|Country||Preparing for the interview||How early should I arrive for the interview?|
|Austria - preparing for the interview||
If there are a lot of candidates, companies tend to organise pre-selections or tests. For key positions or management jobs, assessment centres are often used.
Employers are looking for candidates who match the profile described as closely as possible. They expect applicants to show how their qualifications and experiences fit with this profile, talk about their professional and personal strengths and weaknesses, and answer questions about their motivation, social skills and prospects as an employee. You also have to be prepared for questions about your CV (e.g. if you have changed jobs a lot).
You can generally expect employers to be looking for a dialogue in which they can learn more about you, your qualifications and your expectations of the job. There will also be room for your questions about working hours and days, activities and job content. The atmosphere is friendly, but objective and impartial.
Candidates should be well-informed about the company: what it does or produces, its size, whether it is centralised or decentralised and whether it is based abroad, as well as about its image and philosophy.
Verbal communication is important, notably articulation and presentation in line with the job applied for (clear motivation for the job, social skills, teamwork skills, authority and leadership skills, stress resistance, flexibility). Pay attention too to non-verbal communication: punctuality, attitude, eye contact, gestures and facial expressions.The interview usually takes about 1 hour. A video-conference may be used, but Skype is used only in exceptional circumstances and when recruiting for academic positions.
|Employers take punctuality very seriously. Do not arrive late and only postpone or cancel the meeting if you have a valid reason. In such cases (e.g. illness), employers expect you to inform them in advance and to arrange a new appointment for an interview yourself.|
|Belgium - preparing for the interview||
If the employer is interested in your profile, one or more interviews might be arranged, as well as assessments and skill and psychological testing.
Prepare well by researching the company, reflecting on why you want to work for this employer and in this sector, and practising answers to questions in another language.
An interview can be seen as a form of negotiation, rather than as a question and answer session. For the employer, your attitude, assertiveness, politeness and the way you present yourself are crucial. You will be a representative for the company and you have to fit in with the team.
|Always be punctual. Try to arrive 5 minutes early. If you expect to arrive late, due to traffic, train delays, etc., let the employer know. Be sure to have a contact number with you when travelling to the interview.|
|Bulgaria - preparing for the interview||The applicant should know about the activity of the company, the management, the clients and competitors and the opportunities for development. The employer pays attention to accuracy, appearance, composure, confidence and gestures during the interview.||Job applicants are expected to arrive some 10 minutes before the time fixed for the interview.|
|Croatia - preparing for the interview||First impressions are very important. The way you dress for the interview will be noticed. Also, you will need to present yourself based on your CV. The most common questions are related to your strengths and weaknesses. You should research the company so that you are familiar with its everyday business and the demands of the job you are applying for. If you have connections inside the company, use these to help you get an advantage.|
Written and oral tests (psychological, professional) may be performed before the interview. If you are no longer interested in a job, inform the employer in good time.
|We suggest you arrive 10-15 minutes early in order to organise and review your documents, and to get ready. Let the employer know if you expect to be late or if you are not able to attend.|
|Cyprus - preparing for the interview||The applicant should have a general idea about the company’s activities, size, etc. Employers usually pay attention to the candidate’s general appearance and dress. Candidates should present themselves self-confidently and politely.||Candidates are encouraged to be on time for their interview. If you cannot attend, give notice of this in advance.|
|Czech Republic - preparing for the interview||
Recruiters expect applicants to be informed about the company (structure, scope of activities) and about the details of the position on offer. They will ask the applicant why they want to work in that company in particular. The candidate must also be prepared to answer questions related to his or her expert knowledge and any other qualifications (personal qualities, ability to work individually or in a team, reliability, adaptability and previous experience). To verify an applicant's personality, some employers also require that they take psycho-diagnostic tests.
