French Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. The job search in France requires more than just the obvious French CV writing and translation - it requires serious preparation. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in France.
Do not underestimate the influence they can have on the outcome of your adventure! For example, you will experience the dissimilar immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to France are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners. The French authorities have carried out a number of arrests as a result of investigations into terrorist networks.
Prepare yourself for the French interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice your few-sentence "speech" about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Be positive.
Bring with you to the interview your CV, letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates. References are usually verified, so notify your referees in advance. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Remember, these same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only do you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to communicate about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.
Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important aspects in not being hired.
So, check the French dress code
The French interview procedure usually starts with some psychological tests, followed by the two to four interviews after passing the tests. During such tests, which can last up to three days, intelligence, social and communication skills and management qualities are tested. A medical examination is required for some occupations and some employers test all their prospective employees for drug abuse.
Punctuality is essential. Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cellphone. Give business cards to the receptionist or secretary upon arrival and to each person you meet subsequently.
Introduce yourself using the first name, surname and title. Because academic titles and degrees are very important to France, you should know them and apply them properly. Shake hands with everyone present showing your friendly face. The French interview starts often with some informal small talk. Try to demonstrate some knowledge of history, politics and France culture.
Do not sit until invited. Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers.
Prepare for all kinds of questions about yourself, your qualifications, skills, experience and hobbies if you put them on your CV e.g. "Which book did you read recently?”. Answer questions as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers.
French interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.
You do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, "In my country, that would be a strange question."
During the French interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask questions about the lines of authority, your future responsibilities and any special job requirements, such as the need to drive or travel, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).
Before leaving, thank everybody present for interview and shake they hands
After the interview, send a short thank you letters, to thank the interviewers. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
You may have to wait for the results of the job interview due to lengthy consultation process in French businesses.
Other French Interview Info
We hope that your French interview has been successful. Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Good luck with your French interview!