What an interviewer really wants to know

The job interview is the first foot in the door of the potential employer. The pressure and expectations is correspondingly high and many applicants are gripped by nervousness. That is why it is important for every interviewee to understand the situation the interviewer is in- and if possible have nerves of steel.

Before an interview, one should ask oneself: What does the interviewer pay attention to? What information does he or she need in order to assess whether I am suitable for the position?

In order to help you prepare mentally for your interview we have compiled the three most important questions and interview will want answered throughout the interview:

Does the applicant fit the position?

Based on how you present yourself, the interviewer gets an idea of how you would behave in typical work processes and how you would fit into the team. The aim is therefore to demonstrate your own compatibility. This can look quite different depending on the industry and the size of the company. Unfortunately, it is often difficult - even with careful research - to find concrete information on corporate culture.

During the interview itself, it is therefore best to take a moment to take in the environment. Is there a lot of hustle and bustle or concentrated calm? Do the employees stop for a short conversation? How does the person you are talking to appear? Does he stick to a fixed routine or does he tell anecdotes and talk to you? You can then use these signals and mirror the environment in your own behaviour.

Of course, it is not about suddenly appearing all cosy and chummy. Rather, the observations should give you a clue as to which side of your personality is in demand. It is also important to consider the position you have applied for.

For example, if you are applying for a sales position but seem timid or reluctant speak out, the interviewer may question if you will communicate enough to be successful in sales, to drive a hard bargain and negotiate successfully.

Do the CV and applicant match?

If you have done well up to this point, the question arises as to how accurate your CV is. After all, the interviewer has only limited opportunities to check it. If your own information is correct, you should be able to provide concrete examples for each stage.

The best way is to go through the CV in advance and collect examples. Which situations are part of the tasks? What was the work assignment? How was it implemented? What results were achieved? In this way, you can directly link experiences with the position for which you are applying.

Does the applicant really want the job?

The interviewer will try to assess what expectations you have of the position. Preparation for the interview therefore also includes typical situations and challenges of everyday work in the industry. Videos and articles with relevant interviews can be helpful, for you to know exactly what is required in this position and to ensure that you can fill these needs.

In the interview, you can convince the interviewer of this by linking to your own career. If, for example, the situation calls for diplomatic skills, you highlight the importance of these skills for the new position and then give an example of how you have used them in previous jobs.

But words are only half the story. You should also use the interview to demonstrate relevant strengths in practice. If regular contact with important customers is part of your job description, you will be friendly and determined. Perhaps it is also about dealing with customer enquiries. This is where attention is particularly important. To achieve this, you will always refer to things that the person you are talking to has mentioned before.

In addition to content aspects, the interviewer also wants to know how long you want to work in the position. Frequent changes of employer, a too high qualification or your wish to move can lead to the wrong conclusions. If you address possible queries or second-guesses which you assume the interviewer may have about you in this position it is always good to take the initiative and speak about these points frankly and directly. This way, you can prevent misunderstandings right away and make sure that the interview knows just how much you would want this job.

Of course, every conversation is different. Nevertheless, the following motto applies to all of them: You should take the time to put yourself in the shoes of your conversation partner. This can be the key to success in the end.