Typical interview structure

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CountryInterview structure?When is a question out of bounds?
Austria - typical interview structure
In a normal interview, it is obligatory that questions relate to the conditions as described in the job ad and aim to find out if you have the right skills and qualifications. For the sake of objectivity, all the applicants should be asked the same questions. However, the employer may ask for more information on an individual basis or according to the candidate’s responses. Federal legislation on equal treatment forbids discrimination on grounds of age, sex, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The law regulates all the procedures for the publication of job offers, application procedures and the relationships between employer and employees. You do not have to answer questions about pregnancy, family planning or illness and dis¬eases. Discrimination against disabled people is forbidden. Be aware that some employers may not be aware that they are asking prohibited questions.
Belgium - typical interview structure
Interviews normally start with the interviewers introducing themselves. Then the candidate is asked to present him- or herself The interviewer will move from very general to very detailed questions. At the end of the interview the candidate can ask additional questions. The interview will conclude with practical arrangements for the decision period and feedback.

The atmosphere is normally formal and professional. Act professionally, both before and after the interview. Speak only about topics that might be of interest to the employer. Take note of the way interviewers present themselves; use their first name only if they do. Be aware that the atmosphere at an interview does not always reflect the company culture.
You do not have to answer questions about religion, sex, family plans, etc. Being unwilling to answer sensitive questions can also be evidence that you are assertive and can count as a strong point. You can make an official complaint if you feel you have been discriminated against.
Bulgaria - typical interview structure
The meeting takes 1/2 hour to 1 hour at the most. Where an employer insists on the candi­date taking a practical test after the meeting, the procedure will be longer. Typically, the interview follows a basic struc­ture, which starts - after the greetings - with the employer or his/her representative asking questions to the candidate. The employer will try to have a normal conversation with the can­didate, who is expected to be self-confident and composed.

Candidates should be polite, friendly and smile; make eye contact; listen carefully to questions; answer each question for up to 2 minutes; speak distinctly, self-confidently and calmly; briefly summarise their strengths; and compare their experience with the requirements of the position they are applying for.

A candidate can ask questions at the end of the interview. Questions may cover the man­agement structure of the company, a typical working day of an employee in that position, the deadline for receiving feedback, the com­pany's staff training and qualification pro­grammes, etc.
The employment promotion act forbids direct or indirect discrimination in job application procedures. The employer may not ask for information about a candidate’s private life. The law on personal data protection provides that private information is defined as any information about an individual person that can be traced through an individual number.
Croatia - typical interview structure

Interview structures vary, but there are some common characteristics. The atmosphere is usually formal. The interviewers introduce themselves, and will then invite you to present yourself, your education, previous work experi­ence, any special skills and competences, your interests and why you applied for the job.

Employers usually ask questions about your CV, previous work experience and their expec­tations. The interview lasts about 1/2 hour.

Save your own questions for the end of the interview, keep them brief and avoid going into too much detail.

Questions regarding religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or pregnancy must be avoided, according to Croatia’s anti-discrimination act, which came into force in 2009. You can refuse to answer questions related to your private life.
Cyprus - typical interview structure
There is no specific structure for the job interview. You may be asked to present yourself and discuss your positive and negative sides as well as your qualifications and experience in relation to the job description.

Questions are most often related to qualifications and experience, for example: Why do you feel you are suitable for this job? What is your experience in this field? What are your expectations of this job? For low-skilled professions, the employer may ask the candidate to demonstrate their skills on-site.
In Cyprus, there are laws against discrimination and for the protection of personal data. During an interview, the candidate is not obliged to answer strictly private questions or give confidential information, for example about one’s sexual orientation.
Czech Republic - typical interview structure
Most meetings start with a short introductory chat about personal details. This is followed by questions that help the personnel officer to obtain more detailed information about the applicant, their expectations and career aims. These questions focus on education and job experience. The next part of the interview is about the position itself This informs the candidate about the company, its internal relationships and working environment.

Common questions include: Can you tell us something about yourself? What do you expect from a job in our company? Why do you think we should employ you? Why did you leave your last job? What did you do when you were unemployed? When can you start work? What are your salary expectations? Are you willing to work overtime? The end of the interview can cover non-profes-sional questions or the applicant may be given the time to explain their motivation for the job and to show their skills and knowledge. It is important to behave confidently and show your interest in the job and the company. The question of pay is best left until employers raise it or tell you that they want to employ you.
Anti-discrimination law is covered in statutory regulations (e.g. labour code, employment law, etc.). Questions about political orientation, membership of a political party, religious affiliation, family situation and property, or partnership relations and marital status should not be asked.
Denmark - typical interview structure

Employers pay specific attention to the appli­cant's ability to meet the qualifications demanded.

