JOB INTERVIEW

You’ve been invited to an interview. You passed the first phase and the employer would like to meet you. The goal of a job interview is to allow you to tell more about yourself and your competence, as well as to learn more about the job and company you are applying for. The most important thing is to just be yourself.

Prepare for an interview

PREPARE WELL!

Make sure you know the employer and their field well. At least visit the company’s website and read the posts they have on their LinkedIn page. You can check LinkedIn to see if anyone you know works at the company. They may also offer a good source of information before the interview.

 

You can often find important information, such as the company’s future plans or competitors, on the employer’s website under the “Current” or “News” tab. You can demonstrate your motivation at the interview by getting to know the company in advance.

 

Google the name of the employer and see what comes up – customers, competitors, products or services? See who are the key persons at the company and what size the company is. Check also the location of the company (sometimes there is more than one). All these pieces of information may prove valuable during the interview.

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU MIGHT BE ASKED

Try to come up with concise and concrete answers to all of the questions. You can find the list of the most common interview questions here (link here).

Remember to prepare your own questions to the interviewers. You should write them down to make sure you don’t forget them, as the situation may make you nervous.

You should also be prepared to answer questions in any of the foreign languages you have written down in your CV.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO AN INTERVIEW?

A pen and paper for making notes.

Your education and job certificates and CV – they are not always asked for, but it’s good to have them with you just in case.

Names and contact information of references. Make sure you have permission from your referees. If the interviewers say they will call your reference, you can inform the referee of this.

If you have any work samples, take them with you.

 

Make a good impression with what you wear:

Find out what the dress code at the workplace is and take that into account when choosing your clothes.

For example, pictures on the company’s website may give some idea of what style they prefer.

PRO TIP!

It’s okay to feel nervous! The fact you have been invited to an interview means that you have expertise the company is interested in.

Be yourself, have faith in your abilities and take a positive attitude to the interview with you.

During the interview

FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER!

Think positive thoughts and smile when you meet the interviewers.

An interview is a conversation, not an interrogation.

The interview also provides you with an opportunity to gain more information about the job you have applied for, the team, their work culture, or anything else you would like to know. Seize the opportunity.

How you act as a job seeker gives the employer an idea of what kind of employee you might make.

The interviewers usually consist of one or more of these people:

• your future supervisor
• the CEO of the company
• the person whose successor or substitute the employer is looking for
• your future work partner/team member/close co-worker
• a representative of the HR department
• a consultant aiding with the recruitment process
• in municipal jobs, local councillors or members of the municipal board

What should I say?

Listen to the question and, if necessary, verify that you understood it. Then answer in your own words with more than one word. However, avoid overly lengthy answers as well.

Whenever possible, mention examples when describing yourself and your competence. Try to come up with some examples that are concrete, realistic and motivational and allow you to emphasise your skills. For example, where did you learn to be systematic or well-organised?

Show your interest, do not play hard to get.

If you have any skills that are relevant to the job but are not asked about, you can bring them up yourself.

Finally:

Thank everyone for the interview and shake hands with them. If nothing has been said about the next steps of the selection process, you can ask what they are and what kind of schedule they will follow.

After the interview

You should think of the interview as a learning opportunity. On the way home, you can think about where you succeeded and what you should still work on.

Make notes of which questions were asked, how you answered, etc. This can really help you with other interviews in the future.

If the interviewer does not get back to you, you can contact them politely after a couple of weeks to ask how the selection is progressing. Contacting them by e-mail is probably better than calling.

If you receive a job offer:

Find out more about the pay level and terms of employment in the field – members of TEK can make use of the legal and salary counselling services of their organisation.

If you are not selected:

Don’t be a sore loser – direct your energy at your next applications instead.

It sometimes happens that the person who finished second or third in the interview gets the job after all. Sometimes they are offered a different job that is considered more suitable for them.

Video interview

What is it? What do you use it for?

A video interview refers to pre-recorded video interview questions that the jobseeker is expected to answer. Video interviews have lately become much more common. Employers use video interviews because it allows them to conduct the interviews regardless of time and place. Video interviews also allow the employer to interview more people than traditional, face-to-face interviews. Video interviews provide the employer with an idea of the applicant’s personality.

Technology: what will I need to reply to a video interview?

Lighting. Ensure that there is enough light and that your face is also lit. Bright natural light from directly in front of you is recommended.

Equipment. Most video interview tools work on PCs, tablets and phones. However, make sure your device is on an even base to avoid an unstable image. Try recording on a couple of devices: is the camera on your tablet better than the one in your laptop?

Angle. Place the camera approximately to your eye level at arm’s length. A pile of books may offer a good stand! Do not shoot the video from a low angle; avoid pointing the camera at your nostrils and the unavoidable double chin.

A calm environment and a neutral background. Ensure that the environment is calm and there isn’t too much background noise. See that the background is not messy.

Message content: how should I answer?

Practice your answers in advance, but don’t read from a paper.

Rehearse your answers a few times. It is usually possible to preview an answer after recording it, so listen to your answers before submitting them.

Reserve enough time for answering the questions (according to RecRight, it takes 20–60 minutes to record the answers).

Be concise and focused. You usually have around one minute to answer. Even though the time is short, remember to speak calmly. Answer the question that has been asked.

One of the advantages of a video interview is that you have time to prepare for even the trickiest questions. Write your answer down and compress your message into a very short form.

Self expression: what should I consider?

Be natural and true to yourself.

Wear the clothes you would normally wear to a job interview despite the fact you don’t actually have to leave your home.

After your last answer, thank the interviewer for the opportunity to introduce yourself.

Pro tip!

Place a post-it note next to the camera with some bullet points to help you with your answers.

First give a more extensive answer and then, in the last phrase, sum up the most important points. This allows the recruiter to easily grasp the most important points of your answer.

Phone and Skype interviews

What are they and what are they used for?

A Skype/phone interview has the same purpose as an ordinary interview. Due to schedules or distances, it may sometimes be more convenient to arrange a phone interview. The only difference is the equipment. Phone interviews have no picture. Skype allows a video connection with image.

The importance of body language

When you are in the picture, ensure that you have a good posture and act as if you were in an ordinary interview. When talking on the phone, it’s a good idea to smile and make sure you are happy, as it can be heard from your voice. You should also dress up for an interview, as clothes can be seen on the video.

Picture, sound, light, technology

Check the computer camera in advance to see how the picture looks, if the background is clear and what the lighting is like. Make sure there are no shadows or bright lights on your face and ensure that the background is clear enough. Make sure that you speak loudly and clearly enough so that the interviewer will not have to make an effort to hear you.

Haastis application

You can and should practice for a job interview

The Haastis mobile application allows you to practice your best job interview answers flexibly regardless of time and place.

Try to form clear and specific answers you can use in the actual interview situation.

The Haastis application allows you to:

• Read and listen to job interview questions by subject area.
• Rehearse your own answers and record them.
• Look at your own answers and think about what went well and what could still be improved.
• Read tips about topics related to job interviews.
• Find links to TEK’s online content.

Haastis can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store: search for “Haastis” in the stores.

Haastis-mobiilisovellus

OUR MOST POPULAR VIDEOS

THE LATEST BLOG POSTS

It’s again that time of the year when students are cramming for the final exams of the term,
Four friends start a journey to find The Wizard of Oz. Each of them seeks something personally important.
Third-level education allows you to learn and practice skills that are needed to tackle the constantly changing demands
What do world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking and Pekka Hyysalo, former freestyle skier and founder of the FightBack brand,