Applying is exciting. It was already exciting to go to an office in real life and explain your motivation letter there, but applications are often also made online under the current circumstances. And such an online application is fascinating because you can’t feel each other’s energy. It is a bit more scanning, with all possible uncomfortable situations as a result.
Below we outline five situations that you may encounter during an (online) application. Good to get ready for it.
This is how you deal with uncomfortable situations during an (online) application
You are completely blown away by a question
Suppose you are asked how you would react to a particular situation. Or you are asked for a relevant example. And you don’t know. What are you doing then? Do you bluff your way through it, or do you give an honest answer: namely, that you don’t know?
We prefer the second option. Of course, you can try to bluff your way through it, but your future employer will often notice that anyway. Admitting that you don’t know also shows that you are open to learning new things and are not afraid to speak the truth. And those are just two good qualities, aren’t they?
You will be asked about your religion, ethnicity, desire to have children, and plans
It is not prohibited to ask about your religion, ethnicity, desire to have children, or plans for the future. But it is officially forbidden to reject an applicant subsequently. Whatever your faith or race, the employer should not base its decision on whether or not to hire you. If it does, then it is racism.
When these questions are asked, you mustn’t go straight into defence mode. Your employer doesn’t have to look into it; it can also just be small talk. Ask with a curious undertone why your employer would like to know these kinds of details, or show that you’ve never had these questions before and don’t see how the answers might affect the job.
Most importantly, stay calm and respectful. There is no point in panicking and will not help you, even if you secretly want to have children.
You must explain why you were fired from your previous job
There will be nothing to worry about in some cases – for example, you have been laid off due to budget cuts or cut off from work due to the Corona crisis. In that case, you can talk about that.
But if there was something less pleasant about it, it can be awkward to talk about it. Remember, you’re not the only one who’s ever been fired. So many people get fired and then get another job.
Keep your answer appropriate and only say what is necessary. You don’t have to tell all the details. Also important: practice your answer beforehand. If you’re prepared for this question, it’s a lot less awkward.
You have to go through many different application rounds
Nowadays, it is widespread to have to go through several application rounds. You often talk to your direct colleagues, the boss of the company where you want to work, and perhaps other colleagues as well. Nice, because that way they get to know you and your future colleagues.
But do these application rounds consume a lot of your (working) time, and is there no end in sight? Then you can feel free to ask how many rounds are left before you hear whether or not you have the track.
Try to watch your tone. Ask curiously, not annoyed or arrogant. How you ask this is key because you don’t want to be seen as impatient either.
Negotiate during your application
If negotiating isn’t your talent – you’re not alone. Unfortunately, because negotiating your salary well is so important! Your new employer is probably not going to offer you the highest amount. Why would they? Know your worth, and make a reasonable counter-offer. If that’s not possible, then maybe you can find another way out.