Application tips

Orientation

It is impossible to make informed choices and be well prepared for an interview without orientation. Decide what type of function you would like to obtain and think about the career steps you would like to make, the goals you want to achieve and the kind of company you would like to work for.

A good CV is imperative in finding a suitable job!
Make sure your CV is up-to-date and adapted to the vacancy you are responding to, formulate concisely and clearly and emphasise relevant work experience and education. Take a look at our Example CV.

Self-analysis

Now that your CV is looking good, you need to think about why your CV looks the way it does. Not about the layout, but about the content: Why have you made certain choices? Why did you persevere with things you didn’t like or why did you give up? What have you learnt from it and how has this experience influenced your other decisions? Ask critical questions: Who? What? Why? etc.
Take your time and work through your CV and ask yourself the same questions over and over, until you get to the essence. You can discuss these questions with others but, ultimately, you know yourself better than anyone else. This is a good way to find out what you think is important and enjoyable in life. Once you have a clear overview of all these answers, you will feel more confident and it also simplifies the process of finding a new, suitable job. On the other hand, if you haven’t figured yourself out yet, then our consultants’ personal approach will probably be of great help in finding you a suitable place to work. But it would be a lot more powerful if you could indicate what you want and why you want it: it’s all about reasoning.

If you work through the points above thoroughly, then you are no longer just answering questions during an interview, but you will be able to explain convincingly what it is you are looking for as a person and how you can fulfil the role you have applied for.

The interview

After we have successfully introduced you, the candidate, to the relevant employer you will be invited for an initial interview. In most cases, this will mean a chat with two people. Make sure you are on time and find out about the company’s background: the different products, the most prominent brands, the countries in which the company operates, approximately how many people work for the company in the Netherlands, Europe, globally, etc.

Also make sure you are aware of current affairs. Read the paper every day for at least a week before attending the interview and look at the latest news on the company’s website.

Make sure you are able to explain your strengths. Obviously, you need to be able to make a case for your strengths by using the contents of your CV. This should be easy after the application tips above! When giving examples, you should stick to the STAR structure. Define the Situation, indicate your Task(s) and the Action(s) you took and what the Result was. A clear, comprehensible structure leads to a good interview.

A final application tip: it is useful to ask a few questions about the company or the role you are applying for. This shows that you are very interested in the company and the job. Be critical and polite, but not too modest!

First impressions

The first impression you make is extremely important and will be created within the first minute. There are a few factors that play an important role in this first impression. You make your very first impression with your face and your handshake: maintain eye contact when shaking hands and show a friendly smile. Use your smile (which includes your eyes) a few more times throughout the interview. 55% of your first impression is created by your posture: your appearance and your demeanour. It is important that you are clean and well dressed. Adapt your outfit to the company, but do not choose an outfit that makes you feel uncomfortable. Your voice influences 38% of your first impression. Make sure you enter the interview in a relaxed manner, speak calmly and take small pauses. Finally, the remaining 7% comprises your choice of words and sentence structure.

We hope these application tips will help you on your way.

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