You landed an interview. Your mission now is to convince the employer that you are the right person for the job.

Preparing for a job interview

Start by going over the firm’s values. Think about what the job responsibilities are. What’s most important? How would you go about them? How would your competencies allow you to add value  in the job You can’t over-prepare.

Standard interview questions:

  • Expect to be asked the following questions in one form or another during a job interview:
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you find interesting about the position?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What reservations do you have about the position?
  • Walk us through how you would go about doing a specific assignment.
  • Provide examples that show you are goal-oriented, flexible, dynamic … . Describe yourself using the same terms you used in your application.
  • What is your biggest asset? How has this helped you? Cite examples from previous jobs.
  • What is your biggest weakness (think of this as areas where you can improve). How does this affect you?
  • What do you expect of your next boss?
  • What would you add to our team?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are your salary expectations?

If you are between jobs, be prepared to explain why. 

Other common questions

More examples of questions you might be asked during an interview.

  • What is the most important experience you would bring with you to this job?
  • What experience do you have with X, Y and Z?
  • What are your accomplishments in X, Y and Z?
  • What do people tell you about the work you’ve done?
  • How do you go about doing your work? Do you have a particular approach or a specific method?
  • What does it take for you to successfully complete an assignment?
  • Name an accomplishment you are particularly proud of.
  • How is the job you are applying for different from your current job?
  • What do you expect you will learn from this job?

  • What about this job appeals to you most?
  • What do you imagine a day at the office is like with us?
  • Which of the responsibilities in this job interest you most?
  • If you were to be asked to do three things – X, Y and Z – how would you prioritise them?
  • What would get you to stay in your current position?
  • What reservations do you have about this position?
  • What other positions have you applied for?
  • If you were to be offered this job and one of the other jobs you applied for, how would you decide which one you would choose?
  • What are your professional goals?
  • Where do you think this job would lead you? / Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What constitutes a good day at work for you?
  • How would your co-workers describe you as a person?
  • Which of your traits are you most proud of? Least proud of?
  • What are you like when you are under pressure?
  • In which situations do you need help?
  • Name a criticism that you’ve taken seriously and tried to do something about.
  • What makes you unhappy at work?
  • What types of people do you seek to avoid?

Interview day: practical and mental preparations

The hiring process starts when you arrive at the firm or, if it is an on-line meeting, when you log in. Be aware that everyone you meet could be one of your future co-workers – or even your next boss.

Show up (or log in) in good time. Choose your outfit carefully; it shouldn’t be too different from what people with that kind of job normally wear. Firm handshake (or another kind of greeting that is appropriate) if the meeting is in person.  Eye contact. Be polite. Remember: they invited you for an interview because they think you might have something to offer; they are looking forward to meeting you.

Introduce yourself

The point of the job interview is to give you a chance to present yourself and give the employer a better picture of you as a person, both professionally and personally. 

Prepare to use no more than a few minutes to introduce yourself. Focus on your experiences and your competencies that will be most relevant for the position. Make sure you can say how you will be able to apply them in the new position. The goal is for them to be able to see you in the job. 

It can be a good idea to practise your introduction in the mirror. It’s important that you have it down pat; you don’t want to appear to be unprepared. 


All employers want motivated employees. During your interview, you will be judged on how interested in the job you appear. One way employers judge this is by asking you why you applied for the position. Explain why you want to work for them – not why you want to leave your current job. You can prepare by coming up with three reasons why you want the job.

Why should we hire you?

The answer to that question lies in your CV and your cover letter: what competencies and experiences do you have that the employer needs? Answer by explaining how you would approach a given assignment. Or, use a success story to illustrate how you successfully completed an assignment that is similar to the types of assignments you could expect in the new job. 

You can also explain your way of going about your job, and how that is the perfect way for you to achieve the results they need. If that doesn’t work, explain why your educational background makes you a natural for the job. 

Your questions for the interviewer

An important part of the interview – and of your preparations – is the questions you ask the employer. The questions you ask should display your interest in the job, and that you’ve done your research. If you ask something like how long employees normally take for their assignments, you’re showing that you understand that you need to get your work done.

Ask about what the main responsibilities are. Ask what the hardest part is, and what the success criteria are. Ask what opportunities there are for co-workers to help each other and give feedback and how the manager provides guidance and input.

Typical questions that employers respond well to include:

  • How would you describe the culture amongst the team or in the office / firm?
  • How would I be on-boarded? When would I be expected to take on assignments on my own?
  • What kinds of assignments would I get first?
  • Which responsibilities are most important for you?
  • What kind of manager are you?
  • What do you expect of your new employees?
  • How would I know whether I was meeting your expectations or reaching my goals?
  • How would I go about getting guidance or feedback if I needed it?
  • Where would this job take me? What would my career options be in 2-4 years?

