The Job Interview

The interview is an opportunity to provide useful information about the job seeker to the interviewer, but not an examination where the job seeker is on the defensive answering questions. The applicant has diverse useful skills, a prefereable attitude towards the job and extensive, personal experience that can not be related in details in a CV. The interview provides an opportunity to mention and stress these ideal factors.

The objective of the questioners is to gather information about the ability of the applicant and to assess how well the applicant is suited for the relevant company and for the position that is being recruited for. Therefore it is important to also have part of the interview on some lighter notes so that the outcome becomes an enjoyable chat where the questioner gets to know the applicant's real person.

At the close of the interview it is good to show some gratitude for the reception and express interest in the job. If possible then a day will be set for contact again


The questioner needs to find out during a short period of time what kind of person you are and what kind of future employee you will become. As a consequence the questions by the questioners are frequently the same from one interview to another. Take your time to answer each question. That shows reflection and composure. Discussion about social activities and recreation is positive and should definitely not be avoided. You become more individualised as a person in the minds of the questioners instead of being a dataset of information about job skills. It has an impact to be positive in all manner, giving clear answers and absolutely not avoid eye contact.

Examples of questions from employers

  • Why are you applying for this job?
  • What do you have to offer?
  • Why did you quit your last job? What were the pros and cons of the job?
  • How do you like working under pressure?
  • Why did you choose this line of work?
  • What would you call a good working environment?
  • How do you resolve disputes in the workplace?
  • Why should I hire you?
  • Tell us about an idea that you have had and which has been implemented at your workplace.
  • How do you think that your colleagues/superior will describe you?
  • What are your main strengths/weaknesses?
  • What are your long term goals regarding this job?

It is important to show a positive attitude and an interest in the relevant job and therefore it is good to have ready questions regarding the job. It might give a good result to practice the questions and even write down questions and answers on a paper (however do not bring this with you to the interview).

Examples of questions for the applicant

  • Why is this position vacant?
  • What does the job entail?
  • Is there a job description?
  • Is there a possibility for continuing education on the job?
  • What is the key to success in this job?
  • How is performance assessed?
  • How much time will I be given to prove I can perform the job?

That which can give a negative impression to ask about

  • Lack of manners.
  • Low self esteem.
  • Arrogance.
  • Lack of interest.
  • Ignorance about the company or the operation.
  • Neglectful appearance: poor personal hygiene and cleanliness and sloppy clothing.
  • Lack of leadership qualities.
  • Unrealistic demands. Overemphasis on the salary factor and an attitude of self-interest. Not taking into consideration the opportunities connected with the job and possible career development.

In the first interview it is more advantageous to wait posing questions about holidays, salary and perquisites of some kind. Such discussions take place in the following interview which is frequently referred to as salary interview.


  • Practise the questions
  • Do not arrive too late – and absolutely not too early either
  • A neat, clean-cut appearance – the first thing one notices
  • Greet everyone with a handshake
  • Eye contact
  • Smile – enjoy yourself


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