Job interview questions in Germany: Tips and examples

The interview is your chance to convince the company that you are the right candidate to hire. And preparation is the key ingredient. Find some of the main job interview questions in Germany and how to answer them in this article.

Typical job interview questions in Germany

  • Please introduce yourself and tell us what makes you a great fit for this position?
  • What motivates you to work here?
  • What are your main strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Tell me about a difficult challenge you had in your previous job? 
  • Do you have any questions for us?

 

Let’s explore some tips and tricks on how to answer these common interview questions in Germany. For each question you’ll learn why the interviewers might ask this question and how you can answer it to leave a good impression!

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us what makes you a great fit for this position?

Why they ask this question: At this stage, the interviewers want to get to know you. They have already read your CV but they want to understand how you see yourself and how you present yourself.

How to answer it: Don’t just repeat your CV. Rather, choose specific aspects that highlight your strengths and show clear accomplishments depending on the role you’re applying for. Include how you plan to use your strengths and accomplishments to support their team. Also show your motivation for the company, for example by adding what you like about their products.

2. What motivates you to work here?

Why they ask this question: With this question the interviewers want to understand if you’re truly excited about the job. Consider this: For a company there’s no worse outcome than hiring someone and then this person leaves again after a few weeks.

How to answer it: For this question it’s important that you did your research. What are the products of the company? What is their vision and what are their values? How do they present themselves as an employer? Pick the one aspect that honestly resonates with you and tell them why. Also include which of the tasks you’d like to work on the most.

3. What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

Why they ask this question: This question is a standard and will be asked in a lot of interviews. Usually it’s used to get a better picture of you as the candidate and what you will bring to the table. Also, it’s used to see if you can honestly self-reflect.

How to answer it: This is a tricky question. You want to be honest but also leave a good impression. So for the strengths, you want to pick a skill or a personality trait of yours that is difficult to master. It should be related to the job.

For your weaknesses on the other hand, make sure to only mention skills that can be learned and are not 100% relevant for the job. Make sure not to use personality traits here as they are hard to change. 

If you want to dive even deeper into the weakness question, you can read this blog post.

4. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Why they ask this question: Again, this is another “getting to know you” type of question. The interviewers want to learn about your motivations and aspirations and your future plans.

How to answer it: Envision roles related to the job and a plan of how you want to progress your career. It is also good to show them that you have a plan of growing within the company based on your passion and interest for the vision of the company.

5. Tell me about a difficult challenge you had in your previous job? 

Why they ask this question: This is a classical biographical question, so a question that assumes that how you behaved in the past will be indicative of how you will behave in the future. The interviewers want to learn about your habits and how you usually deal with difficulties at the workplace.

How to answer it: Choose a challenge that is related to the job you will be doing at this company (to show you have expertise solving challenges in this area). You might want to prepare this ahead of the interview because it might be tough to come up with a good situation in the interview. 

Talk about the situation and the tasks you were doing. Make sure to highlight the path of how you approached the challenge and the accomplishment and learnings you gained from it.

6. Do you have any questions for me?

Why they ask this question: The interviewers want to give you the chance to ask any open questions that you might have. 

How to answer it: Your answer should always be “yes”! This way you signal that you’re very interested in the job. You should have prepared some questions to ask in advance so you don’t have to come up with them during the interview. 

We have put together some questions you can ask at the end of an interview in this blog post.

Conclusion: Job interview questions in Germany

As you can see, there are many interview questions  you can already prepare for in advance to make sure you make the best out of the interview setting and show what makes you the best candidate. 

In this blog post we put together the main interview questions in Germany and tips and examples of how to answer them. If you want to learn more about interviewing and practice it in a safe setting to get feedback from professionals, make sure to contact us today!

Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach for international professionals in Germany.