How to prepare for a job interview?

There is plenty of advice on how to prepare for a job interview, but we often do not pay enough attention to one aspect of this process that may be crucial for a job to be obtained.

When interviewing candidates for a specific job, recruiters always analyze the motivation of each person for that particular job, and for the work in the company they applied for. If someone is a great lover of technology and applied for a position in technical support in an IT company, then their enthusiasm will be felt during an interview. Or if someone has studied marketing, speaks great English, and wants to work as a marketing assistant in a company that runs online campaigns, they will certainly be very excited for an opportunity to present their skills and knowledge to get a job like that. This spark in one’s eyes is sometimes crucial when recruiters are choosing the right person for a job, so you should focus on the preparation for an interview about how to show that you are motivated for that particular workplace.

Apply for jobs you are interested in

People who have affinities to particular industries or jobs know a lot about companies operating in given areas. They follow news of the development of these companies, read articles and professional literature on trends within these industries, and are regularly up to date with innovations. It is easy for them, isn’t it? What about those who only ask for better employment in terms of wages, or better team atmosphere, or just regular working hours? Is it possible that companies will employ only those who are in love with their industry? We can say that a company will always give advantage to people who have a strong motivation to thrive and develop in an area that is close to them. On a job interview, motivation to learn about a given area and how much is a person at ease in that area will always be firstly assessed. If, for example, you have a candidate who adores modern technology and is good at solving mathematical and logical tasks, and one whose interests are in the field of communication and international relations, both candidates will be equally considered for a call centre operator. But the job will be given to a person who shows the desire and enthusiasm to learn about their new position.

Think about your motivation for a specific position

In most cases, during an interview, you will be asked why you applied for a job, why you want to work for and what you know about the company. You won’t believe it, but a large percentage of people say they have not read a detailed job description or a description of a company because they thought that more information would be heard during an interview. It is a standard logic, in the sense that a job description seemed interesting to me, I applied for a job, they called me, and now why do I have to prepare for that? If they like my knowledge, I guess it makes sense that they will take me on? Unfortunately, the reality is different though. It has been shown that people who have a strong desire and motivation to work in a specific workplace achieve better results; they are more satisfied with their jobs, learn faster and progress within a company. That is why a company estimates how someone is motivated when they first meet that person in the first place.

Find out more information about the company

The best way to show that you are motivated is to read information about a company and familiarize yourself with how they do business. The first source of information is the company’s website. Here you can see which products/services a company has, what kind of customers they support (whether a product/service is intended for business clients or individuals), what is the tone that a company communicates (whether it is strictly business, or relaxed, more oriented towards young people), which locations the company operates at, etc. Most companies now have a section titled “About Us” where you can see how a company describes itself and its corporate culture. Sometimes there is information about managers who work there. It is always useful when you see resumes, even photos of people who run the company. On Google, search for how many employees there are in a company. This is important information because it is not the same to work for a conglomerate that operates on three continents or a small start-up company with 10 employees. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can view profiles of all employees in a given company. All this can help you better assess whether your motivation is still at a high level, or you may have concluded that it is not a working environment for you.

If you estimate that this is the right opportunity, then try to remember a few pieces of information (at least about a company’s number of employees and activities) and share that during an interview. Make your efforts, which you have invested primarily to assess whether it is a good opportunity for you, worthwhile. Show recruiters how much you invested before an interview, and convey your thinking why you see yourself in that work environment. It is not easy to get a job with so many competitors, but with such an approach, you increase your chances of actually getting that job!

The phenomenon with which we encounter more frequently – Ghosting

The term “ghosting” was connected in the past to the sudden interruption of personal connection – between partners or friends. It represents an act of unannounced and unexpected termination of any contact in person, through a phone or social networks, without any explanation. Another person remains deprived of an explanation, and that reflects on the emotional state of the other side. A person chooses to act in a “ghosting” way in the hope that the other side will understand the hint and desire for termination of relations, without a clear and personal expression of the need for that or an explanation. People who disconnect the relationship tend to avoid emotional discomfort in this way without thinking about how the other side will feel.

