JOB-INTERVIEW TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU IN BECOMING A BERLINER!
Now that you have written a successful job application – you have hopefully been invited to a job interview! German job interviews can be quite tricky, and the employers know exactly what type of questions to ask. There can be some “fettnäppfchen” (traps) that you want to avoid falling into.
I. Be prepared!
Preparation is key. To leave a good first impression with the employer, you should be informed about the company that you are applying for. Here are some of the essential facts to have prepared: When was the company founded and who is the CEO? How many employees does the company have? What are some of the company’s products? Who are some of the biggest competitors? What is the company’s philosophy and what are their core values? What does the company stand for?
German employers also like to refer back to the original job description, so you should know what they are looking for and what qualifications are crucial for the job. Also look at your personal application and curriculum vitae (CV) before the interview as they will likely be asking questions regarding your mentioned skills.
One question that is asked in every German interview (and is always dreaded) is: “Tell us a little bit about yourself”. To avoid stuttering and taking a long time to think of a response, have your answer ready now! Keeping the job description in mind, you should talk about your previous jobs, experiences and qualifications while also briefly telling your employer a bit about your personal life and hobbies. Don’t beat around the bush and remember to keep a healthy balance between job related facts and your personal interests!
Thinking and preparing all of the answers is one part of having a successful job interview. But actually practicing out loud is just as important. Ask one of your friends or a family member to simulate a job interview with you and have them ask specifically tricky questions. This doesn’t only aid in replicating the whole interviewing process, it also helps you to remember your prepared notes. This way you can get direct feedback and also get to hear how your answers sound said out loud.
III. Don’t be late!
To keep the stereotype alive: Germans like to be on time. If your job interview is online, take some time beforehand to check out the technical circumstances: look at how you can log in, if your internet connection is stable and if your camera and microphone are functioning properly. And if the situation in the world ever happens to allow a personal interview again, explore where you can park your car or how you can get there with public transportation in advance. And just in case: leave ten minutes earlier than you were planning on, you never know what might happen on the way there!
IV. Stand out!
You probably won’t be the only applicant for the job, so you should think of some ways to stand out in the crowd and be remembered. Always answer the questions with the job description in mind and try to relate your answers and your strengths to the position and to the company (with specific examples). Be upfront and honest about “gaps” in your resume.
The employers have probably already heard of cooking or reading as a hobby a thousand times, so why not specify and tell them that you enjoy cooking food of Spanish or Indian origin? Or why not elaborate on your interest for graphic novels? This will make sure that you steal the show.
V. Ask questions!
You did it, you got through the interview! But not quite, as German employers love to ask this one last question at the end of every interview: “Do you have any questions for us?”
The biggest mistake that you could make is saying no to this question. Here are some questions that you could ask the employer that will help you seem confident and be remembered: Can you describe a typical day in the job that I am applying for? How big will my team and department be? How do you measure success? Are there any programs that you offer that further my education? What are the next steps in this process? When will I be further notified? Do you need anything else from me like former projects or work that I have done?
Follow these tips and moving to the city of engineers might turn into a reality for you! Break a leg!
OUTSTANDING PLACES FOR FUTURE INNOVATION – BERLIN’S “ZUKUNFTSORTE”, PART 3
Welcome to the last part of our series Berliner “Zukunftsorte” (Berlin’s future places). We would like to present the four remaining companies, science institutions and industries that are included in the project by the Berlin Senate of Economics. The “future places” bundle potentials, create synergies and develop products “Made in Berlin” from scientific findings.
This interplay of established companies gives rise to industries, universities, and startups with outstanding success stories. All thanks to the dedication and ideas of talents like you from around the world.
8. Siemens City 2.0 – Living innovation in the District of the Future
The former historic industrial area in Berlin’s west (district of Spandau) is being transformed into a modern, open and livable district. The goal is to create a new living and working environment, in which electromobility, Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence can be experienced: The Siemens City 2.0 – a CO2-neutral smart campus where everyone is free to develop. The district will cover an area of 700,000 m² – 32 times the size of the “Alexanderplatz”. Siemens will invest 600 million euros in the new living and working environment as well as in research areas by 2030.
9. Business and Science Location Berlin Schöneweide – The Rise of Elektropolis
The business and science location Berlin Schöneweide, directly located on the Spree and once well-known as the city of electricity, offers a creative environment that is valued by high-performance and globally successful companies operating at the interface of technology, science and design. With the University of Applied Sciences (HTW), the companies have one of Germany’s leading universities in the field of teaching and research as a cooperation partner in the immediate vicinity. Whether engineering in the high-tech sector or in the cultural and creative industries, Schöneweide is a breeding ground for numerous successful start-ups and established companies. There is a total of 4.000.000 square meters of space available for all visionaries. This attractive business location lies within the development corridor between Berlin’s city center and the up-and-coming Airport Region Berlin Brandenburg. The Adlershof Technology Park and the Wuhlheide Innovation Park are located in the immediate vicinity of Schöneweide. Together, the three locations with over 1,300 companies and 17 scientific institutions form the technology axis in Berlin’s southeast. Schöneweide is thus an important transformation and strategy area of the metropolis. The approximately four-square-kilometer site is well connected to the city center both by public transportation and via highway and can be reached from the Berlin Brandenburg BER airport in just 17 minutes. The Schöneweide regional management accompanies and supports the development of the area and the settlement of companies together with the property owners.
