Two colleagues sitting in an interview in our Antwerp office.

Everything you need to know for a successful job interview

Make a great impression at your job interview

The interview is a crucial step in the process of finding a new job. It is an opportunity for a candidate to present their skills and experience as well as to assess whether the position and the company are in line with their own goals. In this blog article, we share valuable tips on how to have a successful interview, including sample questions and answers.

1. Prepare For Your Interview

When you are invited to an interview, it is essential to prepare yourself properly. This means knowing what the company does, who your conversation partner will be, and what the company culture is like. You should also ask the right questions to make an impression and show that you are motivated and interested in the role.

Read the job listing again

Start preparing for your interview by thoroughly reading through the job description. Make sure you understand the requirements and responsibilities well, and consider in advance how your experience matches what the employer is looking for.

First impressions

During the interview, it is important to make a good first impression. Here’s how to do it. Recruiters pay attention to your attitude and communication skills and whether you can present yourself well. It is likewise important to ask questions about anything which is not yet fully clear to you and to show interest in the company. Good preparation and active participation in the interview can help you make a strong impression.

2. Interview Types

There are different types of interview you can expect to undergo when applying for a new job. It can range from a telephone or video interview to a face-to-face meeting on site. Each type of interview requires a different approach and preparation, so it is important to know in advance what kind of interview you can expect. Pay close attention to what the recruiter asks and plan accordingly. Think about how much time you need to get there or whether you need specific software. You can prepare for all of this. And just remember: people often value punctuality.

Frequently asked questions during an interview

During an interview, certain questions may be asked, such as questions about your experience, your motivation for the job, your strengths and weaknesses, and your expectations of the company. It is wise to think about these questions in advance and practise formulating clear, convincing answers.

Sample questions

An effective way to prepare for interviews is to practise using sample questions. Prepare an answer immediately, as it will help you when you need to answer that question or something similar. Here are some common questions you can expect:

  • Tell us a bit about yourself.

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Why do you want to work for our company?

  • Can you describe a situation in which you demonstrated leadership?

  • How do you deal with stressful situations at work?

Take the time to prepare your answers and practise them with a friend or family member. This will increase your confidence and help you give clear and convincing answers during the actual conversation.

Questions you can ask the interviewer

It is also important to prepare questions for the interviewer. This shows your interest and commitment to the role and the company. Some sample questions include:

  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this role?

  • What does the team I’d be working with look like?

  • What career opportunities are there within the company?

Stating good and bad qualities during interviews

Asking strong questions during the interview is important, but it is also important to mention your good and bad qualities. Be honest and highlight your strengths, but also indicate how you are working to improve any weaknesses. This shows self-reflection and a willingness to grow.

Second interview

If you are invited to a second interview, this means the employer is interested in you as a candidate. The second interview may go into more detail about the role and your skills. It is essential to prepare yourself again and find new questions that are appropriate for this stage of the application process.

Effective communication during the interview is essential for a successful application process. The first impression you leave often determines the course of the conversation – and potentially your chances of getting the job. Having a confident and professional attitude, as well as presenting yourself well, are essential if you want to make a positive impression.

3. Application Tips

You can also make a good first impression during the job interview. Even if you find it quite nerve-wracking, you can make yourself appear confident. Ensure you have a neat, professional appearance, come in with a firm handshake and make eye contact. Show enthusiasm, be positive, and remain active and interested during the conversation.

Preparing for an interview

To make a good first impression, it is important to make sure you are well prepared. Research who your conversation partner is, delve deeper into the company and ask relevant questions. Good preparation can help you to appear relaxed and confident during the interview.

Choosing clothes for an interview

Choose the right clothing for your interview. Dress to impress! Here are some tips on what to wear:

  • Formal wear: Formal clothing, such as a shirt, suit or a professional dress, is generally a safe choice.

  • Matching colours: Opt for calm tones such as black, grey, blue or white. If, however, you’re someone who likes to wear a splash of colour, go for it! But think carefully about how you wish to present yourself to someone who doesn’t know you.

  • Attention to detail: Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed and fit properly.

  • Accessories: Keep accessories to a minimum and opt for discreet jewellery. If you forget that you still have sunglasses or a cap on your head, the impression you make may not be the strongest one.

  • Shoes: Wear clean and professional shoes that match your outfit.

Salary negotiationHow to bring up salary

The subject of salary is often a delicate point during an interview. However, it is important to be prepared and have a good understanding of what to expect. Here are some tips on how to determine and discuss your salary during an interview:

Do some market research
to get a realistic idea.
Consider your financial
needs and goals.
Offer a range
instead of a fixed amount.
Focus on the working conditions as a whole,
not just the base salary.
Be prepared to negotiate
if the offer is lower than expected.
Daniel and Nore in interview modus in Antwerp office.

4. What To Avoid During An Interview

It is better to avoid the following during your job interview:

  • Arriving late: Make sure you arrive at the appointment well in advance. Show that you are punctual and reliable.

  • Inappropriate clothing: Being over- or underdressed can leave a negative impression.

  • Talking negatively about previous employers: Avoid negative comments about previous employers or colleagues. It can seem unprofessional.

  • Being distracted: Don’t get distracted by your phone, ambient sounds or thoughts. Concentrate on the conversation.

  • Negative body language: Avoid negative body language, such as frowning, sitting with your arms crossed or avoiding eye contact. This may give off the impression of uncertainty or disinterest.

  • Putting too much emphasis on salary: While it is important to talk about salary when it comes up, it is not wise to put too much emphasis on your salary expectations during the first interview.

With these preparation steps and tips, you are well on your way to a successful job interview. Good luck with the application process and securing your dream job!

Three colleagues laughing during a meeting.

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