Lately, ghosting is increasingly present in the relationship between employers and future employees. An increasing number of candidates avoids informing a future employer that they have changed their mind about a job application. Candidates who are actively seeking jobs, often send their application to a large number of addresses, without examining details about the company or a job ad, sometimes even without seriously considering their intention to change their current job. At the time when there is a call for a job interview, a candidate decides not to answer the phone, hangs up the phone after they hear who calls them, do not show up for an interview, avoid to answer an offer they received or they simply stop coming to their workplace after they have started working.

The right to change opinion is an assertive right of every individual, and especially in the business world, there should be understanding if candidates change their mind and quit. However, modern ways of communication have contributed to the impairment of communication, and sometimes it seems that the cessation of every way of communication is an acceptable form to disclose an unpleasant piece of information to the other side. Many people avoid conflicts naturally, and this seems like an easier way to avoid potentially unpleasant situations.

This phenomenon is most commonly seen with young people, who have less professional experience, and unfortunately, are unaware that such a way of communication leaves a bad impression for future opportunities. Even if you change your mind, it is always good to answer a call and explain the reason, because a changed opinion leaves a better impression than poorly developed communication skills.

Motivational Letter

Sometimes, as one of the first steps in the selection process, candidates are required to present a motivational letter with their biography. Like its name says, a motivational letter should be in the form of a letter explaining your motivation to apply to that particular position. We are describing a few helpful tips that might help you with this and make your writing easier.


A motivational letter serves as a complement to your CV. It allows you to present yourself better to a future employer and to get distinguished among other candidates. Therefore, do not discuss inputs which you already explained in your CV, but use this space to show that you are really interested in a company, as well as a specific job, and also emphasize your successes and achievements that you have not specified in your CV.


A motivational letter should be clear and compact. Make sure everything you have to say fits into one A4 page. Start with “Dear,” and ideally write to (Mr/Mrs/Ms and their last name) a manager of a sector which you are applying for. If you fail to find this information, you can refer to a company or HR team. Write in the first person, formally, but with a tone that calls for future cooperation.

In the first paragraph, introduce yourself and briefly explain your reasons for applying.

Before you write a second paragraph, explore well a company that announced a vacancy and think why you want to work with them. Explain why you believe that position is appropriate for you and what are reasons, objectives, and achievements of a company that made you interested in building your career with them.

In the third paragraph, describe your knowledge and skills, describe them through examples, and clarify to your future employer which qualities you have that can help them. Write about your long-term goals, express enthusiasm for progress, and explain why you are better compared to other candidates.

Always end a letter with a nice greeting and an invitation to a live introduction. In your signature, leave contact information – email and phone number in case they want to contact you.

Before sending, be sure to read the letter and check all spelling errors. Write a letter in a language in which an ad has been published, and before sending it, be sure to save it as a PDF file.

A good CV is a ticket to get a job

When writing a CV (Curriculum Vitae), one should stick to the motto “less is more.” A CV should contain key items that will keep the attention of someone reading it on the information that will help you get a job. A CV should not exceed two pages, and it would be ideal if all data could fit one. You can use templates that divide information into sections so that your presentation to your future employer is clear and space is fully used.

Spatially, we can imagine a CV as a studio apartment – it should be functional, so, it should only contain the most important elements, and then, it should be neat so that one can easily go through it. A CV should be regularly cleaned of information that is no longer relevant but creates unnecessary jams. For example, if you are a student looking for your first job, it is OK to explain different volunteer experiences and numerous conferences that you have participated in, but if you have already had several years of experience, you can omit information about seminars that are not closely associated with the position you apply for.

The most important elements of a CV are personal/contact data, education, work experience, foreign languages, and computer knowledge. All of this should only be specified if it adds to your values and makes you a desirable candidate given the criteria specified in a job description.

The CV design itself should contribute to its functionality: try to reduce data and do not go away from the essence. When choosing a font, make sure that it is easy to read and professional, and to make content understandable, use bullets instead of long sentences.

In an introduction, next to your name and surname, be sure to provide your contact phone and email address, in a visible place, where it will be easily accessible. Since job interviews are confidential, it would be best to leave your mobile phone number so that someone in the HR sector can contact you directly, not someone from at your home or a colleague. An email address should be professional ( so that you make a good impression.

If you decide to enrich your work biography with a photo, then let it be as recent and faithful as possible so that you can be easily remembered through a selection process later. Photos with other people, pets, or from different events, or nightlife, should not be found in a CV.

