Europass’ top interview tips that lead to job offers


You submitted your Europass CV and a potential employer invites you to interview. There’s no need to panic. We’ve put together a list of top interview tips to help you land your dream job.

Preparation

  • Allow plenty of time to get there. Turning up late makes a terrible first impression. If you are not familiar with the interview destination doing a trial journey is in advance is advisable. It will be one more thing you won’t have to worry about on the day of the interview.
  • Anticipate common interview questions such as “Why did you apply for this job?”, “What are your strengths?” and “What are your weaknesses?” etc. and get someone to do a mock interview with you.
  • Thoroughly knowing the job description for the role you’re applying to will help you answer difficult questions and highlight specific skills which will show you are the right person for the job.
  • You are likely to be asked about the company you are applying for so, knowing about your potential employer is sure to impress.
  • Take a look at their company website and social media profiles such as LinkedIn prior to the interview. This can also help you to find the specific people who will interview you – giving an insight into what your future manager has achieved, on average how quickly you can expect to progress within the company and any areas of common interest.
  • Endearing yourself to your interviewers is just as important as the skills you present on your CV. You are more likely to get a job if an employer thinks they can work with you on a daily basis.

Appearance

  • Whilst it is true that some sectors take a relaxed attitude to office attire, dressing to impress is a good idea helping to show that you understand the company.
  • Presenting yourself well will reflect well upon you.
  • If you’re not sure what you should wear, you should ask in advance.

Ask questions

  • Having questions to ask your interviewers is always advisable. Nothing to ask makes you seem disinterested.
  • It’s also a great opportunity to ask about anything which has so far been unclear or simply about the work environment – i.e. is it fast-paced? Do employees socialise outside of work?
  • If you’ve spotted something in your research i.e. a lack of social media presence, then ask if the company has ever considered it. Suggesting ways to improve their business will impress and shows a potential employer what you could offer.

Make notes

  • Similarly to asking questions, taking notes shows that you’re diligent and engaged.
  • Even if you think you’ve taken everything in, it can be useful for when you want to ask questions at the end or after the interview.

Take your time

  • An interview is a chance to show off all of the qualities which can’t be written down. Highlight your technical capabilities and informal skills. Don’t just repeat your CV.
  • You’re not expected to answer every question immediately. Formulating what you want to say in a clear, coherent manner is more important than making the interviewers wait.
  • Giving yourself time to think is acceptable and will help compose yourself.
  • Admitting you don’t know the answer to a particular question is nothing to be ashamed of. Employers will appreciate your honesty and prefer this to hearing a response they know is incorrect.

Personal social media activity

  • Prospective employers are more than likely to check your social media activity prior to your interview.
  • Whilst an active social media account with lots of followers can make you stand out from the crowd, employers will only hire someone who they think will represent their company in a positive fashion both during and outside working hours.
  • Changing your privacy settings is a good way to keep your work and social life separate.

More resources from Europass…

  • Europass CV – if you haven’t created your CV yet, the Europass CV is here to help. It is widely recognised by employers, institutions and training providers across Europe – helping you highlight your skills, qualifications and work experience. 
  • EURES Job Portal – haven’t found the job that matches your skills yet? The European Job Mobility Portal has millions of jobs listed all over Europe. Employers can also search for you if you have a set of skills they require for a job role.
  • Euroguidance – not knowing what you want to do is fine. The Euroguidance network of careers guidance professionals can offer bespoke advice about what opportunities are available to you – whether that is working, studying or volunteering.

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