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Job interview

The 10 Most Common Questions about Job Interviews

Career Tips from the EXPO REAL CareerDay – Part 2


At the EXPO REAL CareerDay students, graduates and young professionals could once again get profound impressions of occupational fields and career opportunities in the real estate sector on the third day of this year’s EXPO REAL. A series of presentations gave insights into recruiting, especially in the property industry. The participants got tips for their application documents, salary negotiations and job interviews. In our three-part blog series we have compiled the most important points for you.

Job interviews make many people nervous. But if you are well prepared, there is nothing to be feared. Alexandra Helbig, HR officer of Arina GmbH, answered the most common questions in her presentation at the EXPO REAL CareerDay.


1. What should I wear for the job interview?

Find out on the internet how employees of the company present themselves and adapt to this style. If in doubt, the rule is: Better dress up a bit than be too casual.

2. Where should I sit down if I am shown into the room first?

If possible, sit down on the long side of the table. You should not take the seat at the head of the table.

3. Who do I greet first?

If you recognize your contact, it is advisable to greet him/her first. Apart from that you can’t go wrong with “ladies first”.

4. How do I convey a positive body language?

Do not hide your hands under the table. Take something to write with you and change between a resting position and adequate movement. This shows an interest and attention. Having your legs crossed gives the impression of a barrier. Sit upright with both feet firmly on the ground in order to look unwavering and self-confident.

5. How do I answer when asked: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?”

Describe your career objectives in the company. There is no room for private objectives or objectives in other companies.

6. What should I do in a Skype interview?

Ensure a clean and quiet setting. Wear clothes appropriate to the company, as if it was an on-site interview.

7. How do I justify poor grades?

Honesty is essential. Do not blame teachers or difficult circumstances for your poor grades. Point out that you are better on the practical side than on the theoretical side or that you had not set the right priorities. Show your counterpart that you have learned something from that.

8. How do I answer the question about my current application situation?

Make it clear that you applied with carefully selected companies, since it should be right for both sides.

9. How do I deal with weird questions?

“If you were a property, would you be a: a) lighthouse, b) loft, c) houseboat, d) half-timbered house?” The perfect answer? Doesn’t exist. There is no right or wrong. Answer whatever you think of first, and explain.

10. What should I always bear in mind?

Keep the dialog running, don’t lose your posture, the right dose of humor and sincerity. Do not play-act, be authentic!


Another important point: Check your online profiles before others do. Pictures of the last party night are not meant for your future boss’s eyes.

Find more tips in Parts 1 and 3 of our blog series: “10 Tips for Your Application” and “How to Be Successful in Salary Negotiations”.


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