There is a specific structure for the meeting. First you may talk briefly about the weather, how you got to the meeting, or another gen­eral subject. Then the company gives a short introduction and applicants have the opportu­nity to present themselves. The applicant can ask questions about the position, salary, work­ing conditions, contract, holidays, extra entitle­ments entitle­ments, etc. at the end of the meeting.

The meeting ends with information about what the next steps will be. In general, the atmos­phere is friendly and straightforward, and the applicant's attitude is expected to match this. Remember to make good eye contact.

The interview will mostly cover professional topics. The most common questions include your strengths and weaknesses, as well as where you hope to be in 3 to 5 years' time. There are no trick questions. Topics might also involve non-professional items such as pets/ children/sport and other interests as addi­tional material, or as small talk at the end of the interview.

There are anti-discrimination laws in Denmark in conformity with EU rules, relating to sex, age, disability, race, religion and political opinions. You do not have to answer all the questions. Sexual orientation and whether you are planning to have more children are considered to be strictly private matters.
Estonia - typical interview structure
At the beginning of the meeting expect a short warm-up (general questions), followed by specific questions about your personality and motivation. You then give a brief introduction about yourself You may then be asked about your strengths and weaknesses, why you are interested specifically in this vacancy, with questions about education, training and previous employment experience, hobbies, job conditions and salary. You are expected to be frank and friendly, but not too familiar.

Expect questions about duties, job conditions, future colleagues, bonuses, salary and gen­eral information about your previous job, your duties there and your reason for leaving.

Candidates can usually ask for additional infor­mation about the vacancy and the company at the end of the interview
Questions about private life (e.g. information about sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy, sickness and financial circumstances) are considered to be strictly private matters.
Finland - typical interview structure

The employer usually interviews between 3 and 10 candidates. They may make their deci­sion after one interview, or conduct further interviews or aptitude tests.

Greetings are followed by an introduction about the job and the company by the employer. Introduce yourself clearly and look everyone in the eye. Before questions begin, you are normally expected to say something about yourself - why you applied for the job and why you think you should be chosen. At the end of the meeting, you have the opportunity to ask any questions that were not answered.

Interviews are generally relaxed. However, do not be surprised if there are silences, as the interviewers may be taking notes.

During the interview, stay calm and speak clearly. Set out what you have achieved, but try not to be over-confident. It is important that you show interest in the position by being active, listening carefully and asking for clari­fication if you do not understand what the employer means. However, do not interrupt the interviewer. Above all, be honest and do not crit­icise former employers.

If you are asked to take a psychological or apti­tude test, you can take it as a good sign, as it means that you are among the best candi­dates. You cannot really prepare for the tests; the best thing is to get a good night's sleep and to be honest. Do not try to pretend to be some­one you are not.

It is important for the employer to find out about your professional background and capa­bilities. However, they also want to know about your personality; your strengths and weak­nesses; and how your previous employer would describe you. You may also need to describe how you react to stress and deadlines or how you cope with difficult situations.

The non-discrimination act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religious affiliation, political allegiance, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. The applicant does not need to answer questions dealing with his/her religious or political persuasion, illnesses, pregnancy, family planning or trade union activities. Employers can make precise enquires about health if a good physical condition is vital in order to carry out the required duties of the job.
France - typical interview structure
In general, the employer will introduce the company. He or she will then expect you, the candidate, to show why you should be hired in preference to the other candidates. You are advised to highlight your competences and demonstrate how these correspond with what the employer is looking for to help meet the needs of the company French anti-discrimination legislation is very clear. You can refuse to answer any question that seems inappropriate and/or is not relevant to your candidature for the job in question.
Germany - typical interview structure
Yes, the interview is usually very well structured. It starts with introductions to present the representatives of the company and the company itself Then it is the applicant's turn. From this point on, a company representative will ask all kinds of questions.

Towards the end of the interview, the applicant has the opportunity to ask further questions. At the end, the applicant is given more informa­tion about the application procedure and when the employer will let them know the decision. The interview usually takes about an hour, but it may vary.

