Conseils spécifiques à l'Allemagne

A personal interview is not uncommon even in case of internships. Since it’s simply impossible for applicants from Maghreb or Levant counties to travel to Germany for an interview, it’s important to ask in advance whether it is possible to have an interview via Skype or another video chat channel. More or less all HR officers will understand that. However, a “distance interview” is not very different from a personal one.

Appear in person (HR officers are professionals. They realize if you try to cheat them.)

Appear in time. (i.e. 20 minutes early)

Be well-dressed. (Not overdressed. You must not be the best dressed person in the room, but not the worst dressed either. Unfortunately it is impossible to give further hints here, since dress-code depends very much on the type of business.)

Be well prepared. But do not try to memorize standard answers. HR professionals know all the standard answers and might be bored. Try to be yourself, but be specific, factual, technical and realistic. The topics you have to be prepared for are: details of your CV, details about the company / department at which you apply, your strengths and weaknesses. Latter is very common and very difficult to answer. Don’t be too shy; don’t be too self-confident. Don’t try to lie. The recruiters know that everyone thinks that impatience is a “positive weakness”.

You find lists of possible questions on the websites linked below. Here a few typical questions they might ask you:

  • What do you know about our company or our department?
  • What exactly do you expect from this internship? / Why did you just applied to this particular internship?
  • What school subjects / fields of study have you enjoyed most and which not?
  • Do you prefer working alone or in a team?
  • How do you rate your knowledge of xyz?
  • Describe a situation in which your work or idea was criticized.
  • Imagine, an intern or an employee of another department is not satisfied with the results of work and want a revision. How do you react? (And more games like that.)

Be prepared that, at the end of the interview, they will ask you for questions. Prepare a few questions like

  • How would a typical day look like?
  • What exactly will my duties be? Am I supposed to work on a long time project? Is there anything that I can present at the university after the internship?
  • What documents do I need in preparation for the internship?
  • Is there a chance to be hired after the internship as a student or graduate? (The latter question is particularly useful because long-term loyalty of the interns to the company is often among the interests of the company.)
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