Interviews can be intimidating. No matter if you’re appearing for a domestic firm, an international firm, or interviewing abroad, interview fears are just inevitable. Indians are much used to domestic interviews, as their interviewers are their Indian counterparts who can quickly gauge and select them.
But when it comes to interviewing at international levels, there are a number of aspects that need consideration, such as cultural differences, distinct corporate ethics, expectations in terms of role, pay-scale and much more. While you prepare to demonstrate your core technical expertise in front of the interviewer, make sure you don’t miss out on the non-technical and ethical presentations.
At DevHof, we interviewed a number of Indian candidates for some elite technical roles and found certain peculiarities that were subject to Indian interviewing standards. No matter how skilled you are there are certain things that can persuade the interviewer to reconsider selecting you. Therefore in this article, we list some interview hacks and tips particularly for German firms that you must follow in order to make your candidature stand out and improve your chances of cracking the interview.
So Let us begin.
- Focus on the task: Germans are usually perfectionists and prefer quality over quantity of work. Make sure you prepare well beforehand and complete your task with thorough care and precision. Do not try to go around on a question you don’t know the answer to. A simple NO would be much appreciated than a wrong, an unexpected or irrelevant answer. It would also make you look desperate for a job role that you’re not suitable for.
- Paperwork and given test task: Make sure you take your time to submit only a comprehensive and well documented task rather than hurrying and submitting a rough assessment. Use a professional photo in your document along with a sleek and professional font style that is easy to read. Ensure that you save all of your documents in .pdf format. Word documents are generally not preferred and are subject to compatibility issues. Also make sure you take care of following virtues while you do your tasks:
- A Logical and analytical approach
- Have a straightforward forward attitude: Germans prefer a straightforward tone of language. They do not expect you to beat around the bush and sugar coat your language with exaggeration and unrealistic promises. Be direct with, what you expect from the job role, the company, and your capabilities.
Some behavioral tips for the German Interview:
- Punctuality – Germans are very punctual. Getting late on your interview or even your first day can ruin your chances of doing good at the job. It’s always better to be early than to come late. Assessments that you are given must also be submitted in the designated deadlines.
- Dress code – Wear a formal dress up with a professional outlook. Avoid wearing exuberant accessories, extra makeup or fancy hair. Try to be as simple and elegant as possible with your overall get up. Prefer subtle colors like grey, blue or black. Trousers and a smart formal shirt is something that works best. Men can choose decent looking suits to dress in up. Whatever you wear, be modest and conservative with your look.
- Posture – Posture speaks a lot about your personality or outlook for the job or your work in general. Sit straight, with pushed back shoulders, and hands on your thighs. Do not slouch or try to be comfortable like you’re at home on your sofa. Same goes with walking, walk straight in a professional manner, do not hurry or try to walk in a flashy way.
- Research – Research about the job role well. Besides the role, make sure you read everything about the company. Its inception, its vision, the developments it has made, the recognitions it has received, the core technologies, the current head, the services or products in its portfolio, its objectives etc. Also remember the names of the interviewers for future reference.
- Contacting the company — Making contact with the company before and after the interview is extremely important. Here are some tips to keep in mind while contacting me.
- First contact is the time you contact your company for the first time after the interview. You can call or email your company or interviewer within a couple of days after the interview. You can write or mention the names of the important people you met and the interviewers. Be grateful for their time and the opportunity they lent you to showcase your skills. Write your experience of the interview followed by asking for any necessary information that they might need to evaluate your candidature, like social profiles, recommendations or reference contact. Say you’ll be happy to provide them with anything they need.
- Avoid asking for application update right away. Understand that they have hundreds of candidates being interviewed for a role and they won’t make a decision in one day. The aim is to remind them of you and not push them to take you into consideration.
- Once you hear from the company after the evaluation has been made, write back.
- If you are selected, write that you are excited to work with them. Thank them for selecting you and ask for any other details like salary, or office timings etc.
- If you are not selected, thank them still for their time and value they gave you. Always take rejection as a lesson. Note down all the things that you think might have gone wrong and work on them rather than being disappointed or disheartened.
- Office manners – If you want to enter someone’s office – knock and wait to be invited. Gestures -Tapping knuckles on the table is a sign of approval at the end of a meeting.
- Rules and structure – German business culture follows stick hierarchy and rules so it’s important that you respect it, even if it seems too bureaucratic.
Cultural tips for the interviews:
- Greetings – Germans are very formal in greetings. There is usually a firm and professional handshake and no other informal exchange of information unlike Indians who prefer to indulge in exchange unnecessary fun conversation.
- Introductions – when attending an official get together, do not be too extroverted. Wait for the time when you get introduced. Do not be over friendly or try hard to fit, get along slowly and gradually at your comfort. Germans do not generally need to be over friendly to work together. They prefer rather a limited conversation during work and more focus on work.
- Respect authority – The German people tend to use a professional connotation when calling someone or addressing someone third person. They use Herr or Mr and Frau or Mrs followed by their last names.
- Business Meetings – The meetings are strict, and scheduled in advance. German follows a staunch format of meetings which are completely formal. Every meeting is concluded by a solution or some pointers that must be adhered to by all.
- No mixed personal and private lives – Do not mix your personal lives with professional lives. Germans are very strict on this part. They like to keep their private lives and spouses or children out of their work routines. They consider it to be a hindrance in work.
Interviews are like exams that never end. To excel at them, you need to keep them coming. Remember, each interview whether successful or not, adds a value to your portfolio particularly when interviewing abroad. So never be afraid to give repeated interviews if you must.
It is definitely a task to crack an interview in Germany, but a possible one. But once you do, it’s like a dream come true. Platforms like DevHof can help go a long way through your career in Germany. Be it visa processes or preparing for your interview, DevHof covers you for everything you need through your journey in Germany. So get in touch with our team today and follow your voice of passion.