Attending your first Schengen Visa interview can feel daunting if you’re not properly prepared.
As you might know, once your application is completed and set in order, you are expected to attend a Schengen Visa interview, in which a consular or embassy officer will ask you some questions on related matters.
For many applicants, the Schengen Visa interview can be scary. The temptation is to run out of the room as soon as the conversation with the Visa officers is over.
That’s natural, and it’s the same for all Visa applicants. Walking into a room full of strangers to talk about your travel reasons and genuine intentions to return to your country of residence can feel awkward and uncomfortable.
However, going through a Visa interview process and answering the questions posed by the consular officers is mandatory. Otherwise, you won’t be granted a Visa and enjoy all the stunning tourist destinations, sublime sights and sensational scenery in Europe.
Here are 10 proven tips and tricks from our Visa experts to help you walk into your Schengen Visa interview with confidence and know exactly what to expect so you can wow the consular officers.
Tale of contents:
- Schengen Visa interview: A brief background
- 10 proven tips for a successful Schengen Visa interview
1. Schengen Visa Interview: A Brief Background
You’ve got your Schengen Visa interview coming up. The Visa officers are going to scrutinise your appearance and the consistency between what you say and the documents you are providing.
Feeling scared yet? Take heart!
Just take the viewpoint “This is just a conversation about my trip to Europe.”
Most applicants make the mistake of going to their Visa interview thinking, “Please God, don’t let me screw this up!”. That’s wrong! This way, they are putting too much pressure on themselves.
The Visa officers are not trying to ask questions to make you fall over yourself or paint you into a corner. That’s why your interview should not be something that you are overly concerned about.
Your Schengen Visa interview is the same as going to a job interview. Yes, the stakes are high, but as long as you’re telling the truth, there’s no reason for you to blurt, sweat, blank out, fidget, or crack your knuckles.
What the Visa officers are trying to do is see if the answers to their questions contradict the information you have put into your documents. This is very common during job interviews as well. When people ask you in a job interview what your experience is and what you’ve done in your previous jobs, all they’re looking for is pieces of information that might not align with your resume.
Yes, the Visa officers are likely to dive a bit deeper into a couple of questions, such as who are you going to see in Europe and what is your purpose around it, just to understand a little more information about your trip.
Nevertheless, if you’re travelling for legitimate reasons and 110% will be going back to your country of residence without overstaying your Visa, you will be completely fine. People who are fraudulently trying to get a Schengen Visa are going to be caught up during the interview. Still, if you’re answering truthfully and being completely honest, there’s nothing to worry about.
However, if you want to practice asking yourself interview questions and answering them, here is a great guide to get you started. You will find 30 common Schengen Visa interview questions and complete answers to those questions.
Also, don’t get freaked out if you’re asked a question you haven’t anticipated (although our guide covers most of the questions the Visa officers ask during their interviews with applicants).
Answer that question spontaneously and honestly, and you will be fine. Essentially, the interview questions are the same as the information you have already provided in your documents.
With that in mind, let’s see our expert tips and tricks for a successful Schengen Visa interview.
2. 10 Proven Tips For a Successful Schengen Visa Interview
Make sure you make a great impression on the consular officers and ace your Schengen Visa interview by following these 10 tips:
- Dress for success
The first impression can mean a lot. Though you don’t necessarily have to wear a suit, you should look your best. Imagine you have to find the right clothes for a job interview. Keep it classic, neat, and polished. Avoid looking ungroomed. We recommend you dress one step above what you wear (or would wear) when going to the office.
- Arrive early
We recommend you arrive 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled interview. The last mistake you want to make is under budget for the time it will take you to commute to the Embassy or Consulate and end up arriving late to your Visa interview.
- Speak confidently
Projecting confidence in your Schengen Visa interview can be just as important as demonstrating your intentions to return to your country of residence. Showing that you trust yourself is essential because it can lead the Visa officers to trust in you, as well.
- Explain well but concisely
Your credibility is key to a successful Schengen Visa interview. Speak truthfully and provide complete and concise answers. Do not give one-word answers, such as “yes” or “no”. Your ability to articulate your thoughts effectively is essential in determining your eligibility for a Schengen Visa.
- Show ties to your country of residence
Be aware that the consular officers are trained to see every Visa applicant as a potential immigrant, and it is up to you to prove that this is not the case. That’s why you need to clearly highlight the ties you have to your country, such as your family, hometown, job, property, investments, etc.
- Practice effectively
You can rehearse for your Schengen Visa interview at home, but do not script your speech. You do not want to sound like a robot reciting a text. Yes, thinking beforehand about how you can best demonstrate you deserve a Visa is critical. Still, it would be best if you spoke spontaneously, with authentic conviction and awareness.
- Provide consistent information
Never ever provide answers that contradict the information you have put into your documents. Inconsistency between the information you provide in your documentation and what you say during the interview can cost you the approval of your Schengen Visa.
- Use the power of logic
Schengen Visa interview questions are open-ended and require personalised answers that sound smart and professional. For example, if the Visa officers ask you, “Why do you want to travel to Italy?” do not give them a flat, impersonal answer such as “Because it’s a nice country”. Use the power of logic to explain your choices and decisions.
- Act like you would be okay with a Visa denial
When you act like a Schengen Visa is your whole life, this desperation shows at the interview and can jeopardise your entire application. Don’t let your itch to travel to Europe come off as desperation. Show Visa officers you are eager to visit the Schengen Area, but act as it wouldn’t be the end of the world if your application got rejected.
- Tell nothing but the truth
Lying during your interview is a sure recipe for Schengen Visa rejection. Organise your supporting documents in a professional folder and give honest answers based on the information provided in your documents. Never ever attend to hide information or provide fake or vague non-answers.
Conclusion: A successful interview has a tremendous positive impact on the Schengen Visa grant decision.
Apply the tips provided by our experts to come out of your interview smiling and maximise your chances of getting a Schengen Visa!
Looking for an expert to guide you through the entire Schengen Visa process? Then look no further than our complete, affordable, hassle-free Schengen Visa services. If you want to be successful with your application and stop wasting time or being anxious about trying to become a master of the Schengen Visa, get your FREE consultation now! It costs you nothing to get the advice of a Visa Expert and find the answers you’ve been searching for!