Swedish Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, a job search in Sweden requires more than just the obvious Swedish CV writing and translation. You have to pass a Swedish interview. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in Sweden.
Do not misjudge the impact they can have on the result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to Sweden 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.
Prepare yourself for the Swedish interview. Before an interview research, the prospective host country’s cultural and business practices so you can make a good first impression. Books and online guides about cultural differences can help.
Find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice (preferably in Swedish) your one or two sentences "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.
Remember that it is customary to present a business card, reference letters, photocopies of diplomas and identification photos at the initial job interview. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!
Be aware that the same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only you need to be able to write about your keywords, but also during an interview, you must be able to talk 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 Swedish dress code
The number of job interviews varies, depending on the company, the position and whether or not tests are involved. Two to three interviews are common.
Swedes are extremely punctual, so arrive at least 10 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cellphone. If no one is available to introduce you, shake each person's hand and introduce yourself. Maintain eye contact at all times while talking with someone. Use professional titles, or Mr., Mrs., Miss with the last name when addressing someone. Stay formal until invited to use first names.
Trade Unions are strong in Sweden. So, do not be surprised if a union official attends the Swedish interview.
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 skills, qualifications, experience, hobbies, membership of associations or sporting clubs, on your strong points and your weaknesses. In addition, you may be asked questions about your opinion on environmental policies - a subject of great concern to the Swedes.
Listen carefully to the questions and answer them as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers. 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."
At the Swedish interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your future responsibilities, 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).
At the end of your interview and before leaving, thank everyone present for the interview opportunity and shake they hands.
After the interview, do not forget to write a thank you letter and subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
Psychological tests and assessment centers are popular during Swedish interviews. They cover job interviews, aptitude tests and job simulation tests, which focus on teamwork and working under stress. 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.
Other Swedish Interview Info
We hope that your Swedish 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 Swedish interview!