Lichtenstein - why work abroad?

Country: Liechtenstein
Official languages: German
Government: Constitutional monarchy
Population: 36 300
Capital: Vaduz
Currency: Swiss franc (CHF)
Member EU or EEA: EEA and EFTA
Phone code: +423
Internet code: .li

Why this country?

The last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, Liechtenstein was established in 1719 and has close ties with Switzerland. It is most famous for its low tax regime and high salaries, and as a centre of banking and commerce, but it also has the highest industrial concentration of all countries in Europe. There is not an awful lot of it - the country measures 25 km long by 6 km wide - but the capital, Vaduz, has some beautiful mountain scenery popular with hikers, cyclists and, in winter, skiers.

The unemployment rate was the lowest in Europe in 2012 (2.4 % average and 2.75 % for youth unemployment). The labour market has shortages of craftsmen and skilled technicians.

Looking for work?

The best website for jobs in Liechtenstein is the Arbeitsmarkt Service Liechtenstein ( The public labour market service can provide further information.

Tips for job applications?

Written applications are most common in Liech­tenstein. If you apply by e-mail, use PDF files if possible. Send your complete recruitment file: covering letter, CV with photo, references and letters of recommendation, diploma and other documents that are relevant for the job. Do not forget to include your contact details.

After applying, you will receive an invitation for an interview or a (written) refusal. After the interview, you can expect a test or assessment. There may be one to three interviews before the contract is signed.

Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?

Yes, a photo on the CV is definitely recommended.

Is there a preference for handwritten applications?

No, handwritten applications are only used if explicitly asked for by the employer.

Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?

No, you are advised to use the Swiss CV for¬mat. A sample CV can be found on

Making contact by phone

When you phone the employer, ask to speak to the contact person mentioned. Do not ask too many questions, and keep these to the point. Do not make your call longer than needed.

Do I need to send diplomas with my application?

Preferably yes, or at the very least take them with you to the interview.

Should I supply references, letters of recommendation or proof of good conduct?

Letters of recommendation and references are very important for the recruiter, but need be provided only on request.

Usual length of time between publication of the vacancy and start of the job

Between 1 and 3 months.

Preparing for the interview

Applicants should know as much as they can about the company they are interested in: information about the company, turnover, size, sector, geographical position, organisational culture, etc.

Prepare for questions like: Why do you want to work for our firm? What do you know about our company? Write down questions that you want to ask. Be careful with personal or professional information about yourself that the employer can find on the Internet.

Dress-code tips

Your dress code should be adapted to the company and the role. In general, avoid bright colours and revealing clothes, and be sparing with make-up and jewellery.

Who will be there?

Usually one to three people will conduct the interview, including at least an HR representative and a supervisor

Do we shake hands?

Yes, it is customary to shake hands in Liechtenstein.

Is there a typical interview structure?

An interview takes 1 to 2 hours. Tests or assess­ments may take another few hours.

There are structured (fixed questions - easy to compare the candidates), semi-struc­tured and non-structured interviews. Semi-structured interviews are used most. A possible structure could be: introduc­tion; presentation of the company; questions to the applicant (job, education, interests, extra courses, skills, team spirit, etc.); hobbies and non-professional occupations; personal goals; contract negotiations; summary; and next steps.

The atmosphere will be cooperative, open and frank. The ratio between non-professional and professional questions will be half-half. It is important to prove your motivation. The employer wants to know as much as possi­ble about a candidate's motivation, knowledge and skills, but also their personality.

You can ask any questions at the end of the first interview. Questions about salary are usu­ally dealt with during the second interview.

When is a question out of bounds?

Questions about a planned pregnancy, illness, religion or political affiliation should not be answered if they are not relevant to the job.

Negotiating your pay and benefits

You can negotiate your benefits. The personnel manager is usually the person to negotiate with. It may be useful to contact a trade union first to find out about the range of salaries in that occupation. Normally salaries are expressed on a monthly or annual basis. Holiday pay is included; bonuses are not, at least not in the fixed salary. The most common non-statu-tory benefits are: meal vouchers, company car, mobile phone, sports vouchers, company restaurant, laptop, etc.

Is a trial period likely?

The use of a 1-day work trial is not common, but can be useful in certain situations. You can refuse a work trial, but it may be useful for the candidate to get to know the job.

How long is the standard probationary period?

One to three months maximum.

Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?

Yes, but do ask about this in advance.

When will I hear the result?

The employer should inform you at the end of the interview about the deadline for the decision or other future steps. If not, you should ask about it.

Getting feedback and further follow-up

After the interview, you can ask for feedback by phone.

How early should I arrive for the interview?

It is usual to arrive about 10 minutes early. You should report on arrival.

last modification: 2014-09-03
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