Telephone Interview Tips For A German Company From German People


For the first time, I had an internship interview this week for a German Engineering company. I talked to various German people on Xing Social Network and here are their original answers. It might be useful to you if you are going to apply for an opportunity in Germany and afraid of the German ecosystem that how things works there. For original copy of this discussion online please visit

My question originally was “I have an internship interview with a German company for the first time, any tips 🙂 ?

Below are the answers:

  1.  “Hello 🙂 I had a telephone interview last year. I would say that it is very important that you ensure that you are in a quite place during the interview. Make sure to speak clearly. In any case, stay natural and try to have a nice chat 😉 Don’t forget to ask some questions from your side as well. All the best!”- Sophie

  2. “Dear Anvar, first of all I would recommend you to suit up for the interview, even though it is by phone. When you suit up you get a business feeling and may you are able to transfer this professional feeling. Another advice I would like to give you is to imagine the following: the other side speaking is a human as well. Which means that he/she should also be treated as a human. There is no super computer on the other side, so I would recommend to speak as natural as you would speak to a person standing next to you. Furthermore, they already contacted you once which indicates that they are interested. This means that the first step is already done, may you already win a recognition between 100 others which is good. So build on this success. Check your CV, are there any gaps/additional works beside your regular studies/things which makes you the right candidate? Cross-check your CV with the requirements of the internship. Which positions are covered, which not? Why not? How can you overcome these gaps? Finally, the standard recommendation… stay as natural as you are, don’t adjust yourself. Good luck and let us know how it worked.Good Luck!

  3. Hey Anvar, me again… First of all, what I do not get is the following sentence: “Is it okay to tell them everything you have in mind?” Going on and knowing more about the case, the questions I would post as recruiter would be if you will be able to learn the German language basics until the starting date. Furthermore, I would also ask how good your German skills currently are (just to estimate how realistic your plans are). When you would tell me that you already have basic knowledge I would directly ask you to speak these basic words you know (so may you have some German notes around you – just in case). From my humble opinion I would rate the fact that you just learn German for this position as highly motivated which is excellent. Regarding the gaps: if the recruiter is good he/she may see the gaps. So be sure that the two gaps will be discussed. That you did something (intern) within this time is also a very positive aspect. A lot of people do not complete their studies in regular time, from my point of view it is important to use that time to gain further knowledge by i.e. doing internships. Regarding the other gap, I would say that you should say it if they ask (which is likely to happen) and if not… make it depend on how the interviews runs.And regarding payback, if you are in Germany your are welcome to invite me for a Beer in the Pub 😉 Good luck again!

  4. Honestly I would not talk about my failures. I would only mentioned that you also applied on other vacancies but won’t tell them where and that I failed. Within the phone interview you must sell yourself!Regarding the other comments (especially the IT “types”), I do not know how the IT Business works within the recruitment, but I would bet that the first phone interview will be held with a Recruiter or with a Person from the HR department which definetly will use this pyschological “Bla Bla”.Concerning the sense of these psychological questions: there is a reason why you can study it and that companies spent a lot for assesments Centers and so on; so generally I would say that there is an added value behind it and that I would prepare for “Blabla” questions ;)And by the way, I would also not tell too much here about personal failures, cause some HR Managers search online as well to get further Information of the candidate.” -Christian

  5. “Hi Anvar:) I was working as an intern within the recruiting department, therefore I know the typical guidelines for such an interview. I would make sure to be able to explain your CV fluently with all the relevant stations, as this questions is often times asked in the beginning. Other typical questions could be on your skills& weaknesses, why you are interested in the job, what seperates you from other applicants, what your future professional goals are, and why you want to work there. Also, you should make sure to be informed on the business of the company (which shows your interest). Genrally, I think it is important to come across as interested and willing to learn and to communicate your enthusiasm about this particular internship to the interviewer. I might have missed something, but if you keep all of this in mind you should be good to go ;)” – Melina

