You should never go into a job interview without being prepared. The right preparation is key to confronting and successfully overcoming the interview process, in Spain or any country.
Spanish companies are increasingly more meticulous and methodical when it comes to interviewing their candidates. Today it’s not just about what you’ve studied or your previous work experience, but also what skills you have and what you are capable of doing with them.
For this reason, it is normal that the job interviews in Spain last between half an hour and an hour.
The recruitment process, carried out by the human resources department, is usually much more rigorous for jobs with large responsibility or in big companies. Two of the most used types of interviews in Spain are the personal and the panel. A personal interview is a one-on-one question and answer session with an interviewer, whilst the panel interview is where there are several interviewers in front of you at one time.
Advice to prepare a job interview in Spain
Research the company prior to the interview
You will have undertaken the first investigation of what a business does, and how it operates when you wrote the cover letter. But when it comes to preparing for the job interview, the background search into the company must be much more exhaustive.
Prepare the answers to the most common questions
There are questions that are repeated in almost all interviews, so you have no excuse if you don’t know how to respond to them or they catch you off guard. The most frequent job interview questions usually focus on your motivation for the job, your work experience, personal skills, and your knowledge of the company to which you’re applying. There are also certain types of questions. So even if an interviewer tries to catch you out by wording a question strangely, you will have a general idea of the answer.
Know your CV, cover letter and their key elements
You will have already written a good CV and cover letter if you are invited back for a job interview. However, it is important to have an in-depth knowledge of the key points on your CV and what you highlighted on your cover letter. The interviewer might pick out a particular bullet point or sentence from one of the documents. So be prepared!
The clothes that you wear to a job interview are a reflection of how seriously you are taking the job position and the company, as well as how you conduct yourself as a professional. Consult our advice about what to wear for a job interview and make sure that the interviewer’s attention is on what you are saying; not what you are wearing!
Have some questions prepared for the interviewer
In Spain it is common that at the end of the job interview, the interviewer will invite you to ask him or her some questions. Have some prepared previously, demonstrating your interest in the company and the job position itself.
You can ask about the responsibility you will have, the team you will be working with, the type of projects in which you will be involved, and much more. It is also good to bring up a question about something important that has happened recently. You really want to show your commercial awareness to the interviewer by tailoring a piece of news you have heard recently to the job position. You could ask, for example, about how a national economic change has affected the organisation or how a recent natural disaster has changed the way the company carries out its work.
Working conditions and salary
During the recruitment process, that’s comprised of several interviews, it is not very normal to discuss your salary or working conditions the first time you meet face to face with a representative of the company. Unless the interviewer explains them to you and discusses your salary, it is best not to mention it or ask anything about money during the first interview.
Maintain interest in the company after the interview has finished
This is not something that happens a lot in Spain. In fact it’s normal that you undertake a job interview and never hear from the company again. The majority of businesses don’t call to the candidates that they reject to let them know they have been unsuccessful, so weeks may pass and you won’t hear anything. However, you can send a letter to the company or call them to emphasise again your interest in the position.
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