Brazil Job Interview Tips
Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, job search in Brazil requires more than just the obvious Brazil CV with Brazil cover letter writing and translation. You need to pass the Brazil job interview. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in Brazil.
Do not misjudge the impact a Brazil job interview can have on the consequence of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, selection trends and the management culture.
Most visits to Brazil are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the Brazilian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
The job interview plays a decisive role in the Brazilian application process. What makes it different from many other countries, however, is that interpersonal skills often play a more important role than technical qualifications and competencies. Brazilian interviews tend to be a bit more personal and often some humour can help you establish rapport with the interviewer.
The official Brazilian language is Portuguese. In a business environment, English is widely used and understood. When listening to a Brazilian talking in a foreign language, it is very important to nod showing that you are listening and understand the speaker.
Prepare yourself for the Brazil job interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Practice (preferably in Spanish) 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.
Make sure you know the technical terms of your industry in Portuguese, as well as some details on the company you are applying for. Also, be prepared to practically demonstrate your skills.
Translated to Portuguese and legalized documents for Brazil is an absolute must. Those include birth certificate, qualifications, driving license, degree certificate, relevant certifications and references from previous employers. Remember that letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates at initial job interviews are customary. 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 base 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 one of the most important parts of being hired for available jobs. So, check the Brazil dress code
Make appointments two weeks in advance and confirm the attendance a day before the interview by e-mail or call.
First impressions are very important in Brazil. Therefore, it is essential to be punctual for an interview even though it is likely that the interviewer will not be on time. Arrive 10 -15 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cell phone. Use this time to mentally review some important career points.
Brazilians are extremely casual about time. It is normal for Brazilians to be 10 to 15 minutes late for a meeting.
Interviews can take quite a long time - up to two hours in some cases. There is a good chance of proceedings going over time, as additional tests may be applied before or after the interview, such as language, psychological or logic tests. Occasionally a candidate may be asked to stay for a second interview with another interviewer (possibly a director or manager) if the first interview proves successful.
What to expect at an interview depends on where in Brazil you interview. In the smaller cities, business is conducted only in Portuguese and the proceedings are generally centralized and quite formal. In the larger cities, such as Brasilia, life is much more cosmopolitan and many Brazilians are multilingual.
When entering a room for an interview greet and introduce yourself to all persons in the room. Shake hands firmly with all present looking for each one in the eye. Use titles like Mr. and Mrs. followed by their surnames. In informal situations, Brazilians always use their first name.
There is usually small talk among the persons attending the interview. Expect brief comments about the weather, soccer or traffic before beginning the formal interview. Brazilians are expressive and passionate conversationalists. Be prepared to be interrupted.
Manage your online presence on LinkedIn or Facebook. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. Eliminate any photos and statements that could reflect poorly on you. From an employer’s point of view, someone who emphasizes partying on a social networking site is not focused on jobs and those who post complaints about work or colleagues are less desirable candidates. Online CVs should not include sensitive information as they could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.
Topics like poverty, security, rain forest, deforestation, religion, racism, corruption, social inequality, and comparisons between the Brazilian and Argentinean soccer teams should be avoided.
Look less serious and more cheerful. Sustain a relaxed manner, maintain eye contact and restrict the use of gestures. Do not sit until invited. Sit forward and do not slouch or lay back in the chair during the interview. Keep your hands still and avoid fidgeting.
Talk clearly, slowly and with simple sentence structures, effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company. Do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers. The company interviewer wants to know the applicant, not only at a work level but also at a personal level.
Listen carefully to the questions and answer them directly and in an organized manner avoiding yes and no answers. When listening to an Argentinean talking in a foreign language, it is very important to nod showing that you are listening and understand the speaker.
Prepare for all kinds of questions about your motivation, which is the most sought-after quality, your skills and weaknesses, and what you can contribute to the company. Questions can range from work to hobbies, including education, professional goals and personal interests.
An interviewer may ask you to respond to hypothetical questions and to very direct ones – like for example, “Why do you want to work for us?”. Answer them as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers.
The Brazilian job 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 a couple that had less than favourable outcomes but were learning experiences.
It is common that, after asking many personal questions, the interviewer asks a question on a delicate topic in order to see the interviewee’s reaction. Brazilians are known for their ability to talk naturally about intimate and personal topics. So, do not be surprised by the personal nature of questions. 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 Brazil job interview, do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for
Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Do not bring this up until the company offers you the job and the recruiter starts the discussion, not the candidate. 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 the interviewers for their time.
You may have to wait for the results of the job interview due to the lengthy consultation process in Brazil businesses.
Do not forget to write a follow-up thank you letter and mail or email it right away. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and emphasize the hopes of working with them soon. Highlight your availability and eagerness to start work. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.
If the company does not respond for a week, feel free to send them another email or call. Politely request information on the status of your application. Persistence pays off in Brazil.
Other Brazil Job Interview Info
We hope that your Brazil job search has been successful and you have a Brazil visa with a Brazil work permit too. So, if your Brazil cover letter and Brazil CV are ready, you may distribute them to your future employers and start preparing for a Brazil job interview.
Do not forget to take a look at Brazil dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in being hired.
Good luck with your Brazil job interview.