Compact yet varied, traditional yet modern, cultured yet adventurous, Austria is rich in lifestyle options; from the elegance of Vienna in the north to a flavour of the Mediterranean and the mountains in the south. A Mecca for winter-sports enthusiasts, the country is probably most renowned as a historic music capital, thanks to the patronage of the Habsburg dynasty.
The Austrian economy has been recovering since a decline in 2009. There is work available for those who have completed specialist apprenticeships, such as electrical fitters, pipe fitters, lathe operators, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners. There is also demand for workers in tourism, as well as in the hotel and catering sector. The same goes for sales staff and shop assistants.
Vacancies are published in newspapers or online. For low-skilled jobs, initial contacts are usually made by phone, although online applications are increasing.For skilled jobs, you need to write a covering letter and send your CV. The company will consider the applications and contact a selection of candidates for interview. For management jobs, you may be invited for an assessment.
Covering letters are, in general, computer-printed. Your written application should always contain a formal covering letter in which you indicate the job offer that you are applying for. Make sure to include the correct address and name of the contact person.
Your CV must be short, to the point, chronological and complete. Your personal profile must be adapted to the job offer. No notes should be written on the documents that you send to the employer.If you apply spontaneously, take the initiative to make sure that if there are no current vacancies your application will be stored in a database of potential candidates. If the company needs someone, this database is often the first to be consulted by the HR department.
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.
Dress code depends on the job, the sector, the position, customer contact, representation, company culture, etc. It is important to be authentic when presenting yourself For men who are applying for responsible positions, a suit is still obligatory. A tie is no longer required.
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Normally there is room to negotiate pay and working conditions, except in the public sector, where there are fixed pay scales. Negotiations take place with the head of the department that offered you the job.
In general, wages are expressed in monthly terms, including holiday pay and Christmas bonuses. Other non-statutory benefits need to be negotiated individually. For some jobs, the employer will offer you a fixed minimum remuneration and add a variable remuneration that depends on your performance or results at work. For those jobs where it is common to receive a tip from customers (e.g. guesthouses, hotels, etc.), you are often offered a low minimum wage. The tip is considered to be a way of increasing your wage, depending on your own efforts.There is often room to negotiate your hours of work, flexibility about times and work locations, adapting working time to childcare (kindergarten) availability, etc.