Bear in mind that some questions can be tricky. Questions about strengths and weaknesses or about inappropriate qualifications need to be answered carefully and diplomatically. Try to present your weaknesses as strengths. For example, if you know that one of your
weaknesses is that you are impatient with your colleagues, tell the employer that you are used to getting your colleagues to meet deadlines or frequently asking for their results.

If you are asked whether you are over-qual­ified for the job, you might answer that it is quite possible that this is the case at the moment, but that you are sure that after you have become integrated in the company, the employer will no doubt find a job or task that is a more suitable match for your qualifications.

Germany has anti-discrimination law known as the Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz (AGGs) (general equal treatment law). This law states that questions about strictly private situations that have nothing to do with the job are not permissible. Questions about your general health, a planned pregnancy, financial situation, religion, sexuality, etc. are considered to be strictly private matters
Greece - typical interview structure
During an interview, the recruiter wants to learn about the skills of the applicant and the possible terms of recruitment. The department manager or the HR manager is in charge of the meeting. There may be two to four meetings and tests before recruitment.

In general, the atmosphere during interviews or tests is relaxed, friendly and exploratory. The ratio of non-professional to professional items addressed during the interview is about 30:70 % respectively.

The applicant must play an active part in the interview and listen carefully to questions. He/ she should show professionalism and dignity. If the applicant has to relocate for the job, the recruiter will expect them to deal with language issues as well as accommodation and family issues.
Questions about your political position and personal life are considered strictly private.
Hungary - typical interview structure

An interview usually takes 1/2 hour, although some companies do several interviews or tests (e.g. one professional, one personal, etc.). Inter­view structure varies, but the atmosphere is almost always formal (even if it is friendly). You should be slightly reserved unless you see the employer adopt a more relaxed atti­tude. The content of the interviews is usually job-oriented, but there is an increasing ten­dency to cover personality, skills and attitude, intelligence and general behaviour. You should always try to sell yourself explaining your moti­vation and why they should choose you, with­out of course being too pushy. Often the CV is referred to during the interview, and candidates are almost always asked why they left their previous job and to name their five best and worst characteristics.

You can ask anything about the job, but you should not start the interview by asking about the salary - this topic is normally raised by the employer. You should, however, be prepared to discuss your salary expectations, in which case it is always better to give a range than an exact figure. Nowadays the applicant is the one who has to state a price for his/her work as an office employee.
There is anti-discrimination legislation in Hungary, which means that you do not need to reveal 'sensitive’ information about yourself (religion, political allegiance or sexual orientation, a planned pregnancy, etc.) to employers. If you are uncertain about a question’s relevance to the job, you can simply ask why it is important to disclose this information.
Iceland - typical interview structure

Interviews usually take 30 minutes to an hour. There is no specific structure. The best thing to do is to present yourself as honestly as possi­ble and not to 'oversell' or 'undersell' your skills. Be polite and try to be calm.

Employers want to discover who you are during the interview. Do not be surprised if they ask questions about your personal life. Non-pro­fessional items usually take up a small part of the interview and are used simply to make the atmosphere more relaxed. The employer should already know basic things about your experience from your CV. Use this opportunity to speak in greater depth about your skills and why you are the best candidate. Also, try to convince them that you will contribute some­thing that will enhance the quality of their com­pany and that you are willing to work hard to do this.

Any questions from you regarding the nature of the job are appreciated, but it is better to wait until you know for sure that you have got the job before asking about the salary, unless the employer brings it up first.

At the end of an interview, the employer usu­ally tells you when you can expect to hear from them again. If they do not, the odds are that they are not interested. If the employer has not contacted you within the period you were told, the best thing is to simply contact them and ask for feedback.

While you will always present yourself better in person, if you cannot attend the interview, check if the employer can conduct the interview as a conference call. Video-conferencing is also growing in popularity in Iceland.
Anti-discrimination laws in Iceland are quite clear. Employers can ask if you are married or if you have children. They cannot ask about your sexual orientation, your political views or if you intend to have children. The best thing to do if these questions come up is to point out politely that these questions make you uncomfortable and that you question whether they are legal.
Ireland - typical interview structure
Usually an interview will be held in a private office. One of the interviewers will take the role of chairperson and introduce themselves, the panel and the interview procedure. Normally you can expect a very formal atmosphere, and the applicant is expected to treat the process formally and with respect. The vast majority of the interview will concentrate on professional items, with perhaps 10 % of the time being spent on non-professional issues. Candidates should be able to show their reasons and motivation for applying for the job. They should be clear and concise in their answers, and should avoid using jargon or acronyms.

