Nasty questions in job interview and job interview: 5 tips for perfect applicant storytelling

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Text comes from: Die 157 wichtigsten Arbeitgeberfragen im Vorstellungsgespräch: Was Unternehmen wissen wollen, wo Stolpersteine lauern, wie Bewerber punkten (2018) from Ute Blindert, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Basically, a job interview is like a negotiation between job applicant and employer: it's about being very well prepared and having a lot of knowledge about your own desires and goals, the person you're interviewing and being Company as well as all the trappings to be informed.

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Ute Blows Best of HR –®Ute Blindert is a writer, speaker and presenter.


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Casting is only the first hurdle

Of course, not every conversation needs to be prepared for hours, but if you want to achieve something, it can not hurt to go through the conversation in the thought - and answer the questions for yourself.

Because: A formal application is only the first hurdle. At the latest when the sometimes trivial and inconsequential questions of the personnel are waiting to be answered, good preparation pays off.

Go through the most common questions in advance - 5 tips

And who has ever gone through the most common questions in the mind, will experience fewer surprises and may appear more selfish.

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Which questions ultimately expect the applicant can not be predicted. Among other things, it depends on the size of the company, the professionalization of the HR department and the experience of the interview partner.

1. The classic: self-presentation of the applicant

The questions about self-presentation are always exciting. The question to start with is mostly innocent: “It's great that you applied to us. Interesting resume above all. But tell yourself! ” Well, and then the stage is opened for introducing yourself.

Of course, this part can be practiced well - and of course I should definitely do that as a candidate. But first you should think carefully about what the company really needs. It's not about me, it's about my fit. If there is much talk of internationality and travel, one should not necessarily aim in self-presentation on his home-boundness.

2. The perfect candidate storytelling

It is important to think about what story you can tell about yourself. I have a nice example from one of my seminars where a young professional started his presentation like this: “I am a boy from the coast. I come from Husum and wind has shaped my life… ”

And then he reported on his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and the subsequent master in power engineering with a focus on wind energy. I think the wind turbine builder, who would not hire him, would have to be found.

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3. Score points as a newcomer to the company

I particularly like the questions that make it clear that companies are also so brave, lateral entrants and returnees (that's mostly women) to invite them to a conversation:

  • You have studied history. Why are you now promoting in HR marketing?
  • After such a long break, you want to join us now. Why should we hire you?

For applicants the most exciting questions are, of course, the contract design, that is, when it comes to money. In this part, it is recommended to be very well prepared and know exactly how much salary and why you want it.

4. Have your own profiles and data in view

Overall, one can say that the application process in many companies could use a little freshness. On the one hand, one always speaks of the shortage of skilled workers. On the other hand, well-trained female engineers have difficulty finding a job - probably because they have children. And that's just one example of many.

HR will not get past digitization - and that's a good thing. However, this will be a big challenge for many companies, if you look only at privacy and personal rights, for example in HR Analytics.

5. New application paths go

But what will change more and more is the identification of suitable candidates, especially for jobs as specialists and executives. Here, the search for active sourcing will (have to) increase because they are unlikely to be open on the labor market. The search and address must be purposeful and respectful, otherwise you will hardly be able to win these candidates.

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What can help are “corporate influencers” or brand ambassadors, i.e. employees of a company, who represent the company to potential applicants externally. This can be at a career fair or a trade fair, but also with specialist articles in the employee blog or via social media. Ideally, they also know how to ask a few correct questions during a conversation to find out whether someone is suitable for a job or an area.

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