You may omit information about your residence address, date of birth, citizenship (if you are not a foreign citizen) because it is not of crucial importance. When previewing a CV, a recruiter wants to establish whether you meet job criteria, or whether you have the necessary knowledge and experience. If you do, they will invite you to an interview where you can discuss whether an address of your residence may have any impact on your arrival at a workplace.

Data on marital status, children, served military time and similar personal information should also be avoided because it is not important in the selection process, and you can better use that space to list your skills and professional achievements.

Working experience is a vital item of this document and therefore, should take most of the space. When specifying your work experiences, put them in reverse order – one by one, specify working experiences from the most recent experience till the last one. Try to make all items clean and meaningful: feel free to bold job titles and employers’ names so they could be easy to identify, and specify locations only if you worked in different cities or countries. Be sure to specify dates – a month and year as a period when you worked so that a recruiter would have a clear insight into duration and chronology of your employment.

For each job that you think is relevant to a position that you apply for, specify responsibilities and achievements in a few items, mainly if a lot of the tasks you have performed are not contained in the name of a position you worked at. Highlight the most important topics so that you do not go unnoticed and to emphasize that you have the qualities that distinguish you from other candidates.

If you have no experience, use this space to talk about the relationship between your interests and skills with the required criteria for a specific position. Also, be sure to specify internships you attended during your schooling, student jobs, and your participation in seminars to better present your commitment and motivation to your future employer.

When specifying education, you should also stick to reverse chronologies, i.e., specify first the highest education title you have acquired. Elementary school data is not relevant since it is mandatory and the same for everyone. You can omit high school data if you have studied, especially if you have been on master or doctoral studies. Graduates should specify a vocation title they have acquired, but an average grade often does not affect a selection process, so you do not have to put it, although it can be a good indicator of your commitment if it is a high one.

Foreign languages section does not have to take too much space because it is not necessary to break each language to write/read/understand sections, it is sufficient to specify the approximate level of your knowledge. If you have a certificate, it is always a good idea to specify that as an additional confirmation.

Computer skills is also an item that deserves space in your resume, and you can describe knowledge of each specified program similar to a level of languages you speak — from basic to advanced.

Although hobbies and interests speak a lot about personality, it is not necessary to specify them. In the next round of selection, an interviewer will ask you more about that to get to know you better. They will also ask you questions about the characteristics that are desirable for a particular position, and you do not have to spend space to list attributes that are already listed in a job ad.

Specify having a driver’s license only if a job ad says that it is a requirement to fulfil your work duties, although it is not a bad idea if you leave it in a CV anyway.

When the text of a job ad is published in a foreign language, always attach a version of a CV in the same language. Before sending, check the full text that you are sending, because typos or grammatical errors make a bad impression. If you believe that you are a person who pays attention to details, this is a great way to show it in action. Because of different versions of a program, fonts may change, or a picture and rows could mix, so in the end, be sure to save the document as a PDF file to avoid this and make sure that it reaches an employer looking the same as on your computer.

Finally, a CV should be your personal hallmark. Although there are finished templates (European Form and similar), it is still advised to use only the structure, but to choose your own font, detailed descriptions of duties on previous jobs, and the entire visual design. In this way, your computer skills could be seen, as well as your effort and initiative. Do your best when preparing your CV, it is your ticket to get a job!

Leadership for Beginners

When their managerial career begins, young people encounter different types of challenges. It is not easy to be responsible for the performance and success of a team, even if it consists of only one person that we lead. Whether we want it or not, our team members have great expectations from us.

There are different types of training programs that support first-time-leaders, and there is no universal approach to the development of someone who takes this kind of responsibility for the first time. Nevertheless, we will try to look at the main aspects of this challenging task that, when successful, can be very rewarding.

Leadership is an opportunity to serve. It is not a trumpet call to self-importance.