You will be offered the opportunity to ask questions, but if there is a second interview in the process you should wait until this interview to ask any relevant questions.
There are very strict anti-discrimination laws in Ireland - these laws form the basis of the process. You cannot be asked a question that would be considered discriminatory and you can refuse to answer such a question - e.g. What age are you? Most personal matters, such as your age, religion, sexual orientation, etc. are considered to be absolutely private.
Italy - typical interview structure

The interview usually starts by talking about the candidate's previous work experience. The atmosphere is formal. It is up to the interviewer/ employer to make the atmosphere more relaxed.

The employer pays attention not only to the way you speak and act, but also whether your appearance and dress are suitable for the vacancy. You should also give a good explana­tion of your motivation.

After the employer has explained the duties and work that have to be carried out, the appli­cant can ask questions about any issue that is not clear. This can include the nature and dura­tion of the contract, pay conditions and any­thing else.
Applicants should feel free not to answer questions about their personal life. The employer should not ask for strictly private information.
Latvia - typical interview structure
Interviews are usually formal in Latvia. Employers may also conduct so-called 'test interviews’ which may be conducted by phone or in a group for the purpose of identifying the leader.

An interview rarely takes more than 1/2 hour per candidate. Questions are very similar for all applicants if the interview is official and formal. The candidate is expected to have prepared for the interview, and to know about the company and the position. Candidates are allowed to ask questions about the job and duties to which they have not yet obtained an answer.
There are various documents banning discrimi-nation on grounds of race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, social class, language, political opinions, etc. Statutory rights are usually not impaired, but there is nevertheless some remaining hostility to diversity.

Discriminatory questions are those that ask the candidate about marital status or plans to have children. Questions regarding age, marital status, personal information (height, weight, etc.) may also be considered discriminatory. Sometimes tricks are used to elicit such information: for example employers can ask a candidate to send a full-body photo or conduct a 'stress interview’, during which they test how a potential employee behaves in an uncomfortable situation, how creative a person is, etc. This is an interesting method, but the boundary between legitimate techniques and the violation of applicants’ rights is slim.
Lichtenstein - typical interview structure

An interview takes 1 to 2 hours. Tests or assess­ments may take another few hours.

There are structured (fixed questions - easy to compare the candidates), semi-struc­tured and non-structured interviews. Semi-structured interviews are used most. A possible structure could be: introduc­tion; presentation of the company; questions to the applicant (job, education, interests, extra courses, skills, team spirit, etc.); hobbies and non-professional occupations; personal goals; contract negotiations; summary; and next steps.

The atmosphere will be cooperative, open and frank. The ratio between non-professional and professional questions will be half-half. It is important to prove your motivation. The employer wants to know as much as possi­ble about a candidate's motivation, knowledge and skills, but also their personality.

You can ask any questions at the end of the first interview. Questions about salary are usu­ally dealt with during the second interview.
Questions about a planned pregnancy, illness, religion or political affiliation should not be answered if they are not relevant to the job.
Lithuania - typical interview structure

No, but you can expect questions such as: What did you do before? Tell us something about yourself (here you have a good chance to pres­ent yourself and offer important information to the prospective employer to stimulate their interest in you). Why do you want to work for us? Why did you leave your previous job? How do you see your responsibilities in our com­pany? What can you offer us? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and your interests outside work? What are your future ambitions?

Demonstrate enthusiasm. Make it clear that you want the job. Show that you are prepared. Include evidence that you have found out more about the company in your answers, but do not make it too obvious. Ask questions afterwards.

Be prepared to answer the question about what salary you expect. Possible answers could include: 'I think I should not receive less than the employee who occupied the position pre­viously,' or 'Since your company is known to be prestigious, I am sure I will be paid according to current rates.' Applicants are advised to make a brief survey of salary levels in the chosen field prior to any salary negotiations.

It is not tactful for employers to ask about age, marital status, pregnancy, addictions or religion.
Luxembourg - typical interview structure

There is no typical interview structure; it depends on the job and firm (size and sector of activity).

That said, it is quite possible that the per­son who is in charge of the interview will ask you some tricky questions, especially about the reasons why you left other jobs or former employers. Make sure you prepare in advance to answer such questions. You can always try out the answers with your family or friends. They should tell you honestly if your answers are convincing.

