How do I successfully complete a job interview in German and what do German employers look out for?
Your application in Germany was successful. You have been invited for an interview. Congratulations! Now comes the exciting part: a personal interview. You probably have a lot of questions now.
How does a job interview work in Germany?
How do you overcome the language hurdles?
What do you need to bring with you?
Of course, not all job interviews are the same and there is no golden rule for a successful interview with a positive ending. Nevertheless, a pattern can often be identified that you can use as a guide. In this blog, we would like to give you some tips on the basic procedure, the right behaviour, formal requirements and how to deal with language barriers for a successful job interview in Germany:
The basic process of a job interview:
Job interviews on-site or via video telephony in Germany are usually divided into three phases:
1. The greeting:
Punctuality is key. Don't be late, because that already makes a bad impression and the company sees punctuality as one of the cornerstones of the workplace. Let your interviewer make the first move. If he shakes your hand, return it with a firm handshake. This gives the impression that you are a confident person. Do not sit down until you are offered a seat.
2. The Actual interview:
Now it gets serious. You sit across from your interviewer.
The way to start the interview is usually through small talk. "Did you find us well?" or statements about the weather are typical here.
After that, you usually introduce yourself. Your German self-introduction should last no longer than two to three minutes. After everyone has gotten to know each other, one of the participants introduces the company and its goals. Here you should listen with great interest and look at your counterpart to signal that you are listening attentively.
Now comes the most important part: the question and answer session. Your interviewer will now ask you many questions about your personality, knowledge and experience. But be careful. Not all questions are allowed. Your private life should be off-limits during a job interview. Try to answer all questions confidently and honestly, because if you give false information, it will come out at the latest after you are hired.
In the last step, you will be asked if you have any questions. Prepare your own questions for this part of the interview. If you don't ask any questions, it could give the impression of disinterest.
Almost there. The same applies to the goodbye as to the greeting. Let the interviewer take the initiative. Stay focused and confident until the end. After all, the farewell also leaves a certain impression on your potential, future employer.
Language hurdles at the job interview in Germany:
Before the interview, you should inform yourself in detail about the company. Make a list of the most important points. This will give you a good idea of which words you don't yet know from the career field you've applied for. Take another close look at the job description. Here you will often find key terms that you are sure to encounter again in the interview: Are you looking for a person who has spatial awareness, mathematical or linguistic understanding? But what does that mean exactly? What does adaptability, critical faculties or assertiveness actually mean? Here you will find descriptions of these qualities.
What you should bring to a job interview in Germany:
Often, your interviewer will have your mailed documents at hand during the interview. To be on the safe side, you can bring your complete application documents (cover letter, resume, references and certificates) once again in printed form. If you have not already done so, bring a recognition of your professional or academic qualifications acquired in your home country with a translation.
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