How do I prepare for GE placement

Job interview: convince in 5 interview phases

The job interview is tricky: within a few minutes you should say the smartest thing that has ever come out of your lips, should burst with inspiration and commitment, should be personable and motivated, make a good first impression and on top of that, emphasize why you are The company has a unique opportunity to hire the best possible staff. Now, here and today ... don't worry! Most job interviews take place in five typical interview phases. We will show you how you can optimally prepare for it and master it ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

All job interviews have a template

It is completely normal to be nervous in the interview. In fact, it's a sign that you're motivated and really want the job. The only important thing is that you don't just chatter away your nervousness - and the job at the same time. For example, by stringing together a lot of irrelevant information or talking about head and neck.

Prepare thoroughly for the interview and its phases. For example with the following tips and assistance. All five interview phases can be prepared in partial steps - and this huge hurdle "job interview" looks like a pile of building blocks:

Phase 1: small talk

Duration: approx. 5 minutes
➠ Brief greeting
➠ Introduction by name
➠ Ask about arrival & condition / drinks

Phase 2: getting to know each other

Duration: approx. 15 minutes
➠ Employer introduces himself
➠ Company / culture / products
➠ Description of the position and position

Phase 3: self-presentation

Duration: approx. 10 minutes
➠ Previous professional career
➠ Major milestones and successes
➠ strengths related to the job

Phase 4: Inquiries

Duration: approx. 10 minutes
➠ Questions about the content and requirements of the job
➠ Questions about expectations & performance measurement
➠ Questions about development opportunities

Phase 5: Completion

Duration: approx. 5 minutes
➠ Thanks for the interview
➠ Further steps / deadlines
➠ Farewell

Preparation: Tips for the 5 interview phases

If we assume a standard interview and an average of 45 minutes, then you can expect the following sequence for this classic interview. This is how you convince and master the individual phases in the interview process.

Small talk

You should never underestimate the little banter at the beginning. As I said: It shapes the first impression - and that makes a lot of difference. Small talk, i.e. the art of easy chatting, is not rocket science. It can be learned - and elegantly break every proverbial ice.

The important thing is that you keep an open mind and body language show your counterpart how much you are looking forward to the conversation and would now like to chat and get to know each other. Completely informal. Again: you are not a supplicant here! You want the job - but only if it fits and the conditions are right. You will find out in this conversation. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tips for small talk

  • Take turns keeping eye contact with everyone.
  • Always smile.
  • Tell small, positive anecdotes.
  • Asking open-ended questions.
  • Never whine or complain about nervousness.

In addition, it works professionallywho, for example, brings their application documents with them to the interview and takes notes during the interview. Of course, you should still be able to follow the interview. In this way, however, you signal interest in what has been said and can ask more intelligent questions later in the course of the conversation.

Interview: Checklist with 100 questions

With the help of these questions, HR managers try to find out more about your previous experience, acquired competencies, soft skills - and whether your information in the application is true. You can download the list of 100 typical questions free of charge and use it to prepare for the interview.

Download questionnaire

To get to know

In most cases, the host introduces himself first. So all people and company representatives present. Then the company, its background and finally details of the advertised position. It goes without saying that you follow these statements with great interest, listen carefully and occasionally nod in agreement. Anything else would be rude. This presentation of the company is usually followed by typical interview questions. There are well over 100 different ones:

Because some of these questions are asked in - it is estimated - every second job interview, we have created detailed articles on them - with appropriate answers and reactions. You are welcome to use these for preparation and deepening:

TIP: Please do not speak of "man"! Those who use the word “man” too often in job interviews will be sorted out more quickly by HR managers. This is the result of a study by Mark Murphy: In the job interviews, bad candidates used the word “you” almost four times as often as the group of real top performers. According to the researchers, anyone who often speaks of “you” in job interviews also appears to be distant from their own achievements - as if they are not talking about their own experiences at all (or are even lying). It is much more successful to speak of “I” or “we”.

Ask about weaknesses in the interview

“What are your weaknesses?” - There is hardly any other question that applicants are more afraid of. Everyone has weaknesses. But which one can you name now without beating your application and interview? In the following video we explain how to prepare for the question about your own weaknesses and how to answer them optimally. Ideally, you should always answer the question about weaknesses constructively. Means: You show honesty and self-reflection and say that you have dealt with your weaknesses and are working on them.

But please don't make the mistaketo memorize complete answers and just rewind them. That always seems wooden, mechanical and implausible.


The self-presentation (also called "self-introduction") is part of the regular repertoire in the application process. At some point the sentence comes up: "Tell me something about yourself!" A classic. And the prelude to your performance. The self-presentation rarely takes longer than five to ten minutes. Nothing more is expected.

In this short speaking time you have to get to the heart of the matter. There is no time to talk. It's about advertising on your own behalf, but also demonstrating security of presentation. Because presenting and introducing projects or results is part of almost every job today. The self-introduction offers a foretaste of how you may act later after the hiring. Reading is taboo! The self-introduction is ALWAYS a free lecture. That sounds difficult, but it is easy to prepare, practice and memorize at home. Ideally, follow this choreography:

1. Career ("I am ...")

➠ Self-introduction (name, age, origin)
➠ Apprenticeship / studies, highest degree
➠ Previous jobs, experiences

2. Successes ("I can ...")

➠ Milestones in professional life
➠ Special qualifications, certificates
➠ Great successes (numbers!)

