How to find a job in Germany: 20 tips for a successful video interview
Imagine … a Hiring Manager from a well-known company has invited you to a Skype interview for next week. How to find a job in Germany as a foreigner was always a struggle for you. But now you have this feeling, that landing an English speaking job in that country is possible.
How would you feel: confident or poorly prepared? You might have already experienced once — or even multiple times — how it is to answer typical interview questions and answers in a face- to-face job interview. But what about attending a virtual job interview via Skype?
If you are wondering why companies are choosing this type of interview, it’s simple: it saves them time and money, involves less admin work, gives them also an idea on how you cope with IT tools and allows them to interview (and visually see) people from across the world no matter where they reside.
The question now is: How can YOU get prepared for the Skype interview in an effective way? Here my tips (some of them can also be found in my eBook “44 Tips for a successful Video Interview).
# 1 — Don’t think that an interview via Skype is the same as going for a face-to-face interview. You still need to act in a professional way — at all times — and need to make some additional technical adjustments.
# 2 — Do your research and try to find out as much as possible about the interview procedure (how long it will last, who is going to be involved, etc.) But not just that. Do your research also on the following: the company, the interview partner(s), the job position and the company’s competitors. The more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you will feel and act.
# 3 — Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right location. If the interview is held from your home, choose a quiet room, that is safe, well-lit and has a good reception. Avoid cafés since they can be very noisy and distracting. Your car might also not be the best place to consider for this situation. Show that you take this job seriously, and leave a positive, professional impression by choosing the right location!
# 4 — Make sure your technical equipment is working and test it before using it (your computer/mobile phone/tablet, your webcam and microphone). Since Skype is working with all major operating systems, and also has a webcam test feature, it will enable you to be seen and heard. Please note: Should the Hiring Manager choose another platform (instead of Skype) make sure you have downloaded and tested the respective software.
# 5 — Unsure about what background would be best? I would suggest you keep it blank. Seeing a mess, does not leave a great impression and showing your library, your trophies, your TV, your wardrobe, paintings etc. might look nice, but can also be distracting. So, make sure that the interviewer is fully focused on YOU and nothing else.
# 6 — Lighting makes a difference. Depending on the time of the interview, ensure that you have sufficient light. Indirect light in front of your face (which does not come from behind you) would be best. Choosing the wrong light might make you look older or might not show your face properly due to the shadow on your face.
# 7 — Frame yourself properly so that your entire head and shoulders are visible. Check the angle in advance so that later you don’t have to think about it. Your camera lens should be clean and free of any smudges. It can be very distractive to the other person.
# 8 — Invest in an external camera and microphone, if you really want to leave a highly professional impression and take your job search to the next level. Unfortunately, built-in microphones and cameras are not always of high quality on several devices. (Should you consider creating videos or podcasts at a later stage, these additional tools can surely be beneficial).
# 9 — Check your internet connection’s speed and during the interview remember to close all applications which might consume unnecessary bandwidth. By the way, how would you feel if suddenly the connection is lost, because the battery has not been sufficiently charged? Take care of that too!
# 10 — Prepare some smart questions, because that shows your motivation, commitment and genuine interest in the job and company. Write them down so that you have them easily at hand. Still wondering how to find a job in Germany as a foreigner and successfully conducting a Skype interview? Keep reading.
# 11 — Rehearse your interview with a friend via screen. That will make you feel more at ease and generally more confident throughout the process.
# 12 — Wear professional business attire and be groomed as you would be in a face-to-face interview. (For ladies only: don’t overdo it with your make-up). You might want to avoid the colour white. For two reasons: If you are Caucasian you might look pale, and it would conflict with your background too, if that is also white.
# 13 — Keep all your career-related documents and your calendar handy. If you need some information or need to schedule a follow-up interview, you can easily do it.
# 14 — Keep a glass of water (no alcohol!) nearby so that your mouth is not getting too dry in case the interview turns out to be lengthy.
# 15 — This is very important! You should keep eye contact by looking straight into the camera (it’s like looking in the recruiter’s eyes!) and NOT watching yourself on the monitor (which will look as if you want to avoid eye-contact!). By the way, you can stick some key points on the wall behind your camera (like a little cheat sheet), that might help you to answer questions that you might find tricky. If you do it smartly, nobody will notice.
# 16 — Pay attention to your body language and your smiles (don’t be too serious, but also not smile or laugh too much).
# 17 — Keep your mobile phone switched off.
# 18 — Be punctual and start the interview on time.
# 19 — Let everyone around you know, that you do NOT want to be disturbed during your interview.
# 20 — Be fully focused on the interview, don’t google typical interview questions and answers during the conversation and disregard incoming live notifications from your friends. Show that when it comes to getting an English speaking job, you are a candidate who is professional and takes their career seriously.
(Original source of my article: https://www.talentese.com/how-to-find-a-job-in-germany-20-tips-successful-video-interview/)