  6. “Hi, I will advice you do your research about the company and understand why you were selected at the first place. Like the others colleague said your have to dress corporate and don’t out smart your confident with unusual jokes, stay up right and remember to ask your career benefit.”- Anthony

  7. “Hi Anvar, there are already a lot of tips and i won’t read all of them so I keep it short and simple. I think there are 3 key aspects in an interview:1. know yourself 2. know the company 3. enjoy the interview (You really shouldn’t forget about the last one, because people will notice you’re enthusiasm. A smile can make the difference :)PS.: There is no 2nd chance for a 1st impression! “Best of luck

  8. “Of course it is good to draw parallels to the company and it shows that you can identify with their corporate culture. Besides your passion for the technology, i also like your interest for the culture. I’ve read you are about to learn a new language and that’s awesome. Hopefully you’ll get the internship. I’m sure you would like our environment/nature in Germany. There’s a lot to explore.”- Maximilian

  9. “Hey Anvar, I read the other comments and only agree with them. I had an telephone interview a few month ago and tried to prepare for it. What I thing was an interesting advise on the Internet was, that you should stand/sit in front of an mirror, because looking at yourself improves the appearance of your voice. I personally didn’t try it but I think that it can help because I was also really nervous and did not know where to go or what to do… Other than that just try to relax the person on the other side is just human and can understand that you are nervous. When they already gave you the option that you do not have to speak perfect German, than for me they seem to be interested in you :)So good luck on the interview and learning german.”- Felicita

  10. “As I’m working in the IT for more than 10 years now, I can tell you that it’s a bit different if you apply there than if you apply for a position being e.g. a graduate in Business Management. It’s great that a lot people answer you your questions here, they just want to help. But what they write is a bit theoretical and not applicable to the IT business. Because the responsible people in the IT usually don’t care very much about sophisticated psycho-methods like “tell me about your strength and weakness” (which is silly if the guy asking a) doesn’t know the person he / she asks and b) is himself / herself not skilled at all in evaluating the answers) or assessment centers or the like. People in the IT are usually much more straight forward.Thank’s god, I can’t stand all this psycho-brabble! It’s anyway contradictory to speak naturally to someone and to apply some kind of “knowledge what to do and what to say” which is given by some “experts” to EVERYONE but not to you personally.Just talk to the guy or girl being on phone. That’s all, provided that your skills match what is expected. The other thing which is being very important in practise is team work. There are e.g. too many project managers not trusting their programmers or programmers having some kind of quarrel. But this is not something someone can find out about you when interviewing you for 15 minutes. If you have any experience in team work, tell about it. That’s really valuable.”- Bodo

  11. “Hello anvar, I just can tell you how I prepared myself for an English interview. I’ve been very nervous also and didn’t really know what to tell the lady. So I decided to talk to myself in English and repeat it lots of times till I’ve been okay with what I was suppose to say. So i ran around my place talking to myself what was very weird. But at least it was quite funny. 🙂 here’s my tip : tell yourself first of all what you’d like to say. Than make it more professional. And after that you can repeat it several times so you can keep the stuff you’d like to say. Good luck!! :)”- Ann Kathrin

  12. “My tipp would be to at least lern some fundamental words in whatever language your interview is, so you are able to paraphrase what you mean. I did this for my English interviews and it worked out for me anytime. It also was a lot of fun as it shows your commitment to the company. Thumbs up, at the end it is no big deal!”- Marcus

Summary- So, I followed their advice, had a conversation with them using a landline telephone instead of a mobile phone (advantage is improved voice quality, less delay in communication and full signals?), suited up in formals even though it was a telephone interview, placed myself in a quite place, printed up my CV, job description, few diagrams related to academics, few German sentences, questions to ask them and put them in front of me during the interview so that I can have access to them whenever I needed. Also I kept my mobile with me but on ‘silent mode’ (advantage is when the landline phone stopped working due to some communication problem after some time, which you never know might happen, so they called me on my mobile phone just after afterwards).

