This article is a sequel to the article on Job Search in Germany. The goal here is to give you practical tips for a successful job application. If you need some useful information about how to start your job search in Germany, check out
Now, let’s get started!
Types of companies: big or small?
Depending on which companies you want to get into, the requirements and strategies can be different. Let’s quickly go through the two types of companies in Germany.
Big corporates are global companies with offices around the world. The culture is more international and the colleagues often speak English with one another, even in the office. That’s why German language skills are not necessarily required when you apply for a job in this kind of company.
Small and medium-sized companies
Small and medium-sized companies make up 95 percent of German enterprises. The headquarters are usually located in small towns but operations are run on a global scale. They are also run by a family and passed down from one generation to another. And usually, being able to speak German fluently is a must.
We would like to suggest that students should start their application 6 months before their graduation and prepare themselves for every interview, from the first handshake to the right intonation. Some companies only hire new employees at certain times of the year so you should be aware of the hiring schedule to submit your application on time. Here are some tips for you to get ready!
- Prepare a self-introduction, answering the questions from an employer’s perspectives like what benefits you will bring to the company, your professional and soft skills, and your competitive advantages which make you outstanding from other applicants. Be honest on the CV and practice to explain your working experience in great detail, because every single one could become the next question posed by the interviewer. Try to take the interview “under your control”! During the preparation, you can list all the possible questions about your education, internship period, and work experience.
- Check for all the information about the company and the department you want to work in. Show that you are passionate about this position.
- Practice both English and German. Even if the interview is in English, practice speaking German too. It can be a plus point for you as you are about to work in Germany anyway. Check out some Youtube channels if you are not so familiar with English or German phrases in the context of an interview. You can learn both interview tips and enhance your language skills there.
- Think about all the questions you would ask at the end of the interview because your interviewers will ask if you have any questions about the company or the job positions. Having the questions ready will help you leave a good impression as a well-prepared candidate with an inquiring mind.
- For majors that fall on the creative and artistic side like marketing or graphic design, etc., prepare your portfolio or models to showcase during the interview.
- All these tips are useful but they would be to no avail if you do not practice in advance. So make sure to have a lot of job interview rehearsals with your friends. You can also ask your seniors at university for their advice about working and application experience before the interview.
At the interview
- If no prior arrangements were made, inquire about the status of your application by e-mail or telephone a week after applying.
- It’s ok and normal that you got rejected several times. It’s also ok if you don’t get any reply and interview invitations. Just keep searching.
- Keep at it! Don’t lose heart after getting your first rejection letters! Ask for feedback if you don’t get a job offer, like what your good points are and what you should improve on, etc.
We hope the tips are useful for your job application. Be well-prepared and you will nail it! Good luck!