As a rule, if you are asked about a bad expe­rience, always try to make the best out of it. Never be negative about former employers or colleagues. Counter the bad experience by giving several examples of things that worked out well.

To make a good impression on your potential future employer, remember to show a positive attitude, keep your head up and make eye con­tact with the person in charge of the interview.

Luxembourg has legislation to protect private lives, so highly personal topics should not form part of the interview.
Malta - typical interview structure

The interview is usually very friendly and candi­dates are made to feel at home. Interviews are usually one-to-one. If the job is not specialised, there will be only one interview, but for a spe­cialised occupation that requires experience, shortlisting is the order of the day, followed by one or two additional interviews. You may be expected to make a presentation in this case.

Keep to the point of the discussion/questions and do not invent ski lls that you do not possess. Show that you are willing to learn. Eye contact is important, as is body language.

You can ask questions, although these are best kept to a minimum and must be relevant. Ask­ing for a job description or about working con­ditions might be advisable. If there is a second interview, it is better not to discuss pay at this stage.

The more you know about the company, the better. This shows that you have taken an inter­est in getting to know the company, its past performance and future plans. Your enthusi­asm may even enhance your chance of being selected. The most common question an appli­cant is expected to be able to answer is about the core function of the company. Another is whether the company is a subsidiary of another company or whether it exports its products and to what countries, if this is the case.

One tricky question an employer might ask is what pay you expect. There are various ways of answering this, especially if you have done your research and have sufficient experience.

The law forbids employers asking questions that may discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity or country of origin. If you are asked questions about your personal life, you may politely decline to answer them, telling the interviewer that your personal life will not interfere with your employment and position. The interviewer may ask questions about personal interests and how you spend your free time, or for your opinion on various issues, including current affairs.
Netherlands - typical interview structure

On average, the interview takes 1 to 1.5 hours.

The interviewer presents him- or herself and the company, before inviting you to tell him/her who you are. They will then tell you more about the job, before asking questions about your CV. They may also ask about your private life.

Questions about your qualities, skills and com­petences follow. After this, you can ask about topics that have not been addressed or for things to be clarified.

The interviewer closes the interview by explain­ing further steps in the procedure.

Tricky questions include: Do you have an idea of what the position involves? Compare this post with similar ones in other companies. Why should we choose you instead of some­one else? Can you explain this gap in your CV?

There is legislation to protect against discrimi­nation. Questions about race or skin colour, reli­gion (although a question like 'Do the hours of work fit in with your religion?' is permissi­ble), nationality, birthplace, pregnancy, health or family plans are not permitted.

Many Dutch companies have adopted a code of good conduct in recruitment as laid down by the Dutch union for personnel manage­ment and organisation development (NVP). If you feel that a company that is signed up to the code did not treat you well, you can make a complaint. You can also apply to the commis­sion for equal treatment if you think your rights to equal treatment were violated.

Norway - typical interview structure
The person responsible for the meeting will tell you about the company and the job. Then you will be given time to present yourself and explain why you have applied. Do not hesitate to ask professional questions about the company and the job. At the end of the interview, you can ask about pay and working conditions. Then the recruiter should inform you about when you will get feedback or a reply.

You will mainly discuss professional items, but the recruiter will evaluate you most on your personal way of presenting your professional qualifications. Keep calm and be yourself Show that you will add value to the company. Do not try to impress the recruiter; be honest, modest and down to earth
Discrimination on grounds of political alle¬giance, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability or trade union membership is illegal, unless these topics have direct relevance for the job. You do not have to answer questions about pregnancies or whether you are on some kind of benefit. However, use your common sense. Employers expect you to show initiative, assume responsibility for your own work and be capable of working independently.
Poland - typical interview structure

Usually the meeting takes 45 minutes to an hour. If there are tests, it can take 2 to 3 hours. In general, each interview has a specific structure.

Introduction: the first part of the interview is informative. The person conducting the inter­view informs the applicant about the condi­tions of the meeting, the job, range of duties, etc. and tries to build a good atmosphere.

Exploration of work experience: in this stage, the recruiter will ask factual questions to gain information. These will focus on per­sonal data, work experience, education, pro­fession, etc.