This resulted in a good interview. I hope you learn from this as I did. Good luck if you are applying for an opportunity. If you want to thank me, don’t thank me, thank the Germans!

I would like to thank Sophie, Christian, Melina, Anthony, Meximilian, Felicita, Bodo, Ann, Marcus for the valuable advices.

For original copy of this discussion online please visit

Thank You,

Anvar Jamal

Are You Lucky? Yes, You Are!

Yesterday, I was feeling low, everyone at some point feels the same. It might be something we are stuck in for now like work, investment problems, jobs, coding, designing but to every problem, there is a solution, it might come late but it will, with true belief and self-confidence. I felt I am one of the lucky person in this world and you might be the one too. How?

  1. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty, I feel lucky I am not into that.
  2. 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat, I feel lucky I have choice what to eat.
  3. More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water, I feel lucky have access to clean filtered water.
  4. There are more than 13,000 diseases, I feel lucky I don’t have even one.
  5. 1/4 of all humans live without electricity — approximately 1.6 billion people, I feel lucky I have access to 24 hours electricity + backup.
  6. As of 2012, 31 million primary-school pupils worldwide dropped out of school, I feel lucky I was able to complete my primary school well.
  7. According to UNESCO, 61 million primary school-age children were not enrolled in school in 2010, I feel lucky I went to school.
  8. Around half of the world’s population doesn’t have access to internet, I feel lucky have a broadband connection.
  9. 1 billion people lack adequate housing, I feel lucky I have a house to live in.
  10. 40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute, I have a lot of stray dogs outside, still, I feel lucky I am safe.
  11. More than 500 million people are obese, I feel lucky I am not.
  12. More than 7 million people died this year due to cancer, I feel lucky I was not among the one.
  13. A lot of people don’t have computers, entertainment device, I need to think what to use iPad, PC, MP3 player etc.
  14. More than 1 billion people don’t have a mobile phone, that’s around 1 in every 7 person on this planet. I feel lucky I have one.
  15. A lot of people don’t have a chance to go abroad, I feel lucky I was able to travel a few countries for education and leisure.
  16. A lot of people don’t wake up from their last sleep, I feel lucky till now I am awaking from it.
  17. A lot people don’t know how to read and write, I feel lucky I can share with you.

Now I don’t just feel lucky, but I am lucky and if you are reading this, you will know how much this applies to you also. Don’t devalue yourself, we all are worth 🙂 All praises to the Lord Almighty for making all this happen. There might be something we are stuck in for now like work, investment problems, jobs, coding, designing but to every problem, there is a solution, it might come late but it will, with true belief and self-confidence.

The new generation believes in sharing

Whatever you say, it is psychological or the correct time, our new generations (the Generation Y and the Linksters), they believe in the concept of sharing. They have made it their part of lives. They believe to share things in life and they are social. How? Let’s talk of some small but effective companies which have almost conquered the world.

  1. Home sharing websites such as Airbnb and Love Home Swap: millions of users  and listings in some years on the way to jeopardise the classic hotel business.
  2. Communication apps: WhatsApp, Facebook: billions are users and still counting.
  3. Videos on Youtube: again millions and billions of users.

We are sharing with the others, more than before, whether it is our home, photos or videos. This is really interesting that how things change with time.

seven advantages i got by offering prayers

for the past 23 years, i was not praying regularly, once in a week and on alternative days. this year naturally i happen to do 3-4 times a day and i must say i am seeing a lot advantages.

