What to expect at a job interview

Insights of job interview

written by Beate Kowol

You’ve received an invitation to an informal interview and now your head is buzzing with questions? We’d like to give you some answers in our Recruiting Insights. Procedure, dress code, potential questions – Bea and Sophie from our HR team will tell you what to expect.

 

So, how do you run the first interview?

Sophie: We have very open, relaxed chats that last for about an hour. Our aim is for the applicant to get to know us personally and for us to get to know him or her – in a relaxed atmosphere, on equal footing. Someone from the HR team is  present and usually the team leader from the respective department. Sometimes one or two more colleagues from the relevant department also take part. Also worth knowing: At Avenga we are on a first-name basis, which is why we use the familiar form in job advertisements and, of course, in interviews.

 

In another interview, you revealed that there are no standard questions at Avenga. But you must have “favorite questions” which you ask more often, right?

Bea: Yes, of course there are questions we ask more often. My aim is to get to know the person behind the CV, what is important to him or her in life. I want to find out if someone is passionate about the job, if he or she is really into it, if he or she is open to new things. This is when I start asking questions like, e.g., “What are you really good at?” or “What drives you up the wall?”

 

What do you find important in an informal interview, what do you pay attention to?

Sophie: With us, there are no really wrong answers or ones which can kick you out. We value authenticity – this is more important than answering questions smoothly or presenting yourself positively at any price. I try to get an impression of whether what the person says corresponds to the additional information he or she is giving – be it through their CV or body language. And then I ask myself: What the candidates are looking for, does this fit in with us? And are we right for them? Will they feel comfortable with us?

Bea: Of course, we want to find out how interested someone is in the position, and how intensively the person has looked into our company: This is often reflected in the type and number of questions asked by the applicant. If someone is burning with enthusiasm, he or she asks more interesting questions… Other than that, the following applies: I am a cosmopolitan person; we at Avenga are open-minded. We welcome everyone who brings along a digital, authentic mindset. Religion, origin, gender, or sexuality? It doesn’t matter!

 

How can a candidate surprise or inspire you?

Bea: I enjoy having a conversation which ends up in laughter. Or when a candidate asks interesting questions. I was once asked: Why are you working at Avenga? What motivates you here? It surprised me at first, but then I thought, now, that was really good. 

Sophie: When candidates see us as real conversational partners, bring along exciting questions and challenge us. The best conversations are those where we simply sit together at a round table, talk and everyone asks and answers questions.

 

This is a question that many candidates certainly ask themselves: How should I dress for the interview?

Bea: We are often asked this question! And what happens more often than not is that someone comes to the interview overdressed rather than underdressed. A suit, tie, or costume can definitely be left at home. At Avenga there is no dress code. Most people walk around in jeans, t-shirt or hoodie – no matter their position. We often see our managers, too, in a hoodie or t-shirt. It is important to us that everyone feels comfortable and does not dress up.

 

And after getting to know each other – what happens next?

Sophie: If the first round went well, we have a second interview. At the end of the first interview, we agree with the candidate that we’ll leave time to let our impressions sink in on both sides. We, colleagues, then discuss our thoughts on the candidate and give him or her feedback. In the second interview, candidates usually get to know someone else from the department, and we go into more depth on the technical side. For web development candidates, we sometimes set a coding task as well after the first interview.

Bea: If a candidate would like to have a few trial hours or lunch with future colleagues, we are always happy to arrange it. And if the second interview went well, we approach the candidate with an offer. And with their acceptance, our onboarding process starts!

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