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How to nail a job interview in Denmark

There is no ‘perfect recipe’ that guarantees you an offer at the end of the hiring process. There are many factors in which you, as a candidate, do not have any control over or cannot change. But what are the things we can control?

Photographs: iStock

Text: Greete Eluri

First of all, being on time, having the appropriate dress code and being prepared are the ‘musts’ for an interview. What else should you be ready for when being interviewed in Denmark? Do you know?

72% of employers consider "showing up uprepared for an interview" as one of the most irritating job-seeking behaviours.

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Do your research before

According to Ballisager’s recruitment analysis report from 2016, 72% of the employers consider “showing up unprepared for an interview” as one of the most irritating job-seeking behaviors – this is about many different factors, so let me get into it.

The preparation starts already with planning your commute to the company. “Rather 10 minutes early than 2 minutes late” has always been my motto. Never take the latest bus or transport and make sure you have some buffer time for unforeseen activities/’shit happens’ moments. If the interview is in another city, consider going there the night before – it will give you peace of mind and one thing less to worry about.

Research the company – check their homepage and social media accounts and see, has there been any major changes in the company, a subject which you can bring to the interview to talk about. You could also reach out to one of their employees to get more knowledge about the company – would they recommend it to you? How is the atmosphere? What is good, and what could be better?

The more you know about the company, the better and “being sharp about your motivation for this specific position and the company, can be the most important element of the interview “– 70% of the employers said that at Ballisager’s recruitment analysis report from 2016.

What about the dress code? Again, if you are reaching out to a current employee, ask them or analyse the companies’ website. Generally, black pants/skirt with a blouse for women, and dark, proper pants and a shirt for guys should be acceptable. Depending on the industry, it might be more or less formal. Remember, you should not be less dressed than the people interviewing you, so be prepared.

Be yourself, smile and be curious

Make sure to always bring a folder containing your CV, cover letter and job advertisement, and your questions. This is the first signal you are giving the recruiter that you are prepared – not only mentally, but also physically. Also, having a firm handshake, in the beginning, is one of the ‘first impression’ moments – no one wants to say hi to a ‘half-dead spaghetti.’

Danish interviews are often conversations, not just a question-answer dialogue. Soft skills are just as important as hard skills meaning you should be able to laugh together and have good chemistry during the interview. You can often teach the person the needed hard skills, but you cannot teach them to be a team player. So, do not be afraid to show your personality. At the end of the day, you should be a good fit for the team, and if the soft skills are not there, you might not be chosen.

Also, be curious and ask questions that you have prepared beforehand. For example, “Who is my manager?/What kind of leadership style do you have” or “Who are my teammates? Are there also any internationals?” and “Which skills are there in my team – how can I contribute”? Make sure to ask all the important questions that you value as you will be spending many hours at work, so you want to be sure to find a good match. In the end, it should be a ‘two-way street’ where the company is interested in you and vice versa.

Be prepared, be on time, and be curious – then you are already on the right track having a successful interview. Remember to smile – this can also help you to relax and focus on the conversation. Are you ready to kick butt at your next interview in 2020?

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