The most common type of interview is in person. However, the first round of interviews may be carried out by e-mail. New media resources are just starting to be used for interviews.
|Lateness to an interview on the part of a job applicant is not usually tolerated. Usually 5 minutes is acceptable, but not more.|
|Denmark - preparing for the interview||The job interview is a dialogue between you and the interviewers, so you are expected to be active and ask questions. Prepare questions in advance and try to find out about the company’s values and mission. There may also be psychological and practical tests.||Danes are very punctual. Preferably turn up 5 to 10 minutes in advance. You are not expected to confirm your attendance. You cannot be absent and make a new appointment unless you hold unique qualifications worth waiting for.|
|Estonia - preparing for the interview||Do sufficient preparatory work before the inter¬view so that you can appear self-assured and focused during the meeting. Take a pen and notebook with you so that you can make notes. Do not take a seat before it is offered. Be self-confident and persuasive - and don’t forget to smile.||
Being punctual at the interview is highly recommended. Delay without a valid reason is not permissible. You should arrive a few minutes early; this will show your punctuality and interest in the vacant position.
|Finland - preparing for the interview||One of the first questions the employer asks is your motivation: why you are applying for this job and why you should be chosen. Be prepared to clearly explain your motivation and make a list of your professional and personal strengths.|
To make a good impression, visit the company’s website before the interview to make sure you know the basic facts about the company.
|Punctuality is the norm in Finland, both for the candidate and the employer.|
|France - preparing for the interview||The employer will pay particular attention to your punctuality and your general attitude, including dress. The interview may last half a day, including practical tests. Research the company so that you can highlight your moti¬vation for the role.||Even though the French are not very punctual, especially in big cities like Paris, we suggest you arrive 15 minutes in advance|
|Germany - preparing for the interview||
The employer pays a great deal of attention to the way you present yourself, including your clothing, hairstyle and jewellery, your attitude, body language, eye contact and the way you express yourself Be prepared to persuade the interviewer that you are very motivated to get the job and prove this by asking questions during the interview.
Always try to find out in advance what the company specialises in and what products it makes, an estimate of the number of employees and their national and foreign locations, in case the interviewers test your knowledge of their company.In exceptional cases and depending on the job, it may be possible to conduct a first interview by phone. Very few companies use Skype or other VoIP tools.
|Punctuality is very important to German employers.|
|Greece - preparing for the interview||
Before attending an interview, it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about the company.|
In the event that you cannot attend the interview, you must ask for a new appointment 2 to 3 days in advance, if there is a valid reason.
|The applicant must be punctual. It is advisable to arrive 10 minutes early for the inter¬view. However, you should not expect the same punctuality from the employer’s side.|
|Hungary - preparing for the interview||Employers mostly want to see your personality and commitment during the interview. They also want to see how you react in professional situations and in unexpected circumstances.||Punctuality is a must. If you are late, inform the employer if possible. You should confirm that you will attend the interview. If necessary, you can make a new appointment, but you should make sure to be there the second time.|
|Iceland - preparing for the interview||Before you go to an interview, do your home¬work. Read up about the company on its webpage, and be prepared to answer any questions they might bring up. These could include: what are your strengths and weaknesses? How would you describe yourself as a worker? Why did you leave your last job? Show that you are interested in knowing as much as possible about the company and the vacancy.||Icelanders are very punctual when it comes to work. It is therefore imperative that you show up on time for your interview.|
|Ireland - preparing for the interview||Preparation is the key to any interview and this is when your job actually begins. It is important to find out as much as you can about the company before you go to the interview. This will help you prepare to answer questions as well as to prepare questions of your own to ask the interviewer. An important part of the preparation is to take time to analyse the job description and highlight what the company is seeking in a candidate. Make a list of the skills, knowledge, professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are critical for success in the job. Prepare a list of questions and answers referring to your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths and weaknesses. Don’t forget to take your CV and names of people who could provide references with you.||Plan your journey well in advance and arrive at your job interview at least 10 minutes before it is due to begin. Employers will not tolerate candidates who are not punctual for their interview, as it may indicate that there is a problem with their pattern of work.|
|Italy - preparing for the interview||If you are particularly interested in the position, collect information about the company or the employer; think about what they would like to hear from you. Being sociable, willing and enthusiastic could be an advantage.||Punctuality is very important. If you are prevented from going to the appointment, you should give notice as soon as possible.|
|Latvia - preparing for the interview||Interviews and tests to elicit psychological and character traits or practical skills are generally used in all companies. Employers not only focus on professional aspects, but also on human qualities. It is very important to show your motivation for the job, your ability and willingness. You must be honest and explain what you can improve and how. You must show that you would really like to work for the company.||The employer expects you to be on time for the interview. It shows your punctuality and sense of responsibility.|
|Lichtenstein - 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.
