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Mexico Job Interview Tips

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, the Mexico job interview requires thorough preparation to get a job in Mexico. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start the search for jobs in Mexico.

Be aware of the impact the Mexico job interview 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.

You cannot over-prepare for an interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for, to be able to demonstrate how your experience and skills match the company’s requirements for the position.

Job interviews in Mexico tend to be very formal in some respects and informal in others. 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.

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 Mexican 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 15 to 20 minutes 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.

Most visits to Mexico 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 degree of caution due to violence in the Northern and Western states of the country experiencing 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 Mexican 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. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals. 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.

Usually, Mexico job interviews are on a one-to-one basis. The number of interviews varies from one to two.

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.

The interview starts often with some informal small talk followed by a short introduction. The purpose of it is to give you some idea about the company and its operation.

If no one is available to introduce you, shake each person’s hand and introduce yourself. A firm handshake is appropriate and projects confidence. Make eye contact when you shake.

Men shake hands with everyone present upon meeting and before leaving and wait for a woman to be the first to offer her hand.

Women may shake hands with men and other women. Many times a woman may pat another woman's shoulder or forearm, or kiss on the cheek.

Make frequent eye contact while talking with someone. Use professional titles, Mr., Mrs. and Miss with the last name when addressing someone.

During Mexico job interview, do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for

First impression and appearance are crucial in Mexican 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!

Practice (preferably in Spanish) your few-sentences "speech" about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not criticize your former employers, bosses or colleagues. 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.

Make sure you know the technical terms of your industry. Remember that the same keywords you used in your Mexico CV or resume and Mexico cover letter will be the foundation for your job interviews. During an interview, you must be able to talk about them in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements. Repeating your main points indicates you are telling the truth.

Appropriate dress is considered a sign of respect in Mexico. Therefore, appearance – especially at an interview – is extremely important.
So, dress and present yourself well

Look less serious and more cheerful. Do not sit until invited. 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.

Talk clearly, slowly and with simple sentence structures demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers.

Discrimination laws are not as stringent in Mexico as they are elsewhere in the world. It is common for employers in Mexico to ask for specifics like your gender, age, photo, expected salary etc. Many multinational corporations operating in the region adopt the same type of hiring practices.

Prepare for all kinds of interview questions about yourself, your skills, qualifications, experience and hobbies, and answer them as fully as you can in an organized manner, avoiding yes and no answers. Especially prepare to answer questions about yourself:

  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Tell me something about yourself.
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  • What benefit will the company have if it selects you rather than other candidates?

Pausing before responding to a question indicates that you have given the question appropriate thought and considered your response carefully.

One very important question you will ALWAYS be asked is, why Mexico 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.

When listening to a Mexican 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, the lines of authority and your future 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 you did not discuss this.

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

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.

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

You may have to wait for the results of the job interview due to the lengthy consultation process in Mexican businesses.

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.

Write down the information and issues that you discussed in the interview for future reference.

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 Mexico are an absolute must. Those include birth certificates, qualifications, driving licenses, degree certificates, relevant certifications and references from previous employers.

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 Mexico.

Other Mexico Job Interview Info

When you receive an invitation to the Mexico job interview, check the job interview dos & don'ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages. Find out why people are not hired for available jobs.

Prepare yourself for a job interview by taking a look at the Mexico dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in being hired.

Apply for the Mexico visa and/or Mexico work permit if you did not apply yet.

We hope that your Mexico job interview has been successful. So, follow up the 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 searchvisa, 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 Mexico job interview.