Confident at the interview

A job interview consists of several phases. Depending on the company, industry or vacancy to be filled, the situations can vary greatly. Below, we show how a job interview typically unfolds, so that you have something that helps you find your orientation:


The impression made at the moment of greeting carries a great weight. The handshake is an important greeting ritual. It should be short and firm, but not too brash or disrespectful. Most of the time, there is small talk to loosen up the situation on the way to the interview room. Since the first moments of getting acquainted should not be underestimated, kindness and courtesy are a good way to arouse sympathy. Once you are in the interview room, you should only sit down if you are asked to. If you are offered a drink, be sure to answer "yes" in order not to act rejecting. Once you arrive in the interview room, the small talk usually continues for a short while. You can use this time to reduce your nervousness and to settle down in the room.

Getting acquainted

In the introductory phase, the persons involved in the interview briefly introduce each other. Make mental or written notes of the names, so that you can address the persons present personally during the continued course of the interview. Getting acquainted also includes the presentation of the company and its products or services, its objectives, as well as the outline of the activity spectrum of the vacancy applied for. This information can be very important, because it may be showing the tendencies of field of action, to which you can refer to in the following conversation.

Typical interview questions

  • Fragen zur Motivation
  • Fragen zum Kompetenzprofil
  • Fragen zur Persönlichkeit
  • Weitere typische Fragen
  • Eigene Fragen
  • Questions on motivation
  • Questions about the competency profile
  • Character Questions
  • Other typical questions
  • Asking your own questions

Typical interview questions

Questions on motivation

In addition to academic qualifications, an employer wants to know how strongly motivated you are: Are you applying for your dream job or is it only a stopgap? Candidates who can fully identify with their job responsibilities are in demand. Motivated candidates are distinguished by the fact that they set themselves career goals, work towards their achievement, and are better able to deal with setbacks as unmotivated candidates. It is better to give concrete examples. Make it clear that you have always been highly motivated by explaining why you chose to your training or studies. Organise the examples you want to put forward, what motivates you in carrying out your job responsibilities and what gives you strength. Typical questions are:

  • Why did you decide to study in your field?
  • What motivates you in your daily work?
  • For what reasons did you apply for this job?
  • What do you expect from this place and from the employer?
  • What type of Continuous Professional Development would you still want to do?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?

Questions about the competency profile

Even if you have already introduced yourself in your application documents, the job interview is the opportunity to present yourself a second time in your own words, and say who you are, why you have applied for the job and just why you are suitable for the position. They are interested in finding out if the career path you have gone so far, and what professional reasons lead you to decide on these steps.

  • Why are you the right candidate for the advertised position?
  • Which programs / tools / methods have you worked on or with so far?
  • What relevant knowledge and skills you have acquired in your studies and in your internships already?
  • How do you keep technically up to date?

Character Questions

In an interview, the employer wants to know you as a person. It is about your attitudes, values, goals, social commitment or hobbies. If you are asked about your weaknesses, you should not give stereotypical answers, but honestly admit to a weakness, and then explain how you deal with it constructively.


  • What values play a special role in your life?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the optimal working environment for you from?
  • Who are your role models?
  • How do you deal with setbacks to at work?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Other typical questions

You prepare your answer about the salary well and in advance. If you are asked, give a gross annual salary. Talking about hobbies only makes sense if they fit the context of the job. Do not express any negative remarks about your experiences with employers, supervisors, colleagues or customers, but show more gratitude for the many occasions, which gave you the opportunity to evolve. In so-called stress questions, you should remain confident and face the person you are speaking to. Doing so will demonstrate a constructive work attitude and creativity.

  • What salary expectations do you have?
  • What hobbies do you practice?
  • What do you like in particular in superiors?
  • Why did you study so long?
  • Have you applied to other employers?

Asking your own questions

Take the opportunity of the interview to ask your own questions, which will help you make your own decision. By doing this, you show commitment and interest in the task and, at the same time, learn more about the activity and the employer.

  • What is the biggest challenge to this position?
  • How will I learn the job?
  • What will be my first task?
  • Who will belong to my future team?
  • What medium-term prospects do you offer to young professionals?