– J. Donald Walters

Office Politics and Interpersonal Relations

People always follow those who know the way to success. To motivate others and encourage them to achieve their potentials, you must be aware of yourself and your role in the team in the first place. In recent years, a lot has been discussed about corporate politics, in the sense that each manager pushes their team in a particular direction only because it contributes to his/her salary, bonuses, status or power. Faced with these “game rules” in larger companies, managers generally become so-called chameleons that adapt to the environment, or stay consistent and try to sometimes go “head through the wall.” If you are a leader at the beginning of a career, the best advice would be to be somewhere between these two styles. In the first place, the leader must be adaptive to different circumstances, and on the other hand, they must be consistent with the decisions and objectives that they should achieve. So, have the right choice of your battles, and choose your companions carefully.


This word has become a standard when we talk about descriptions of successful leaders, but unfortunately, it seems to have lost its value in practice over time. They say that you should have “Walk the Talk” (Practice what you preach) approach in relations with employees, in the sense that what we are talking and propagate, we should really be doing ourselves. Because why would someone give their maximum in business by following a leader who comes out earlier every day from work? If your team is working hard and has challenging tasks, you will gain the trust of team members only if you support them in their efforts to achieve results. Part of the integrity is also whether you keep the word you gave to someone. Employees’ trust is difficult to acquire, and it is very easy to lose, so make sure that you do not provide easy promises that you are not sure you can fulfil, and that when you say something will happen, you stick to your words. For a leader to really manage to stick to this principle, they must carefully think before they communicate some information with team members.

In this context, if your superior has been delighted to announce you bonuses for good results, do not immediately run into your team and convey the news before you have checked with all relevant structures in the company that this will actually happen. Giving false hopes to people is the fastest way to create discontent and apathy on the team. Now, the fact that you have been given a false hope as well and that you may be personally disappointed when there is an unfulfillment of some announced good news is something else, and it can be said that every leader’s job description is to deal with these challenges.

Working with a team, not without it

If you have already been concerned while reading previous paragraphs whether the role of a leader is right for you, you may want to stay in your expert zone in which you already achieve good results because the story is just beginning to be exciting! Each team has its own goals to achieve, and you as a leader should help team members understand what is expected from them in the first place and how to get there. To do this, you must understand where your team is with knowledge, competences, and motivation. 1 on 1 meetings with team members will help you achieve a closer relationship with each of them, and in a safe environment, they will share with you all their ambitions, desires, but also concerns and fears. When you understand the development phase of each one of them, you can better make further steps whether it is an investment in improving their technical knowledge or soft skills, empowering and supporting, or simply supporting someone while they are in a transition period to a new position.

Of course, do not forget that we are all humans and that personal problems we carry from our family can affect our performance. For all this, arm yourself with patience, understanding, constructive attitude to find the right words for praise, and listen to your employees. Listen carefully what they tell you because a large percentage of problems affecting your team’s bad performance will be resolved only by paying attention to those problems. If you close yourself and believe that only you can achieve results without any help, believe that you are wrong. This attitude leads to an authoritarian leadership style, which increasingly becomes an obsolete way of managing.

Taking responsibility

The biggest challenge in front of inexperienced leaders is taking responsibility for the entire team’s performance. “How do I stand by errors made by an unmotivated team member?” or “Why should I delegate tasks that I can do more precisely and more quickly?” are only some of the questions that usually lead to a decision that a leader is working late at night completing a report for superiors. If you are in this situation, ask yourself first why there are team managers at all. If you can do it all better yourself, why do you need a team whose mistakes you are constantly correcting, and reminding them of deadlines?

To return to the end of the story, one day you will have the privilege of working with the most motivated people who are professionals in their business – they always respect deadlines, do not make mistakes in work, proactively propose solutions to problems, give initiatives to improve processes. To get there, it will take a lot of time and efforts. In the first place, you have to build yourself up as a person of integrity, create a personal stamp of your leadership style, so everyone in the company says, “Yes, he/she is a great manager! If everyone were like that, this world would be a better place!” Therefore, do not be afraid to take responsibility for the mistakes of your team – your role is to stand before those people, and do your best to empower them, support, motivate, and push forward as they develop. Development is the most painful process, because as long as a person develops, they spread their horizons, change habits, adjust behaviour, and that is not a very easy process. Not for you, not for your team members.

There are many other topics that can be covered in this area, but for the start, if you become aware of these few topics and direct yourself to further growth, you have the prerequisite to have people praising you one day, even when you leave the company. Of course, if you really aim to make this world a better place.