Indonesia Job Interview Tips

Work abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, an Indonesia job interview requires thorough preparation to get a job in Indonesia. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to get work in Indonesia.

Be aware of 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, selection trends and the management culture.

Indonesia treats drug offences severely. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2 kg of opium. Possession of these quantities is all that is needed for you to be convicted

Most visits to Indonesia 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.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness due to violence and a deteriorating security situation. High levels of criminal activity, as well as demonstrations, protests and occasional illegal roadblocks, remain a concern throughout the country.
In recent years, the Indonesian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against drug-related crimes and terrorist networks. Monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages.
Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current, valid and secured in a safe place. Always carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals (passport, valid visa and work permit). Travellers have been detained for questioning for not having their passports with them.
Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.

Prepare for more than one job interview in Indonesia and do not be surprised to receive an entrance test before a job interview. Most interviews last around 45-60 minutes, but there are no strict time limits. The interview process may include the following steps: psychological test, IQ test, HR interview, user interview, medical test and management interview.

Before the interview, work on your job interview skills and how to talk effectively. Good grammar and coherent speech are compulsory. Listen to yourself when you speak - do you tend to ramble on, rush your words or take overly long pauses? Talk to family members and friends, read aloud or practice in front of the mirror to become a better communicator. Talk clearly, slowly and with simple sentence structures demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company. Check the job interview dos and don'ts.

Make sure you know the technical terms of your sector in Indonesian, as well as some details on the company you are applying for. Therefore, you are able to demonstrate how your experience and skills match the company’s requirements for the position. Check the company's Web site and annual report. Do not forget to google about the company and job.

Practice (preferably in Indonesian) your few-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.

Job interviews in Indonesia tend to be very formal - asking mainly competency-based questions. You should consider each interview to be a “conversation” that allows your interviewer to evaluate whether you meet the requirements and fit the profile for the position with the company. Also, be prepared to demonstrate your skills and experiences.

You need to show that you are flexible, culturally sensitive, able to adapt to new circumstances and cultures and that you possess some perseverance and motivation (for the job, not the location!). Try to demonstrate some knowledge of Indonesian history, politics and culture.

Punctuality is appreciated and expected, so arrive a few minutes early to allow time to go through building security, elevator transit times and reception procedures (security passes). Turn off your cell phone. However, you may find your interviewer to be late! You should never make any comment about the meeting starting late or any person arriving late.

You may carry a slim folder holding your job application documents and CVs. Generally, other documents like letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates you may supply at a later stage.

Some foreign and international companies for their worldwide recruitment may conduct interviews over the phone and then in person or via video-conferencing as further interviews are required.

If no one is available to introduce you, shake each person’s hand and introduce yourself. Always start with the eldest or most senior person first. A firm handshake is appropriate and projects confidence. Make eye contact when you shake. Never stand with your back to an elderly person or a high-ranking official. Do not sit until invited. Always rise when an interviewer enters the room. Be courteous to everyone you meet.

Men shake hands with everyone present upon meeting and before leaving and wait for a woman to be the first to offer her hand. Some Indonesian men and women may follow western business rules in a business setting.

Make frequent eye contact while talking with someone. Titles are important in Indonesia as they signify status. Address each person using his/her title plus full name. Use Mr., Mrs. and Miss with the last name when a person does not have a title. Rank and status are very important in this culture.

In recent years it becomes increasingly popular to join the LinkedIn or Facebook social networking websites for professionals, where you may search for jobs and have your keyword-optimized, rich content profile with a current CV. Hiring managers use them more frequently to consult your profile and supplement or check against the CV you send along. If you do not have an account, create one and include your social media link(s) on your CV.
However, you should manage your online presence. 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. The online CV should not include sensitive information as it could show a lack of respect for confidentiality and discretion.

The interview starts often with some informal small talk followed by a short introduction interview. The purpose of it is to give you some idea about the company and its operation. Sustain a relaxed manner, maintain eye contact and restrict the use of gestures. Send the right message by standing straight, moving confidently and sitting slightly forward in your chair.

First impression and appearance are crucial in Indonesian culture and never more so than in job interviews where “status” and “respect” are highly appreciated. The company interviewer wants to know the applicant, not only at a work level but also at a personal level. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression! Be positive. Show your friendly face. Look less serious and more cheerful. Smile.

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.

Remember, the same keywords you used in your cover letter and CV will form part of the script for the interviewer's questions. You must be able to talk about them in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

Prepare for all kinds of interview questions about your skills and weaknesses or contributions to the company. Listen carefully to the questions. Never interrupt - even where the question is obvious, wait for the interviewer to finish before your reply.

Answer questions directly and as fully as you can in an organized manner avoiding yes and no answers. Pausing before responding to a question indicates that you have given the question appropriate thought and considered your response carefully. Do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers.

In addition, 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?” or “Why we should hire you?”. You may answer – ‘I have skills, knowledge and experience, with achievements, that can give a contribution to this company’.

One very important question you will ALWAYS be asked is, why Indonesia and how long are you planning to be around.

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. 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 job interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for

When listening to an Indonesian talking in a foreign language, it is very important to nod showing that you are listening and understand the speaker.

Look interested – ask questions about the job, internal operations, the lines of authority and your future responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of expected 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.

Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” - if you did not discuss this.

When an interview ended, thank everyone present for the interview and shake their hands when leaving.

If companies offer employment they usually follow up on references, so notify your referees in advance.

After the interview, do not forget to write thank-you letters to all interviewers expressing appreciation for the interview. In such a note, you can give the recruiter new facts about your qualifications and why you are the right person for the job.

Subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position.

Legalized documents for Indonesia are an absolute must. Those include birth certificate, qualifications, driving license, degree certificate, relevant certifications and references from previous employers.

You may have to wait for the results of the job interview due to a lengthy consultation process in Indonesian businesses. If the firm 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 Indonesia.

Remember, how you dress is one of the most important parts of not being hired. So, check the Indonesia dress code

Other Indonesia Job Interview Info

When you receive an invitation to the Indonesia job interview, take a quick look at job interview tips and other job search skills pages.

Follow up the job interview with a thank you letter. Employers regard this as an indication of your strong interest in the position

In addition, on the international info, job search visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.

Good luck with your Indonesia job interview.