German Job Interview Phrases

Prepare for your job interview in German, by familiarising yourself with typical interview questions to expect, and helpful example answers.

When preparing for a job interview in German, it’s important to feel as confident and prepared as possible, so as to make a good impression, showing the best side of yourself in the limited amount of time you have.

It’s also important to be prepared, so as to make sure that you walk away knowing that you’ve asked everything you wanted to, and understood everything you needed to in order to get a thorough idea of what it would be like to work in the job position in question.

This is perhaps even more important, when you are currently learning German, and may need to do a little extra preparation to make sure that you can clearly and professionally articulate yourself.

To help you with this, we have put together a list of common job interview questions you can expect to receive, along with some examples for answers. We have also included some questions that you may wish to ask the interviewer, too.

As a little side note, before we begin: let’s consider whether or not you’ll be addressing the interviewer in familiar (du) or polite (Sie) form. Up until recently, the workplace in Germany has been regarded as a formal space, where it’s been expected to use the polite form. However, nowadays, it really depends on the company culture and field you work in. For example, if you work at a law firm or medical clinic, it’s far more common to use the polite form, than when working at a tech start up or ad agency. With this in mind, it may be worth it to consider how you’ll be addressing the interviewer, as you prepare for your interview!

Interview Q&A Examples

How Did You Hear About This Position?

Wie haben Sie diese Stelle gefunden?
How did you hear about this position?
Ich bin durch einen Freund auf diese Stelle aufmerksam geworden.
I heard about this position through a friend.

Wie sind Sie auf uns aufmerksam geworden?
How were you introduced to the company?
Ich bin durch eine Stellenanzeige auf LinkedIn auf diese Position aufmerksam geworden.
I came across this role by finding the job listing on LinkedIn.

Tell Us About Yourself

Erzählen Sie uns doch erstmal ein wenig von sich.
Why don't you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Momentan arbeite ich als Projektleiter und koordiniere das Softwareteam unseres Unternehmens. Das mache ich jetzt seit ca. 2 Jahren. Diese Rolle hat mir sehr dabei geholfen, zu lernen, mich besser zu organisieren und zu verstehen, was die Kollegen von mir erwarten.
Currently I work as a project manager and coordinate the software team of our company. I have been doing this for about 2 years now. This role has helped me to learn how to be more organized and understand what my colleagues expect of me.

Könnten Sie uns ein wenig von sich erzählen?
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Begonnen habe ich als Softwareentwickler bei einer kleinen Agentur in Hamburg. Dann war ich zwei Jahre lang in Bremen. Zuletzt war ich dann als Projektleiter bei Facebook tätig.
I started as a software developer at a small agency in Hamburg. Then I was in Bremen for two years. Most recently, I have worked as a project manager at Facebook.

Why Should We Hire You?

Warum sollen wir Sie einstellen?
Why should we hire you?
Ich denke, dass meine langjährige Erfahrung im Ausland zeigt, dass ich sehr gut in einem internationalen Team arbeiten kann.
I think that my many years of experience abroad show that I can work very well in an international team.

Wieso glauben Sie, dass Sie für diese Rolle geeignet sind?
Why do you think you are suited for this role?
Ich würde sagen, dass ich für diese Rolle geeignet bin, da ich in meiner jetzigen Position sehr gut unter Druck arbeiten kann und extrem gut organisiert sein muss.
I would say that I am suitable for this role as I am very good at working under pressure in my current position and have to be extremely organized.

Dealing with Stressful Situations

Wie gehen Sie mit schwierigen und stressigen Situationen um? Können Sie uns ein Beispiel geben, wie Sie schon einmal eine schwierige Situation erfolgreich bewältigt haben?
How do you deal with difficult and stressful situations? Can you give us an example of how you have successfully handled a difficult situation?
Ganz generell versuche ich Stress zu reduzieren, indem ich regelmäßig Pausen mache. Ein Beispiel für eine schwierige Situation war, als wir einmal einen Freelancer in einem Projekt hatten, der nicht gut mit den anderen Mitarbeitern zusammengearbeitet hat. Ich habe dann mit den Mitarbeitern und dem Freelancer Einzelgespräche geführt und am Ende dem Freelancer ein anderes Projekt zugewiesen.
In general, I try to reduce stress by taking regular breaks. One example of a difficult situation was when we once had a freelancer on a project who didn't work well with the other employees. I then had one-on-one meetings with the staff and the freelancer, and ended up assigning the freelancer to another project.

Salary Expectations

Was sind Ihre Gehaltsvorstellungen?
What are your salary expectations?
Meine Gehaltsvorstellung liegt bei 50.000 Euro im Jahr. Ich denke, dass das in dieser Industrie bei meiner Erfahrung ein angemessenes Gehalt wäre.
My salary expectation is 50,000 euros per year. I think that would be a reasonable salary in this industry given my experience.

Questions for the Interviewer

Was sind die Hauptaufgaben dieser Stelle?

What are the key responsibilities of this job position?
Wie würden Sie den idealen Kandidaten für diese Position beschreiben?

How would you describe the ideal candidate for this position?
Könnten Sie mir noch ein wenig über die Unternehmensphilosophie und die Firmenkultur erzählen? Wie würden Sie Ihre Unternehmenskultur beschreiben?

Could you tell me a little more about the company philosophy and culture? How would you describe the company culture?

Last words

That was our list of typical questions and answers, in German, for you to get an idea of what to expect during a job interview. We encourage you to pick apart the answers we have provided; update them to suit your personal experiences and values.

They are there to simply give you an idea of how you could form your sentences, but of course the idea is to adapt them to your needs.

For more helpful work-related words to familiarise yourself with, we’d also like to suggest checking out our vocabulary page for all German words associated with job hunting and work!

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