Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Interview advice

If your CV has the desired effect on the reader then normally the recruitment process will start, involving various stages. The main interviews are:

Telephone interviews
Face-to-face interviews

Telephone interviews

The aim of the telephone interview is to carry out initial assessment of the basic “hard and soft” requirements for the position, such as age, qualifications, professional experience, interest in the position, communication skills, flexibility and  level of motivation. This is a type of pre-face-to-face interview which is normally used to compile a shortlist from a large number of applications. It may also be used as a real interview if the telephone is an essential tool/channel for the position in question.

If the applicant passes the telephone interview stage, a face-to-face interview will be arranged.

Applicants who submit their CVs and covering letters in English are highly likely to be interviewed in English. However, knowledge of Italian at intermediate level could add value to the interview itself. 

Face-to-face interviews

The aim of a face-to-face interview is to give both the recruiter and the applicant the opportunity to exchange information so both sides can have more information on which to base their decisions.

It could be described as a “business meeting” rather than a one-way interview, and is a useful opportunity for both parties to establish if they are compatible. Face-to-face interviews may be free or structured, stressful, managed by a pair of interviewers, shared by other candidates in a group, held in external locations such as breakfast or lunch meetings, video-conferences, and there may be more than one type used in the whole selection process.

How should an interview be approached? It is essential to think about it beforehand and mentally establish certain key points. You should have ideas about yourself as a person and your personal and professional path, your expectations and your motivation, the company, the position you are applying for, and the interviewer.

What questions will you have to face? Here are some questions that often come up: Can you tell me something about yourself? What are your strengths/weaknesses? What opinion do your friends/colleagues/associates/superiors etc., have of you? What do you like and dislike about your present job? What are your career plans? Can you tell me about an achievement and a failure? What kind of working environment would you not be comfortable in?

During a job interview information is communicated not just by words. There are numerous non-verbal messages to consider such as tone of voice, facial expression, posture, gestures and pauses. However, in the end it is the content which matters, so it is always best to just be yourself and not go into the interview with too many pre-conceptions about the interviewer.