Landed yourself a job interview in The Netherlands? Well done! To make sure you present the best version of yourself during your interview, a quality preparation is key. Follow these 10 easy steps to make sure you’ve thought of everything before you travel to your potential new employer.
Step 1: Analyse the job description
An important part of your interview prep is analysing the description of the job that you’re applying to. Try to find out what exactly it is your potential new employer is looking for in a candidate.
After reading the job description and its requirements carefully, you should be able to make a list of at least 10 qualities that you’ll need for this job. You’ll use this list in step 2.
Step 2: Match your qualities to the job requirements
After analysing the job description, it’s time to take inventory of your own strengths and weaknesses. Done? Compare the list of your qualities to the list of the qualities that were asked for in the job description. Underline qualities that appear on both lists.
The 5 qualities that you’ve got underlined, are the things you’re going to lead with in your job interview. When your recruiter asks you to tell them something about yourself, these are the things you’ll bring up. Make sure the qualities you mention are ones you actually possess. When in doubt, ask a friend or a family member if they would attribute a certain skill to you.
Remember that every job interview usually contains a couple of standard questions. Formulate answers to those questions, using the underlined skills on your list, before you travel to your job interview.
Step 3: Research the company
Before you go to your job interview, it’s pivotal that you find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with. Knowing everything there is to know about the company helps you formulate answers to your typical job interview questions, and it’ll help you come up with questions of your own.
Additionally, it’ll help you get a sense of what your potential new employer is all about. Will you fit within the company’s culture?
Take at least 45 minutes to read through the company’s website and ask around about them in your own network. It might just give you the edge over your competition when it comes to your job interview. Make sure you take this part of the interview as seriously as you do the rest.
Step 4: Practice typical job interview questions
Try to think of all the typical job interview questions you might get and practice your answers to them. If you’re able to properly answer most of those questions, you’ll notice being less nervous about your job interview. Note that practicing your answers out loud is better than reciting them in your head. Practice your answers to typical questions at least twice with a friend or a family member to get the best result.
Step 5: Pick out your interview outfit the day before
Don’t wait until the last day with picking out the clothes you’re going to wear to your job interview. This way, you’ll avoid having to worry about what’s in the laundry and what isn’t on the day of. You’ll notice that having a pre-picked interview outfit will make you less nervous about your job interview.
Step 6: Have the stuff you want to bring ready
You’re going to want to bring some stuff with to your job interview. That stuff could include extra copies of your resume and your cover letter. Make sure you put these documents in a folder to make sure they won’t wrinkle.
Other stuff you might want to bring to your interview:
- A notebook
- Pen and pencil
- Chewing gum (don’t chew gum during your interview though!)
- Your references
- Your portfolio
Step 7: Plan your route
When preparing your interview, it’s important that you know where your meeting will be. This way, you can calculate how much time you’ll need to get there. It would be a shame if you’d put a lot of effort in your interview to subsequentially be late to it. Being late to a job interview will get you a horrible first impression with your recruiter. It’s hard to recover from that.
Check on Google Maps how far away you are from your job interview and plan accordingly. Add an extra 20 minutes for wiggle room.
Step 8: Know good practices during your interview
Small and simple gestures during your job interview could go a long way. Remember to be friendly to the receptionist and treat your recruiter to a firm handshake and a smile when meeting for the first time. Another essential part to job interview etiquette is your body language. Sit up straight and use your hands. Show your conversation partner your care about what they have to say.
Step 9: Prepare questions of your own
Contrary to popular belief, a job interview isn’t a one-way interrogation. Rather, it’s a two-sided conversation, so make sure you’re asking questions of your own. This way, you show your interviewer you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say. Obviously, by preparing questions you’re also giving yourself a chance to get to know more about the job opening.
At the end of an interview, your recruiter will typically ask you if you’re still excited about the prospect of working there. If you say ‘yes’ without having asked any questions of your own during the interview, your answer will come off as ingenuine.
Step 10: Thank your interviewers for their time
The wrap-up of your interview is at least as important as the first impression you leave. Make sure you thank your interviewers for taking the time to talk to you and to answer your questions. Get up and shake everyone’s hand with a smile.
It’s always a good idea to treat people with kindness and respect, even when they don’t decide whether or not you’ll get a job. If you weren’t raised with those manners, now is probably a good time to adopt them anyway.
Good luck on your job interview!