|It is usual to arrive about 10 minutes early. You should report on arrival.|
|Lithuania - preparing for the interview||There is usually just one round of interviews. Most of the time, this takes the form of an in-depth conversation between the person responsible for recruitment and the candidate.||It is advisable to arrive 10 minutes early for the interview. Punctuality and a smooth start to the meeting are appreciated in Lithuania.|
|Luxembourg - preparing for the interview||
Finding a job is hard work. You have to put a lot of time into it in order to be successful as quickly as possible. Things you must definitely do to prepare for the interview are the following.|
• Conduct a thorough self-analysis: strengths and weaknesses, skills and competences, your assets.
• If you were unsuccessful in previous application procedures, persist in your efforts and be certain to show clearly why you are applying.
• Make sure you can tell the employer more about the job and working conditions that you are looking for.
• Get informed about the company, their products and their image. Show the employer that you have prepared for the interview. If the employer has the impression that you did not prepare well, he/she will consider you to be sloppy and unprofessional. Make sure you can supply a short, clear summary of yourself your motivation and your strengths in relation to the job requirements.
|Punctuality and respect for the appointment you have made are considered to be very important.|
|Malta - 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||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.
|Netherlands - preparing for the interview||
Candidates may be invited for an exploratory interview, possibly with an intermediate organisation. This is more like an opportunity to get to know each other. The atmosphere is somewhere between formal and informal, and based on equality among the discussion partners.
The employer will want you to show that you know about the job conditions, the company and its activities. You will have the opportunity to ask questions too. Use this opportunity to show your motivation and interest in the job, not to ask about the salary.
Questions are mainly related to your experience and your skills. As a result of this interview, your application will either be rejected or you will be invited for a second interview.
A lack of basic information about the company is often one of the main reasons Dutch employers do not invite candidates for a second inter-view or offer them the job. Consult the company's website, read its annual report and try to get a good idea of the sector the company operates in, its latest news and likely changes. This will help to prove your motivation.
The follow-up interviews are in-depth interviews about the context of the position, your problem-solving skills and your experience. Assessments may be used after the first or second interview.
In most cases, you will be informed whether or not you are hired very shortly after the interview.Dutch employers are increasingly asking for competences together with diplomas or testimonials. Prepare for questions about your competences by practising the so-called STAR method (situation, task, action, result)
|Punctuality is necessary. Only for a very serious reason (e.g. illness or the death of a relative) can you ask for a new appointment.|
|Norway - preparing for the interview||In most cases, you will be asked for an interview in person. In some cases, the first direct contact may be a telephone interview.|
Remember that your CV and covering letter are your entrance ticket to an interview. This is where your competence has to show. An inter¬view is based more on your personal abilities and personality in a working situation. The chemistry between you and the recruiter might be decisive. Be interested, motivated, ask the right questions and dare to speak for yourself and give your opinion. There may be only one interview (most com¬mon), or two or three (for highly qualified staff). An interview lasts 45-90 minutes on average.
|You must be punctual. If you are prevented from attending at the given time, ask as soon as possible for a new appointment.|
|Poland - preparing for the interview||
Applicants should gather as much information as possible about the company before the interview. They should be prepared to show their motivation and discuss what they can do, what they know and who they are, as well as have questions of their own.|
Employers focus on whether a candidate has appropriate knowledge and can think creatively. They look for communicative people with a positive attitude. The employer may hire a specialist in non-verbal communication for the interview to verify the coherence between a candidate’s verbal and non-verbal communicatio.
