Interview Tips

Congrats – you’ve got an interview! That means the employer feels you are one of the best candidates for the position and on paper it already looks like you can do the job. Now it’s time to prove it.

The interview is still the most vital part of the recruitment process, so it is a good idea to be well prepared. It may sound like common sense, but many people make the fatal mistake of not doing their homework before walking into an interview.

Some interviews will be relaxed, some more structured and sophisticated, but the same basic rules always apply.

Before the interview

  • Research the organization. Company websites and social media are a good source of information. The more knowledgeable you are, the more impressed your potential employer will be.
  • Research the industry. Take a look at hospitality websites and magazines to get a feel for the latest developments. Be prepared to talk about their competitors.
  • Research ideally also the interviewer(s), social media (especially LinkedIn) are a great tool. A nice touch would be to read any recent interviews of the interviewer.
  • Research the role. Make sure you have well read and understood the job description and any other specifics for the role. If you are applying for a job through a recruitment agency, a consultant should brief you prior to the interview.
  • Think of the reasons why you would like to work for this company and why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Try to determine which of your skills the employer will value most and which examples from your past you can use to demonstrate them.
  • Anticipate questions about your CV, keep answers and reasons ready.
  • Make sure you are confident answering typical interview questions. Prepare answers to the most common questions that often form the basis of interviews and be ready for unexpected interview questions as they may throw you off balance. For further advice refer to the interview questions provided on our website.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask during the interview. This shows you’re interested in the position and have taken time to think about the potential move.
  • Dress appropriately and make sure that you are well groomed.
  • Be on time! Even plan to arrive 15 minutes early so that you are not getting stressed by any unforeseen delays. If an unavoidable emergency does pop up or you get stuck in serious traffic, then call the interviewer(s) to let them know you’re going to be late. Showing up late without a phone call is a guaranteed way to lose out on a job.
  • Always switch off your mobile phone before you enter the recruiter’s building. Getting random calls and texts while you’re talking with a hiring manager are mistakes that can ruin your interview. And if it does ring, don’t even think about answering your phone.

During the interview

  • When you first meet the interviewer, introduce yourself by name and with a firm but friendly hand shake.
  • Maintain eye contact during the conversation. This signalises self-confidence and shows that you have nothing to hide. Most importantly, breathe.
  • Avoid crossing your arms or legs as this creates a defensive barrier.
  • Be friendly and positive. Do not talk negatively about your current employer, unless you have a good reason for doing so.
  • Be honest, it is the best strategy in the long term.
  • In general, portray a positive image and express yourself in a positive manner.
  • Above all, be yourself. There is no reason for being nervous, you have been invited, which means you have already passed a first pre-selection.
  • Listen carefully and make sure you understand the interviewer’s questions. Give full answers and avoid yes/no responses. Sometimes finish your answer with a further question which helps to establish a flow of conversation and shows you are interested. Do not hesitate to ask if you have not understood everything, but never interrupt the interviewer. Pause before answering a difficult question in order to give yourself time to think.
  • At the end of the interview, the employer will usually explain what happens next, if not, then ask what the next step will be.
  • Thank the interviewer for having taken the time to meet with you.

After the interview

  • Follow up with a thank you e-mail, expressing your continued interest and making reference to the topics discussed.

Skype/Telephone Interview

For international assignments, employers often use Skype/telephone interviews. It speeds up the process and can avoid unnecessary flight costs.

A lot of the information detailed above remains relevant, we have however detailed a few specific points below.

  • Agree in advance on date and time of the interview. Don’t forget to take differences in time-zones into consideration! Be ready when the call comes, keep the following information next to you: CV, your current appointment schedule, list of questions you wish to ask, writing material.
  • Try to use a stable internet or phone connection.
  • Be seated comfortably and make sure that you are alone and free from any distractions.
  • Take notes during the interview.
  • Sound positive, enthusiastic and smile when speaking.
  • Silences often seem longer on the phone, therefore try to avoid too long silences when speaking.

Global Expat wishes you good luck!