Malta - why work abroad?

Country: Malta
Official languages: English, Maltese
Government: Parliamentary republic
Population: 450 000
Capital: Valletta
Currency: euro (EUR)
Member EU or EEA: EU
Phone code: +356
Internet code: .mt

Why this country?

One of the world's smallest and most densely populated states, the archipelago of Malta comprises three inhabited islands plus 18 others. A Mecca for tourists, it attracts three times as many visitors each year as the number of its residents. Despite being so heavily developed, it is testament to the islands' rulers over the years that many historic monuments survive to tell the tale of its 7 000-year history - a fascinating story of conquest in the Mediterranean.

The job market is dominated by the service sector and craft-related jobs. Recent surveys have shown a large number of vacancies for teachers, office staff, sales staff, waiters and waitresses, care workers, construction workers, nurses, cleaners and IT professionals.

Looking for work?

The local public employment service is the Employment and Training Corporation. Vacan­cies are advertised on the corporation's website and in its job centres around the island. Sev­eral private recruitment agencies also promote vacancies through their websites and one-to-one contacts. Local vacancies are advertised by public-and private-sector organisations in local newspapers. You can find all the useful web links on the EURES portal's Links page.

Tips for job applications?

Applications are usually sent by e-mail or by post, depending on the information given in the advert. You must always attach your personal CV with an application letter. Both the appli­cation letter and the CV must be submitted in English, unless it is specified otherwise.

Make sure you include attachments and that these can be opened. Specify clearly which job you are applying for. Avoid using animation or fancy design, especially if the job is a special­ised one and design is not relevant for the post.

When applying spontaneously, specify what role you are interested in. Mention your avail­ability. Add relevant qualifications.

'At the European Job Day in Brus­sels, most of the candidates who vis­ited our stands were graduates in financial services, law, marketing and communications, and tourism. These are areas where we have a short­age of workers in Malta and the event enabled us to put these young

people in touch with local employers with vacancies in these sectors.' Jonathan Brimmer,

EURES Adviser, Malta

Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?

No, CVs in Malta do not usually include a photo.

Is there a preference for handwritten applications?

Not really. If a handwritten application is required, this will be mentioned in the advert.

Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?

Yes, the Europass format CV is accepted.

Making contact by phone

Usually the employer contacts the applicants by phone for a first interview. Then a face-to-face interview is conducted.

Try to find out the name of the contact person and use the correct name of the company during telephone contacts. You should be polite at all times during the conversation. Talk briefly and to the point, but do not leave out important information. Clarify what the next step will be.

Do I need to send diplomas with my application?

Proof of your qualifications is not usually required at the application stage. However, you will need to show original certificates if you attend an interview. Take photocopies of your certificates in case the interviewer requires copies. Qualifications obtained from non-Mal­tese education institutions, such as foreign uni­versities, must be recognised. You can request this from the Malta Qualifications Recognition Information Centre (MQRIC), which is part of the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (

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

References are usually required if the vacancy is connected with the service industry, finance and the like. A previous employer, a reliable professional or a parish priest could be a suit­able referee. They usually confirm that the per­son in question is a reliable person who can be expected to perform this type of job with­out problems.

Letters of recommendation are only needed if the employer asks for them.

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

This depends on the company, the selection process and your availability.

Preparing for the interview

The recruiter expects availability, company knowledge and - in the case of a foreign candidate - basic knowledge of the culture of Malta from the applicant. Knowledge of the English language is a must for most companies in Malta

Dress-code tips

Wear smart attire for all interviews. Men are encouraged to wear a dark suit over a white or light colour shirt, with a smart tie. Women are encouraged to wear a suit over a shirt. Do not wear excessive jewellery and make-up. Men should not wear earrings or other piercings. If you have a tattoo, make sure it is well covered with clothing. Tattoos are not well received by local employers. Wearing a light and fresh perfume is advisable, especially in summer.

Who will be there?

Usually the employer is present during the interview, unless it is a large organisation, in which case the HR manager and section super­visor will be present.

Do we shake hands?

Yes, this is the first thing you should do when you meet your interviewers. Shake hands and introduce yourself by stating your name and surname. Remember to smile. Do not sit down before they invite you to do so.

Is there a typical interview structure?

The interview is usually very friendly and candi­dates are made to feel at home. Interviews are usually one-to-one. If the job is not specialised, there will be only one interview, but for a spe­cialised occupation that requires experience, shortlisting is the order of the day, followed by one or two additional interviews. You may be expected to make a presentation in this case.

Keep to the point of the discussion/questions and do not invent ski lls that you do not possess. Show that you are willing to learn. Eye contact is important, as is body language.

You can ask questions, although these are best kept to a minimum and must be relevant. Ask­ing for a job description or about working con­ditions might be advisable. If there is a second interview, it is better not to discuss pay at this stage.

The more you know about the company, the better. This shows that you have taken an inter­est in getting to know the company, its past performance and future plans. Your enthusi­asm may even enhance your chance of being selected. The most common question an appli­cant is expected to be able to answer is about the core function of the company. Another is whether the company is a subsidiary of another company or whether it exports its products and to what countries, if this is the case.

One tricky question an employer might ask is what pay you expect. There are various ways of answering this, especially if you have done your research and have sufficient experience.

When is a question out of bounds?

The law forbids employers asking questions that may discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity or country of origin. If you are asked questions about your personal life, you may politely decline to answer them, telling the interviewer that your personal life will not interfere with your employment and position. The interviewer may ask questions about personal interests and how you spend your free time, or for your opinion on various issues, including current affairs.

Negotiating your pay and benefits

You can negotiate pay, particularly if you have a lot of experience in the job you are apply­ing for. Pay is usually expressed as a weekly or monthly rate. Holiday pay and annual bonuses are included in the remuneration offered.

The staff member who negotiates pay and non-statutory benefits will be the HR manager if it is a large company or the employer himself/ herself if it is a smaller firm.

If you are hired, the company is bound by law to inform the local authorities about your employment by completing the 'engagement of employment form' and submitting it to the Employment and Training Corporation on your first working day. This form must have your sig­nature on it. Make sure that the employer sends this form to the corporation on the first day of your employment.

Is a trial period likely?

No, you will not be asked for a work trial because this runs counter to current legislation. This means that you can refuse if asked to do this.

How long is the standard probationary period?

It usually varies between 6 and 12 months, but this depends on the company, so find out about this before you start work.

Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?

It depends on the company.

When will I hear the result?

Usually the employer will inform you about the result of the interview at a later date. The employer will also tell you if you are invited to a further interview. If you are selected for the job, you will probably be contacted by phone in the case of a small company, or by post if it is a large company.

Getting feedback and further follow-up

It may be possible to meet for an evaluation or to do this on the phone.

How early should I arrive for the interview?

Punctuality is taken very seriously at an inter¬view. If you do not know the exact place, you should leave early in order to arrive on time.

If you cannot make it on the day, the appointment can easily be changed to another date if the applicant phones the employer well in advance (at least 1 day before). It is good practice to know who the interviewer will be.

last modification: 2014-09-03
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