|Always be on time; respect your interviewer’s time.|
|Portugal - preparing for the interview||An interview typically takes no longer than 45 minutes. Tests may take half a day, breaks included.||Try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the interview.|
|Romania - preparing for the interview||Many companies propose a phone interview before deciding if they want to meet you face to face. In this case, it is important to prepare as you would for a proper interview, and express your personality clearly from the start. Do not interrupt when the person is speaking and be sure you understand the question before answering.|
Make sure you know the field in which the company operates and the requirements of the position. The recruiter will expect a professional attitude and will want to have an honest and frank discussion with you. Focus on the details of your CV. Employers know that the skills and abilities section of a CV is usually somewhat exaggerated.
|Punctuality is very important; you must respect the interview schedule. However, if you are a few minutes late, the employer may under¬stand if you have a very good reason for this.|
|Slovakia - 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.
|Arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the appointment.|
|Slovenia - preparing for the interview||
The recruiter will focus on experience, motivation and interpersonal social skills. Psychological, intelligence, aptitude and psychometric tests are widely used, especially for jobs requiring a high level of education.
Candidates should: prepare a list of their achievements; have an understanding of what the employer does in significant detail; speak about competences and practical experience gained through work elsewhere; identify a realistic working ambition; and be able to communicate the above mentioned ideas clearly and effectively.
Candidates should prepare for questions about their medium- and long-term career aims. Having a clear plan about your own self-development is key. Some Slovenian recruiters also expect you to say what your pay expectations are.
|Punctuality is important. Arrive 5-10 minutes early.|
|Spain - preparing for the interview||
Prepare sufficiently so that you can attend the interview knowing clearly the virtues that make you the perfect candidate for the post.|
It is common to be required to complete an aptitude test to demonstrate your practical skills and knowledge and to have an interview with a person from the HR department. You normally have to attend the company’s premises, although it may be possible to use a new media resource (e.g. video-conferencing, Skype, etc.).
|Spanish people are often not very punctual, but candidates should not be late. Arriving 5-10 minutes beforehand is enough time to look for the person you will meet.|
|Sweden - preparing for the interview||An interview normally takes about 90 minutes. You may be invited back for a second round. If you are prevented from attending the inter¬view, you must inform the employer as soon as you can and ask if it is possible to make a new appointment.||Be on time. Five minutes early is always OK. You should never be late for an interview in Sweden.|
|Switzerland - preparing for the interview||
Research the company in advance: find out about the composition of the management board, the number of employees, the economic sector in which it operates, its competitors and its customers. Look up its environmental policy, its attitude to fair trade and the existence of a social or ethical charter. Be aware of its image overall, and as an employer.
The most topical questions you can expect about your personal competence are questions about your strengths and weaknesses, your flexibility and geographical mobility, your availability and pay expectations.Interviewers take into account your knowledge of the language used for the job, clothing, politeness, tone of voice and the respect shown to the interviewers. Make sure you are well prepared and can give positive answers to tricky questions.
It is important to give specific examples of situations that refer to the answers required and prove that you really do have experience of these situations. For job offers that require knowledge of different languages, the interviewers might switch to one of these languages during the interview, so be honest when you indicate your level of proficiency in a language on your CV.
|Arrive a little in advance of the interview. You can expect the employer to be on time as well.|
|United Kingdom - preparing for the interview||
Recruiters expect applicants to be available for interview at short notice. They will expect the applicant to be motivated and to have good enough English to enable effective communication (with the exception of some low-skilled jobs, for example fruit picking, where the interview may be conducted in the applicant's native language, particularly if it takes place in their own country). Applicants should be polite, punctual, smartly presented and capable of expressing themselves clearly.
Employers and recruiters have a legal requirement to check the identity of every applicant before they are offered a job. The applicant must bring their original passport or national identity card to the interview to prove that they are an EEA (or Swiss) national or family member.
|You should arrive 15-20 minutes before the interview. Expect the employer to be punctual.|