip: learn the competencies by hard and try to look for personal examples where you have shown these particular competencies. Because one thing is cristal clear: you will definately get asked about this. 

3. prepare your personal story very well

During a job interview you are the center: the employees want to know as much as possible about yourself. Your education(s), work experience, personal milestones, trainings, hobby's, basically everything. 

It helps to know in advance how you want to introduce yourself and what exactly you want to emphasize. Write it all down or practise the interview with a friend. This way you have a clear, smooth personal story without too many ''uh'' moments or akward silences.

4. discover your strenghts

Another thing set in stone, is that your skills and competencies will be discussed. What skills came in handy at your previous job? What do people applaud you for? What is your role in a team? Prepare a list with good (and bad) qualities in order to answer these questions properly.

Do not know exactly what good and bad qualities you can mention? Ask your friends and family how they would describe you. Those are your quality traits!

Or try one of the free online courses from GoodHabitz in which you train frequently asked skills: teamwork, taking initiative or giving advise. Online courses from GoodHabitz are free accessible once you have a Randstad account. 

5. pick your clothes

Whether you apply for a job in a very formal company or a new start-up: make sure you show up neatly and professionally. The clothes you wear say something about you as a person, so it's a chance to make an unforgettable first impression!

6. prepare for (tough) questions

Every job interview is different, but every employer wants to know what kind of person you are. Hence the questions you get asked often are the same. To help you get started, we have listed frequently asked (hard) questions:

  • can you tell something about yourself?
    This questions is often asked to take a look at your communication skills and to see how you present yourself. It is important to just be yourself while answering this question. Remember to emphasize on skills that are also asked in the jobfunction that you applied for
  • why do you want to work here? In other words: what do you already know about the company? Make sure to emphasize that you already dove into all there is to learn about the company and let them know what it is you like 
  • what makes you suitable to this job? 
    To be able to answer this questions, you need the skills from your cv that fit this job and elaborate
  • name a few good and bad qualities from yourself
    This question is asked to check how well you know yourself and on what areas you would like to develop. To what extend are you able to reflect back to yourself? Examples that work well, are examples of situations in which you utilized your qualities. Giving an honest answer of situations in which you could improve a certain quality is very important to mention as well. It shows you know your areas of improvement!
  • where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    An employer asks this question to get a better understanding of your desired career path. Can you tell something about your development wishes, or how you would like to grow in your field of expertise? That is exactly the kind of answer people are looking for. Keep your answer concrete, work related and especially realistic
  • why is there a gap in your resume? 
    Maybe not all your work experiences are consecutive? Or maybe you could not work in combination with your studies for a while? Just explain why there is a gap in your resume. This does not necessarily means a bad thing. As long as you are honest about it and have a clear explanation
  • we see that you have left your previous employer quite quickly. What is the reason? 
    The most important aspect in answering this question: do not speak badly about your previous employer. That could raise the assumption that you more often talk in a bad way about an employer and could be a real dealbreaker. Give the real reason and leave it at that. 
  • why did you not complete that education?
    Not completing a study or training often happens with a valid reason. Hence, explain what happend and also highlight what you did after you quit (for example starting a new study or starting a job).

7. think of questions you want to ask yourself

A frequently asked question we have not mentioned here yet, is: do you have any questions yourself? A job interviews goes both ways of course: not only does the employer figure out whether you fit the organisation, just as important is how you feel about the organisation. Do you think you are a good fit with the company and the jobfunction itself? So, draft out a few questions about the organisation that are important to you. This way you also show that you are genuinly interested in the company too. A few examples you can ask:

  • what are the next steps after this interview?
  • how does the team that I would become a part of look like?
  • in case I start here, what are the main priorities to start with?
  • what did the employees before me accomplish in this position?
  • what do you think is the best aspect of working in this company?

8. determine your salary indication

Chances are you get asked about your salary indication during a job interview. Especially when no salary indication is given in the vacancy itself. Hence, always prepare to give an indication. What helps is to really take your time to prepare. Think what would be a suitable salary for the job. Search for similar jobs and look what is offered. Or ask friends or family what would be fitting. You can also find plenty of tools online that help you in determining a fair salary indication.

9. dont’s during a job interview

We would like to close off this list of tips with a few focus points that help you in giving a fantastic first impression with the company you apply with. Try to avoid the following:

  • arrving late for your job interview
  • not giving a firm hand
  • not sitting up straight
  • not letting the other finish an argument
  • lacking the motivation to work at the company
  • not being able to elaborate on your skills
  • giving an unrelevant answer to a question