3. Relation to the position ("I will ...")

➠ Strengths and talents with added value
➠ Relevant soft skills
➠ Motivation for the job

Rehearse the self-presentation repeatedly at home in front of the mirror or as a video recording with the smartphone. Those who are more self-confident can also practice this in front of real listeners, such as friends, siblings, parents. Advantage: They also give you feedback and tips on how you work and what can be improved.


In every job interview there is the part in which you can and must ask your own questions - the so-called queries. This phase is usually initiated with the question: "Do you have any further questions?"

Whenever you are given that opportunity, you should by no means remain silent: you have your own questions, please - always! For two reasons. First: This is a unique opportunity to find out more about the company, its environment and perhaps your future job, the boss, his or her requirements and colleagues. Second: This is a test that tests your true interest in the job, but also whether and how intensively you have prepared yourself for the interview.

From the depth and cleverness of your queries, even an inexperienced HR manager can quickly see whether you have only read the job advertisement or also the company's websites (plural!) And relevant specialist articles. Your own questions are the symbol of initiative, self-confidence, and they signal a professional attitude. It is your duty to ask good questions.

Some of the best questions you can ask a recruiter during an interview include these:

  • How do you define success for this position?
  • What do you expect from the ideal candidate?
  • What distinguishes your best employees?
  • What is the most frustrating thing about this job?
  • How would you describe my boss' leadership style?
  • How would you describe your corporate culture?
  • How is your performance measured and evaluated?
  • How do you promote talents and strengths?
  • Why do you enjoy working for this company?
  • When can I expect your decision?

Questions: 100 clever questions of your own

There are also stupid questions. But it doesn't include the following: In our list you will find 100 proven and clever questions that you can ask during the interview. Not all of them at once, of course. Pick the questions that are best for you and memorize them. Because there is one thing you must never do: read questions!

Download 100 questions


It'll be done soon. The interview is almost over. So that you don't make mistakes in the last few meters, you should avoid a few classic mistakes as much as possible. Quite a few applicants talk about head and career when they say goodbye to the job interview. Often the excess adrenaline and nervousness are to blame for saying more than is good for you. Unfortunately, among the worst revelations are sighs of relief pronounced out loud, such as ...

  • "I'm glad that at least you invited me ..." (Oops, a Resterampe candidate!)
  • "What are my chances now?" (So far, good, now it suddenly sounds like supplicants!)
  • "I found the question about ... I was lucky to have prepared myself for it with the book XYZ!" (Yes, it sounded so inauthentic too!)

Even if your heart pounds at the end of the job interview and you'd like to start chatting: don't do it! Stay pro until the last minute and keep your tongue in check. In fact, the interview does not end until you are through the door and no longer in sight and on the company premises. It would be better if you reaffirmed your desire to work for the company. Or thank you for the good conversation and the pleasant atmosphere. Subtle compliments about the company (not personal ones) à la ... are also allowed.

I have to admit, I was really impressed by your offices and the building. Was this designed by a feng shui interior designer?

Clever questions that you can ask at the end are, for example:

  • "What would be the next steps in the application process?"
  • "When can I expect an answer from you at the earliest?"
  • "With whom can I stay in contact or if I have any questions?"

Please never put the person you are talking to under pressure. As a rule of thumb: no earlier than two weeks after the job interview, you are welcome to telephone again to inquire whether a decision has already been made. However, some selection processes take a little longer. Then all that remains is to say goodbye perfectly and to end the conversation.

Job interview: rules for saying goodbye

  • Smile + thank you for the interview.
  • Say goodbye to everyone - by name.
  • Firm handshake - with eye contact.
  • Ask about next steps + deadlines

And after the interview?

Some selection processes take longer. This could be due to the internal bureaucracy or the fact that a decision maker is sick. In this case: Please do not be too brash. With understanding and friendliness you can usually reach your goal faster. What you can do instead: Send a thank you letter.

In Germany this is still the exceptionHowever, the more such a letter or an e-mail sets you apart from the crowd and offers the opportunity to straighten out things that have gone wrong. Emphasize that you found the conversation positive and that it made you want to work for this company. Repeat a maximum of two insights from the job interview and answer any questions that have not been answered. Thank you for the time and attention (if you went out to dinner for that too), and look forward to an early reply. All of this shouldn't be longer than half a page.

And even if the interview took place with your absolute dream employer: keep asking around! To bet everything on one card would be foolish. Even after a successful interview (from your point of view), you should continue to accept invitations to job interviews and continue to apply. Firstly, because it allows you to retain the initiative and, secondly, because you increase your chances of getting a job.

We wish you every success with your application!

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Even more interview tips
➠ Interview: All the tips

Job interview process
➠ Interview preparation
➠ Application questions + answers
➠ Job interview clothes
➠ Introduction to yourself
➠ self-presentation
➠ End the interview

Interview types
➠ Second interview
➠ Assessment Center
➠ Stress interview
➠ Job interview English
➠ Video interview
➠ Telephone interview

Typical questions
➠ These 100 questions can come
➠ 25 trick questions + answers
➠ Stress issues
➠ What are your weaknesses?
➠ What are your strengths?
➠ Why should we hire you?
➠ What was your last salary?
➠ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
➠ Why did you quit?
➠ Inadmissible questions
➠ Inquiries to HR managers

Tips & Tricks
➠ Practice interview
➠ Interview mistakes
➠ White lies in the job interview
➠ body language tips
➠ Overcome nervousness
➠ Where to put your hands?

➠ Confirm the interview
➠ Postpone the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Follow up after the conversation