Be ready to talk salary

Expect your employer to ask about your salary expectations during the first interview. Find out what the salary range is for people doing similar jobs in similar industries. Decide how much potential fringe benefits – mobile, computer, time off etc – are worth in terms of salary. 

Your salary expectation should be ambitious yet realistic. And you need to know what your personal minimum is. Check out Djøfs salary calculator (in Danish only)


It’s good to have a few references from former employers in case you are asked for them. Examples of good people to have references from include former bosses, co-workers and other people you’ve worked with. Make sure they will speak highly of you. 

Before you ask someone to provide you a reference, make sure they are in a position to fully describe your relevant competencies and results. 

Prep your reference

If you’ve asked someone to serve as a reference, let them know that they might be contacted and what job you are applying for. The more they know about the job, the more specific they can be about your relevant competencies.

Let your reference know:

  • where you are in the application process
  • which firm you are applying with
  • what responsibilities the position entails
  • what you’ve told them about yourself, your past accomplishments, your weaknesses etc.

Topics employers aren’t allowed to consider

Employers aren’t permitted to consider certain things. We sometimes hear that an employer has asked an applicant about things like whether they plan to have children, thoughts about paternity leave, religion, sexuality etc. They may discuss personal issues with you, but they may not influence their decision about whether to hire you.

Decide ahead of time what you will do if you get asked about a personal issue. Our advice is to say that you don’t have any plans to have children, and that you feel that things like religion and sexuality are matters of personal choice. Be diplomatic; sidestep the question without appearing to have taken offence.

Prepare for online interviews

Online job interviews are becoming increasingly common, especially when companies need to interview an applicant in another country or screen candidates ahead of a face-to-face meeting. Just as with any other meeting, it is important to prepare for an online interview. All of the advice we’ve mentioned so far applies, but you should also be aware of the difference between being interviewed online and being interviewed in person.

Sit somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Preferably in front of a neutral background. Consider how the lighting in the room makes you appear. The room should be well lit, but avoid sitting in front of a light source or a window, as this will cause your face to be in shadow. Be careful about windows in general; being able to see people walking by can distract you or your interviewer.

Make sure ahead of time that any equipment you will be using works. You’ll get better sound quality, reduce background noise and eliminate echoes if you use a headset with a microphone instead of using your device’s built-in speakers and microphone. When setting up, give yourself more time than you think you need, in the event you need to sort out an unexpected computer problem before the interview starts. Make sure you have a back-up plan in case you have a problem you don’t have time to fix. If your internet connection is shaky, turning off the camera will often help.

Quit all programs and applications on your device that don’t relate to the interview. Turn off your phone so it can’t make any noises that will disturb you or your interviewer.

Non-verbal communication plays a big role in face-to-face meetings, but in on-line meetings, where it isn’t possible to make eye-contact, for example, it plays less of a role. As a result, you need to speak more slowly and more clearly than you would during a face-to-face meeting. Also, remember to look at the camera when you speak.


As a job seeker, you should be ready to be told after an interview that they went with someone else. This may even happen to you a number of times. It’s easy to let this get you down, especially after a lengthy process that has involved tests, cases etc. But once your frustration has subsided, try to look constructively at why you didn’t get the job; channel your energy into learning from the situation as you continue to apply for jobs.

Call and find out why they chose who they did

It’s a good idea to call back after being told you weren’t selected for a job. Most employers will be willing to speak with you and provide professional feedback. A good way to start is by congratulating them on finding the right candidate and thanking them for selecting you as a candidate. Mention that you are still keen to work for their company.

Tell them you would like to help your chances next time they are hiring and ask the following questions

The company’s reasons for choosing the person they did is useful for knowing which qualifications, competencies and experiences are needed in the position. The answer may indicate whether you need to improve your skills in a specific area. If that doesn’t appear to be the case, then maybe the reason you didn’t get chosen was because you didn’t present your qualifications, competencies, experiences and results in an effective manner. Or, perhaps more importantly, you didn’t show how you could use your experience to create value for the employer.

The point of asking this question is to get feedback you can use in your next job interview. Listen and take away from it what you can. Don’t try to explain why you said what you said during the interview. You can also ask if there was anything you did which they felt was worth highlighting.

This should help you assess whether there are some areas where you were weak. It might encourage you to improve your skills in a particular area by attending a course or the like.

If, after several job interviews, you continue to be looked over, it may be a good idea to ask your network for help. A fresh pair of eyes is always helpful, especially if the person knows you. The people in your network will be able to suggest changes that might be helpful. They might even notice things that you hadn’t even considered.

The job search is more enjoyable if you look at it as a learning process. Don’t give the impression that it’s something you dread. Be objective. Accentuate the things you’re good at. Focus on the things you can change and accept that there are things you can’t.