SAP is one of the more highly paid and therefore competitive areas of specialisation within IT. With SAP careers offering well-paid and rewarding work to those with the technical ability, it’s no wonder the field is becoming increasingly saturated with talent.
Since there are more candidates than ever, it’s never been more crucial to stand out in an interview. Whilst many articles will give you tips for what to do in the interview itself, we are going to help you with what we feel is the most important stage, and often the most neglected: the research and preparation for the interview. This guide will give you some SAP interview tips for how to prepare for SAP interview questions and ultimately, how to do well in an SAP interview.
1) Research the Job
– The first stage of your interview preparation should be researching the SAP job in detail. Make sure you have a detailed job description, including details of the exact SAP skills and experience that are required. What daily tasks will you be expected to perform? As well as the hard requirements, you should also make sure you fully understand the soft-skills requirements and other details such as the work environment and future prospects of the job. The more detail you have, the more you can prepare for likely questions around these points.
You may be able to get additional information from your recruitment agency or find a more detailed job spec on the clients’ website. You could also use LinkedIn to search for those in similar positions at the company (to see what they describe as their main SAP responsibilities/tasks).
2) Research the company
– The next stage of your interview preparation should be researching the company itself. You should want to know the key details about a potential employer (for your own benefit), but also because you may be asked what you know about the company during your interview (an interviewer often asks such questions, to see how well you have researched and prepared – to check that you are diligent!).
You should know the basics about the company you are applying for, such as its Mission Statement, products/services, clients and competitors etc.. A lack of such knowledge will imply you are not actually interested in the company, so it is essential to spend time researching the company. Visit their website, of course, talk to anyone you know who works at the company, read press releases, and check out what previous employees have to say about them on sites like Glassdoor.
Make sure you also find out the specifics about the client’s SAP landscape, which SAP modules are implemented, which version of SAP they are running (are they on S/4HANA? – If not when are they planning to move over etc.). Researching the client specifics will help you prepare for giving tailored answers and details during the interview.
3) Find out the expected Interview format
– If possible, you should find out the expected structure of the interview, as well as details of who will be interviewing you. This will help you to prepare the relevant content and anticipate the types of questions that may be thrown at you. Is it going to be an informal discussion about your SAP CV, or is it going to be a detailed technical SAP interview? There is a significant difference in preparing for the two. Having an idea of the structure in advance helps you to prepare better and may also help you feel more confident and less nervous as a result.
4) Research the interviewers
– If you have been given the names and job titles of the interviewers, it’s a great idea to research them too. There is nothing wrong with a bit of stalking if it is in the interest of research and preparation! Google search the interviewers, check out their LinkedIn profiles, check out their Facebook profiles. There are a few reasons I suggest doing this: * You will get a better understanding of who the interviewers are i.e. what their actual role in the SAP team is, what their SAP background and knowledge is, so you can then tailor your answers during the interview more appropriately. * You can find out information about the interviewers that may be useful, perhaps you both worked for the same client in the past, maybe they are interested in SAP Fiori, which you just completed your certification in, you may have both gone to the same College/University, or perhaps you share their hobby/passion for Trainspotting 😉 Additional information such as this, could provide a great ice-breaker or a chance to build some rapport and stand out from the other interviewees. * Another reason I think this is useful, is that seeing the interviewers photos and knowing a bit about them in advance, gives a sense of familiarity. People tend to fear or get nervous about unknown quantities. This way, the interviewers become more of a known-quantity.
5) Prepare for Expected Questions
– You can find typical SAP interview questions online, in addition, you can also making an educated guess as to what might be asked based on the job description. Create a list of possible questions and prepare your own personalised answers. Know your weaknesses, refresh your knowledge on your weak areas and prepare to give answers to them with actual business examples.
6) Prepare some questions for the interviewers
– Towards the end of your interview, the interviewer is likely to ask if you have any questions for them. Never say no. If you have researched and prepared properly for the interview you should have some intelligent questions to ask the interviewers. This again shows that you have shown consideration, care and diligence, and is also your opportunity to clarify anything you are still not certain about in regard to the SAP position. How you close an interview is extremely important, as these final impressions can often be the ones that make or break things. I personally like to ask the interviewers if they have any doubts or concerns, or any remaining clarifications needed from their side, as this gives you a chance to address these and to convince them and change their minds.
7) Go through your CV in detail before the interview
– You should go through your SAP CV in detail, to make sure you are completely familiar with what you have written in your CV, and ready to answer any questions about what is written there. Many SAP Consultants have slightly different versions of their CV according to different roles they are applying for (i.e. a hands-on SAP Consultant / SAP Project Manager, might have one CV more focussed on their SAP Consultancy experience, and another more focussed on their SAP Project Management experience). Make sure you go through the same CV that you have given to the client, so that you are both singing from the same hymn sheet! It’s also a good idea to print off a few copies of your CV to take to the interview (one for yourself and one for each interviewer).
8) Provide references/exhibit an example of your work
– It’s not a bad idea to prepare a couple of written references, print these off and take these along to the interview. You can hand them over and perhaps discuss them. Clients often ask for references after the interview if they are interested in making an offer, so this may also speed up the process. Another way you could aim to differentiate yourself from other candidates is to prepare an example of your recent work and take that along. Have you recently written an SAP blog or SAP book? If so, why not give the client a copy to read through. Or perhaps you have recently written a detailed SAP project plan or SAP Training documentation. Why not print it off and let the client have a quick flick through as you talk them through some of the highlights? It’s a great way to give the client a concrete example of your SAP work and quality.
9) Be Mentally Prepared
– Be well-rested, get an early night, read over your notes so all is fresh in your mind, meditate and get into a positive and confident mindset.
10) Plan ahead with the travel and other practical aspects
– Research the route and how you’re going to get there. Check that there are no train engineering works scheduled, no train strikes, or roadworks/traffic issues. Print off a map and all details you need for the day, including contact names and phone numbers, just in case of any issues, contact details for your recruitment agent, in case you need them to help with anything unexpected. Always aim to get there early and build in some extra contingency. You’ve done all the hard work preparing, you don’t want to blow that by arriving late or by turning up sweaty and out of breath because you had to run!
Get your interview clothes ready a few days before the interview, in case you unexpectedly discover they need dry cleaning, or even worse, as happened to me after putting on weight over Christmas one year, that they no longer fit! Dress smart (even if the company dress code is casual). I would always suggest wearing a business suit (and tie for men).
Get your bag/briefcase ready with any notes, business cards, copies of your CV, references etc. It’s also a good idea to pack a pen and a notepad (taking notes during an interview shows organisation and eagerness, and also makes sure you don’t forget any important points/info that you may need later on in the interview, or if you eventually get the job). Putting some breath mints and deodorant into your bag is also a good idea, we judge people based on all 5 senses after all 😉.
So now you’re all set for tackling SAP interviews, why not let Eursap help get you some interviews lined up? Eursap is a Specialist SAP Recruitment Agency, offering permanent SAP staffing and interim SAP contractor recruitment services to SAP clients across 21 European countries. Please take a moment to email your CV and details of your next availability to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can keep in touch with suitable SAP opportunities.
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We wish you the best of luck!