How to ace your job interview abroad – Preparation

Imagine: You are sitting on your sofa, having coffee with your friend, talking about the hundreds of job applications you’ve already sent. Suddenly your phone rings:

 

“Hi, it’s Laura from Google. We received your application as Sales Representative France. I was wondering whether you would be available tomorrow for a first short interview.”

 

And you? Since you’ve learned the word “internet” you’re dreaming about working for Google. Nothing could stop you now from saying “YES!” to this opportunity. You schedule the interview and you hang up. What’s next? You have 24 hours left to get ready, but where to start? You’re so close to reaching everything you’ve ever wanted!

 

First: don’t stress out! Sit down and finish your coffee while reading this article. We have the interview tips you need to knock their socks off!

Let’s start with the preparation…

No question, being confident during an interview is crucial to rock it. To build this confidence, you don’t have to be this extroverted person who makes friends in only 1 minute. It’s enough to prepare in advance. But how do you prepare for a job interview?

Get as many info as you can

To know what will be waiting for you during your job interview, it’s best to get the most possible info about the company and the job position first. Start with the “About Us” section on their website, check out some Glassdoor reviews and ask your contacts whether they have insider information.

Once you know everything about the company, read the job offer again. What is the job about? Why do they even need to fill this position? Try to find out as much as you can about the past performance and the plans they have for the future. At which point do you come in? Where can you add value?

With the interview it's the same game as with the cover letter - you need to know your "target". Who will you be talking to? Things will be so much easier and less stressfull when you know the person in advance.

By doing a good research and learning the info by heart you will be ready to answer questions like “What do you know about our company?” perfectly. They will be impressed! Plus, you start asking yourself whether you really fit into this company. If you know that the company's business culture is exactly what you're looking for, it should be more than easy to explain, why you want to work for them.

Think about potential interview questions

It seems obvious, but often people forget exactly this kind of easy things. Sit down and ask yourself, what the recruiter may ask you. Check online for question samples or a list. Pick the questions you think are most likely to be asked and answer them in advance! This may sound weird and useless – because 50% of the questions will not be asked – but it’s like back at school: better learn too much than not enough. Write down your answers and practice saying them out loud, especially when you know you will be nervous. Also, think about how to present your strengths and especially how to show the recruiter that you’re still competent without some skills.

Could they ask you about special knowledge you need for this job? Make sure you have this knowledge. For a job abroad, you will probably need to speak several languages. We hope you didn’t lie in your resume, so speaking another language will not be a problem. Still, if you don’t speak it often, practice a little bit before the interview. It will make you feel more confident.

And why are you made for a job abroad? Recruiters don’t want to hire people who realize after only two months, that they are not happy without their family and, to be honest, never wanted to leave their country. Why are you different? Why will you stay with them? Answering this question will also help you take the right decision to be happy.

… and now switch to action

Turn the tables and start asking!

From our own experience, we can say, that candidates never ask enough questions during interviews! Or do you? We don’t understand why, because it’s crucial to nearly every recruiter, but still underestimated by the candidates. The fact that it’s such an easy way to convince the other side that you’re interested in the position, makes it even harder to understand. There are so many questions to ask in a job interview. So, now that you know, what did you not find out during your research? Especially when you are moving abroad there are so many things you can ask about working in the country or how to find accommodation. Or what about the salary?

After learning everything by heart

To make your preparation perfect, rest a little bit! No recruiter wants to see a zombie that didn’t sleep the whole night. Eat before the interview. A rumbling stomach will make you and the other people in the room feel uncomfortable. Can you even concentrate when you’re hungry?

Usually, when having an interview for a job abroad, the first one will be a video or phone interview. Make sure that you have a good (internet) connection and be in a quiet place. Nothing is more annoying than a crappy signal, loud background noise or even your sister running into the room… Tell everyone not to disturb you! Even if you only have a phone call and you don’t have to ace the interview with your body language, try to dress properly and create a professional environment. We know it’s not easy, but it will help you to put yourself in the situation much better.

Now that you know how to prepare for an interview abroad, you are ready to schedule your first one! If you want to know how to finally ace your job interview, we have even more secret advice for you.