Why this country?
Dubbed the 'Tatra Tiger', Slovakia's economy experienced sustained growth before the global recession. Since then there have been slower indications of recovery. However, recent years have seen a growth in the number of people working and in the number of jobs. Besides the IT sector, there was growth in transport and storage, information and communication activities, and industrial manufacturing. Car manufacturing and electrical engineering are the main industry sectors - Slovakia is the world's largest producer of cars per capita.
Besides work considerations, this compact landlocked country has extensive transport links and numerous natural and cultural attractions, including historic towns, spectacular caves, stunning mountain scenery and a lively winter-sports scene.
Looking for work?Job adverts are published on the Internet, in newspapers and regional papers. Online job portals, private recruitment companies and the public employment service (PES) show vacancies in Slovakia on their websites. These give all details of the jobs and requirements for applicants.
Tips for job applications?Follow the instructions given in the job vacancy announcement. Do not send the same application to several employers. Address each employer individually. The content of an application sent by e-mail should be the same as for a handwritten application. The usual practice is to send a covering letter explaining why you want to work for the company, attaching a CV and a copy of your diploma.
Is it standard to include a photo on the CV?No, this is only usual in applications to a foreign employer.
Is there a preference for handwritten applications?No, typed applications are fine. If handwritten, ensure that the script is legible.
Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?Yes, it is often used.
Making contact by phoneBe pleasant and friendly during any contacts with the employer. Respond to all questions and tactfully describe your expectations.
Do I need to send diplomas with my application?Not always. Sometimes they must be enclosed with the application, sometimes they should be taken to the interview.
Should I supply references, letters of recommendation or proof of good conduct?
Provide the recruiter with recommendations about your work experience and skills, and the contact details of a person who can attest to the accuracy of this information. References should confirm the period of work, evaluate the work of a jobseeker and also recommend him/ her to another employer.
Teachers and people who work with weapons or with dangerous substances, for example, would need proof of good conduct.
Usual length of time between publication of the vacancy and start of the job
From 2 weeks to a month or longer.
Preparing for the interview
For specialist positions, expect to be asked to take a skills test. For unskilled roles, you are expected to demonstrate a willingness to work.
Prepare well for the interview. Take copies of your diplomas, licences and other documents needed, demonstrate your work results and dis¬play evidence of your experience and skills. Be polite and answer clearly and truthfully.
Dress-code tipsBe tidy, clean and neatly dressed. If the job is a white-collar position, both men and women should wear a suit. Jewellery is acceptable, but it should not be overdone and should be restricted to a few items.
Who will be there?
There will usually be between one to three company representatives on the interview panel. They will interview 10-30 applicants. There may sometimes be group interviews.
Do we shake hands?No, this is reserved usually for the successful candidate at the end of the recruitment process.
Is there a typical interview structure?
In most cases, employers start by introducing the company and what they expect from the new employee. They will then ask applicants to set out their reasons for wanting the job and to describe their knowledge and skills. The employer can also ask applicants to take a test or fill out forms. At the end of the interview, the employer can give candidates the opportunity to ask questions.The atmosphere is formal. Remember this, and take care with your choice of words. Most of the interview time is dedicated to professional topics. The employer is not usually interested in personal aspects.
When is a question out of bounds?Candidates are not obliged to answer questions about their private life, religion and political affiliation, or marital status.
Negotiating your pay and benefitsThe jobseeker rarely has much leeway in negotiating the contract and in most cases can only agree or disagree. The most common non-statutory benefits are, for example, accommodation, company car and mobile phone.
Is a trial period likely?You may be asked to do a 1-day work trial. As it is not legal, it is possible to refuse, but this may be a reason for the employer not to accept the jobseeker, as it can be taken as a demonstration of unwillingness to cooperate.
How long is the standard probationary period?Three months is the average.
Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?This could happen, but it is rare.
When will I hear the result?One or two weeks after the interview.
Getting feedback and further follow-upIt is not common to ask for feedback about your interview. The result is announced to successful candidates by e-mail or a phone call.
How early should I arrive for the interview?Arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the appointment.