10. Tempelhof Airport – The new Home to Arts, Culture and Creativity
THF Berlin, with its focus on the settlement of creative people, artists and cultural workers, is a very special “Zukunftsort”. It will become a place of experimentation and a new urban quarter respectively an address for creative offerings. The former airport is Europe’s largest architectural monument, a landmark of engineering architecture, as well as a mirror of world history. Through the Berlin Airlift after the Second World War, Tempelhof became a symbol of freedom. Now it is a new urban quarter for art, culture and creative industries. Shortly, an address for creative and innovative encounters. It is already a sought-after venue for unique events or national and international film productions. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events and tours are not possible at the moment, but hopefully that will change soon. The immediate vicinity with one of the largest inner-city green spaces (Tempelhofer Feld) reinforces the special nature of the location and its charisma.
11. Adlershof – Science at Work
Founded in 1754 as an estate, later the cradle of German powered flight, then the realization of a research, film and then television center, Adlershof is now Germany’s most modern technology park. The immense success is due to the distinctive cooperative environment of excellent scientific institutions, such as the Humboldt University of Berlin, outstanding technology companies and rising start-ups. Adlershof is probably the place with the highest density of world market leaders in Germany.
Innovative products and services are developed through interdisciplinary approaches. Adlershof obligation is to develop technological impulses, for example in the fields of transportation and mobility technology or life science and biotechnology, that may provide answers to the great challenges of our time.
With these four Berlin future places, we are closing the series of our outstanding places for future innovation. We hope that these articles have given you a deeper insight into Berlin as a business and creative location. And who knows, maybe you will even feel inspired to become part of these innovative future places yourself.
LOVING BERLIN – IT’S A VIBE!
In case you haven’t noticed, the world has been going through some changes lately and unfortunately, this city is no exception. A place that is normally known for culture, creativity, and parties has been reduced to a handful of opportunities for activities. In the following article, we want to reflect on the virus-conform possibilities of spending your free-time in Berlin that remain untouched.
So, you’ve redecorated your apartment more times than you can count, you’ve met all of your neighbors over the balcony – maybe even dated one or two and you’ve just about tried every DIY out there – what else is there to do these days? Well, Berlin’s natural scenery has a lot to offer, even when times are boring! Half of this city is green! Whether you like ‘em big or small, there is a park for you! Let’s start with the classics like the “Mauerpark” in Prenzlauer Berg, “Treptower Park” close to Kreuzberg, and “Tempelhofer Feld” in Tempelhof-Schöneberg. These parks allow simultaneous picnics, dates, workouts, and longboarding sessions to a huge number of visitors, without ever trespassing each other’s hygiene bubbles. Adding onto that, many zip codes have their very own “Volkspark”, i.e., the “Volkspark Friedrichshain”, which even contains a volleyball field, a duck-pond, a short hike to the top of a hill, and its very own restaurant! So, if you’re afraid, you’re going to miss nature – don’t worry, Berlin’s got you!
Working it out:
Whether you’re into jogging, walking, biking, longboarding or any other type of workout, Berlin offers a beautiful greenery and natural scenery for any type of plan. If you like to spend time in a shady place, we highly suggest checking out the “Grunewald” forest, which is very compatible with an afternoon stroll. If you’re a fan of water, the notorious “Spree” and “Landwehrkanal” provides a path of fresh air and natural stress-release. If giant puddles are your thing: the city is filled with water! From “Wannsee” and “Schlachtensee” in Zehlendorf over “Weissensee” in Pankow to “Müggelsee” in Treptow- to name a few, Berlin won’t leave you missing out on nature’s best medicine: Peacefulness!
The writings on the wall:
Even though the art galleries, museums, and studios of Berlin have been turned into ghost-towns, the city has always been enriched by a variety of talented graffiti artists and painters! Places like the “RAW Gelände” in Friedrichshain, the “East Side Gallery”, the exterior of the “Haus Schwarzenberg” in Mitte, and multiple walls all over Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg exhibit ridiculously creative art and don’t require an entrance fee or a gathering of the masses to admire. Furthermore, if you’ve ever looked at a painting and told your friends: “Oh come on, I could paint that!” – you may have spoken too soon! This city offers a range of walls all over Berlin that legally allows citizens, to test their spray-painting and creativity skills, i.e., in certain parks in Friedenau and Prenzlauer Berg – So, why not give it a spray?
Remains of the past:
While most people are focused on continuous debates about property and living spaces in Berlin, it’s worth mentioning that this town entails a huge number of ruins, also known as: “lost places” that deserve just as much attention! While it is illegal to enter these private properties, some ruins officially allow visitors while collecting entrance fees. Two of those ruins are the old hospital for tuberculosis patients, originally opened up in 1898; “Beelitz-Heilstätten” and the amusement park: “Spreepark” in Treptow. Anyhow, the remaining “lost places” are still worth admiring from the outside. These include the abandoned children’s hospital in Weissensee, the institute of anatomy from the “Freie Universität” university in Steglitz-Zehlendorf, and the infamous “Teufelsberg”, originally used by the Americans as a monitoring station during the Cold war. So, if your plans of falling asleep during a history documentary are starting to get boring, why not take a deep dive into the past in person?
Berlin – What’s not to love?