Interpretation of facts: this stage consists of an interpretation of facts collected dur­ing the second stage. The interviewer asks applicants about how they feel their edu­cational and work experience relates to the job in question. This helps to reveal a can­didate's motivation, attitudes and the value they attach to the job.

Personal opinions, thoughts, points of view: during this stage, candidates give their personal opinion and show the way they think in relation to work decisions made (the employer or person who conducts the inter­view asks questions about the motives for personal decisions).

Summing up: in this stage, candidates can ask questions on topics that have not been covered. The interviewers should give infor­mation about the subsequent stages of the recruitment process.

Prepare for tricky questions, such as the following.

What will you be doing in 5 years' time?

How would you solve a conflict at work?

What do you do in your spare time?

What are your salary expectations?

There are laws against discrimination on grounds of sex, age, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religious affiliation and trade union membership. An applicant has the right to refuse to answer discriminatory questions.

Questions about your sexual preferences, political allegiance, pregnancy or religion are not acceptable.
Portugal - typical interview structure

There is no typical structure, although you might expect questions on:

personal background (where you were born, where you studied, family, etc.);

your CV: your educational/professional back­ground, professional experience and other activities/hobbies;

your motivation with regards to the company and the job; and

your personal and social skills (open questions on yourself your attitudes, your qualities, your weaknesses).

At the second stage, the interviewer will give you more information on the company and the role. At this point, you may ask about auton­omy and responsibility levels, travelling require­ments, working hours, expected wage, etc.

At the end, the employer will usually say when you will be informed of their decision. You should then thank them for the opportunity to meet.

Recruitment interviews using video-conferenc­ing and Skype are not very common, but are likely to be increasingly used for the first selec­tion with international candidates.

Questions about religious affiliation, political preferences and sexual orientation are considered to be strictly private matters. There is, however, a general perception that these are more frequently addressed (even though in a subtle way) than in some other European countries.
Romania - typical interview structure

Once the recruiter has decided they want to meet you in person, the interview can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours. All aspects of verbal and non-verbal communication are important. The recruiter will observe your positive and negative communication skills and analyse them in order to form their assessment.

Most employers use semi-structured inter­views. The structure may be as follows at the first meeting:

small talk to put you at ease;

presentation by the recruiter and the applicant;

questions about your experience, skills and knowledge; verification of information in the CV;

the recruiter informs you about the require­ments and main duties of the job and about the company in general: which sectors it operates in, its achievements, etc.;

the recruiter checks that you have under­stood all the aspects discussed;

your questions, for example: What is the work schedule? What salary are you offering? Is there a lunch break?

You are advised to prepare questions before the meeting, but be flexible and try to think of oth­ers that may crop up during the interview.

The atmosphere should be open, relaxed and communicative. Make sure you adopt a profes­sional attitude and that you explain your moti­vation for the job.

Romania has anti-discrimination legislation.
Slovakia - typical interview structure

In most cases, employers start by introducing the company and what they expect from the new employee. They will then ask applicants to set out their reasons for wanting the job and to describe their knowledge and skills. The employer can also ask applicants to take a test or fill out forms. At the end of the interview, the employer can give candidates the opportunity to ask questions.

The atmosphere is formal. Remember this, and take care with your choice of words. Most of the interview time is dedicated to professional topics. The employer is not usually interested in personal aspects.
Candidates are not obliged to answer questions about their private life, religion and political affiliation, or marital status.
Slovenia - typical interview structure
Introductions are followed by a short presentation of the company and the post. After that, the employer can interview the candidate to clarify information in the application documents. This is the stage where the candidate can show the original versions of documents sent as copies when applying for the job. At the end of this part, the jobseeker can ask questions, if they have any. To end the interview, the interviewer usually tells the candidate how the process will continue. The atmosphere is business-like. The candidate only has to answer questions that are relevant to the job applied for.
Spain - typical interview structure

No, it may be structured or unstructured, formal or informal, by a panel or with a group.

The interviewer will discuss your CV, focusing on training and academic work as much as on work experience. They may ask about your atti­tudes and personality. They will want to identify what you are like, how you behave in certain situations and how you fit in to a team.

Besides a representative from the HR depart­ment, there may also be a technical profes­sional to ask questions related to the

tasks of the role. The HR representative will focus on personal and general skills and working conditions.

The candidate can then ask additional ques­tions before the interview concludes with prac­tical arrangements for the decision period and feedback. Make the most of the farewell to show that you are optimistic and expect good news.