  1. i am getting the piece of mind. i feel good at health and relaxed.
  2. i have started being punctual. the prayer timings can serve as the deadline for a task.
  3. i can witness the summers converting into winters by shortening of days which are affecting the prayer times
  4. i have started respecting time more.
  5. i have been more productive, i can plan the things ahead before attending prayers.
  6. i am getting respect from society. i am turning into a better person by listening to good things and gaining positive energies.
  7. i can manage time and schedule in a better way

you should also try this for a week and then see the response.


how big companies are crushing small businesses?

a decade ago in india, how often did you hear about the startups, angel investors, rounds, pitch, startup 500/200, seed, series A/B, private equity, entrepreneurship, and related business words? the answer is no, we didn’t. today, these words are generally on everyone’s tongue specially the youth. the entry of big and global investments giants in india have given them an opportunity to invest in india. but the question is where and why? the most important question is it’s effect on other local businesses.

i am just touching small details regarding the booming e-commerce business in india and how it is crushing the local stores, shop keepers, and other localized business. my country india is going through an age and time where people are ready to absorb as much as easy, soft, and comfortable services at their disposal. take an example of these companies flipkart, snapdeal, jabong, old cabs, amazon, uber, quickr, meru and so on, these were startups at some points say less than a decade but now i bet you will be having apps of these companies on your smartphones. now, these companies have got millions of dollars of funding by the global and national investors  firms such as  sequoia, tiger, helion, saif partners, accel, greenoaks capital, qatar investment authority, steadview capital, iconiq capital, indiaquotient, maric, idg ventures india, kalaari, nexus, tata fund, rocket internet, softbank internet and media inc., indo-us venture partners, bessemer venture partners, ebay, blackrock, temasek holdings, alibaba group, foxconn,  and so on. these investment companies, banks and conglomerates have invested so much specially in the e-commerce companies that now the companies have become kings in their sectors and not just attracting the customers but have already created a mass user base online. it feels to me that they have ‘over-grown’ beyond the limits of sustainable expansion and has now started jeopardizing the classic supply chain. these days if you want to buy something, you won’t go to a local store, you will go to an e-commerce store on your smartphone. but why? you can get a cheap deal, with added security, you can see the comments, you can see the pictures, you can research on it before buying it, you can return back the product if you are unhappy, and at least but not last you can get the product at home. yes, this attracts me also a lot and i am also an avid online shopper but i thought for a while where all this will be leading to us.

i went to a shop to buy a lan cable for my router in my local market and the shop keeper was selling it to me for a price greater than what i could have bought online at a shopping website. i bought the product that time because i needed that urgent. i came back home and i was angry a bit that he was charging more than what should be. after some months i happen to meet the ceo of a footwear brand in delhi. we had a chat regarding the business models on how to promote the sinking retail local markets. it was a turning point for me. he told me that these e-commerce companies are selling their products at a very cheap rate than it should be normally sell at due to the mammoth funding they got. he also told me that people have started buying online, and are not going to the local markets for buying shoes. he also told me that their business has gone down by 50 percent. their turnover from ~$2M sank to less than ~$1M annually. this really touched me a lot and then i thought about other people having small shops in the market. he told most of the people are affected by this. i am not against the expansion of these companies but when things over grow, they start turning negative.

today things are still not the worst, because the X generation (old people) are still using the classical shopping method. but as the youth generation (the millennials and the z generation) lead in future, chances are higher they will jeopardize the classical shopping methods and rely on online shopping giving these mammoth companies a chance to cast a shadow on the classical supply chain of india or any nation. as some reforms, i think the goverment should put a cap on the business capabilities on these mammoths, that they can do online certain amount of business to create a balance on the supply chain economy. to overcome this effect i am ready to bring some change, i am not stopping online shopping, but i am trying to create a balance by buying both online and offline methods. the next time i won’t argument with a shopkeeper between the online price of the item and the price at which he/she is selling.

thank you for reading. this was my personal opinion.

why interstellar is my favourite movie?

the movie interstellar shows a phenomena which is not a science fiction anymore and most of the things in the movie are depicted as they can really happen in the future. the music on the other hand touches you from inside.

i have watched this movie 4 times and everytime it forces to keep on thinking who exactly we are and binds me into the most simplest questions for human race “who exactly we are”, “are we alone”, “is there any other world living”. these questions create a loop in your and triggers some emotional touch from within that you start getting motivated on the purpose of life.