Congratulations! You have been invited to a job interview. You will be able to discuss your skills in more detail and gain more insight about your potential employer and future work tasks. The situation can feel quite challenging, especially if this is your first interview. Careful preparation can help to alleviate interview stress.
Preparation is very important, it gives you confidence. It is also a great way to demonstrate to the employing organisation that you are highly motivated for the position.
Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the employer and their field of operation:
- What does the employer do, what are their products and services? Who are its competitors?
- Remember to also familiarise yourself with the employer’s website and social media accounts.
- Read news and follow current events in the field in question.
- Contact the people you know who are familiar with the field or the employing organisation.
- Prepare to answer the most common interview questions. You can find a collection of these questions in three languages in the Toolkit on the Työkirja website. You should practice answering them out loud even if listening to yourself speak may feel a bit funny.
What to bring to an interview?
- Pen and paper for taking notes.
- Your CV and testimonials and certificates from your study and work history.
- Names and contact information of your references.
- Possible samples of your work.
Find out what the workplace culture is regarding clothing and dress accordingly. You can get some sense of the general style from the images on your potential employer’s website, for example
Before the interview, come up with questions that you would like to ask the interviewers and write them down. Usually, questions related to the position you are seeking, the employer, their goals and your future colleagues are considered good questions.
Do not fret about failing beforehand! Being a little nervous is natural and it is not a problem. You have expertise that the employer is interested in. That is why you were invited to the interview in the first place. Be yourself and believe in your abilities.
In the interview:
First impressions do matter. Be there ahead of time so you have a moment to calm down and orient yourself for the interview. Check beforehand the route you plan to take to the interview location.
Body language: Be friendly and smile. Remember to make eye contact and have a proper handshake. How you behave as a job applicant gives the employer an impression of what you would be like as an employee.
Listen to the questions carefully and, if needed, ask to make sure that you have understood them correctly. Answer in your own words, but avoid going on too long or only giving single word answers.
Use examples to tell the interviewers about yourself and your skills whenever possible. If you have some expertise that is relevant to the position and it does not come up in the questions, bring it up yourself.
After the interview is over, thank the interviewers for the interview and shake hands with everyone. You can then ask them about how the process will continue and what the schedule is.
After the interview, think about the aspects that you handled well and where you still have room for improvement. Did something surprising come up in the interview? Make notes. This will help with future interviews.
If you do not hear back from the interviewer, you can contact them after a couple of weeks and ask them about the status of the recruitment process. You should probably send them an email rather than calling them.
If you receive a job offer, look into the wage level and labour conditions in the field in question. Members of TEK have access to the organisation’s legal services and salary counselling.
Text: Eva Lindström & TEK Career Services
Photo: Getty Images