Be aware that your non-verbal communica­tion gives information about you throughout the interview to confirm or belie what you are saying. Answer questions about errors or criti­cism sincerely. We all make mistakes. What is important is how you learnt from the situation. Always tell the story from a positive point of view and draw positive conclusions.

If faced with uncomfortable or provocative questions, try to remain calm. Difficult ques­tions are commonly used in the selection of senior executives, sales personnel or customer liaison staff

Practice your interview technique at http://www.todofp.es or with an interview trainer (simula­tor) at http://www.educastur.es.
The employer should not ask for strictly private information, but in some cases, especially if you are a woman, you may be asked about your personal and family situation and plans. Although it is desirable to answer all the questions, you can always ask politely: 'How does this relate to the job I am applying for?
Sweden - typical interview structure

Usually you are asked to start the interview by introducing yourself (be brief); next you tell the employer why you have applied for the job and what you know about the company. Be relaxed but attentive.

Common questions include: Do you find it easy to learn new things? How do you react to crit­icism? Are you a problem-solver? How do you tackle a problem? What are you proud of? Can you tell me something really good that you have done? What do you expect to be doing in 5 years' time? What do you think a good colleague should be like? Describe a situa­tion where you made a mistake and what you learnt from it. How would your friends describe you? How would your manager describe you? How do you function in a group? What are your strong and weak points? How do you handle stressful situations? Why should we employ you?

During the first interview you can ask what an ordinary working day is like, when you will hear the result of the interview, when the job starts, if there is an introductory programme, etc. Do not talk about pay at the beginning of the application procedure. Wait until the employer raises the subject.

There are anti-discrimination laws (on gender, religion, ethnicity, disability). You can decide if you want to answer these types of questions during an interview. Questions that are not relevant for the job (your age, whether you have any children, your origin) are private.
Switzerland - typical interview structure

An interview has a very specific structure: the interviewer introduces himself/herself sets the time frame for the interview and its goals, and gives a brief presentation of the company and the job. They then ask candidates to pres­ent themselves and explain their motivation. After that come more detailed questions. At the end of the interview, applicants are asked to state their pay expectations and, if they are still interested in the job, a new meeting may be scheduled.

A minimum of two interviews is usual. Each takes 90 minutes on average (under an hour for less-skilled jobs).

If the interviewer is an HR professional, about half the questions will focus on your social and personal competencies. Use the opportunity to show your motivation for the job and try to highlight all your skills and strengths.

The candidate must show a real interest in the job, be frank and honest, and listen actively. They should ask at the first interview if taking notes is possible. They should also wait to be invited to ask their own questions.

The following subjects are considered private: sexuality, intention to marry, political allegiance, pay in previous jobs, state of health and forced resignation from previous jobs. Nevertheless, some employers may ask a female candidate about her family plans.
United Kingdom - typical interview structure

The atmosphere is formal but friendly. The can­didate should be attentive, responsive and pos­itive about their application. He/she should try to relax and answer the questions confidently and as fully as possible.

The employer will be looking for examples that demonstrate the applicant's competencies to do the job. Punctuality, presentation and moti­vation are also important factors.

Usually only one round of interviews is carried out, sometimes with an accompanying test to gauge the applicant's technical abilities and problem-solving skills. The interview is usually 30-40 minutes maximum. Tests are 20-30 minutes. The applicant's presentation, pos­ture and attentiveness may not be scored, but they will create an impression and are there­fore important.

Because the emphasis is on competence and matching the job profile there is very little, if any, discussion on non-professional subjects. The motivation should be clear from the appli­cation form or from answers given to the inter­viewers' questions. You do not have to give details of your interests outside work unless you are using these as examples of your abil­ity to do a task in reply to one of the questions.

Common questions include asking the can­didate to give examples of when he/she has been in a particular situation and how he/she dealt with it. You may be asked to give exam­ples of a time when something has gone wrong and what you did to put it right or to describe your weaknesses. In this case, show that you are aware of how to deal with your weakness.

Towards the end of the interview, you will be asked if you have any questions. Prepare one or two questions in advance, for example you may want to ask about opportunities for pro­gression within the company or what types of training the company offers.
Employers cannot discriminate on grounds of gender, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age. Employers and recruiters are responsible for ensuring that their questions are non-discriminatory and will not ask you to disclose information about private matters unrelated to work. You may, however, have to disclose information about any previous conviction for a criminal offence.
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