How to Prepare for an International Job Interview

How to Prepare for an International Job Interview

The company you have been interviewing with wants you to come to headquarters.

They want to meet you in-person for the final round of job interviews. This is great!

There is one tiny problem with the job interview.

You live in the USA and the job interview is in another country.

Here are some tips you can use to prepare for that international job interview.

Make sure you have your passport before you set a date

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Research the similarities

Sure, the job interview is in another country, but that does not mean it will be completely different.

To avoid tripping over the basics of the job interview, go over all the basics:

Mastering these commonly asked job interview questions helps you get your story down before talking to the company.

However, the way you answer and what you say may depend on the company and country’s business etiquette.

Differences in business etiquette

Every business culture has its own unique traits and unspoken rules.

This is the time to do some intensive research. Forget what you know about the US job market.

Start researching

  • What does the company consider to be “on time” for an interview?
  • Will the interview focus more on soft skills or hard skills?
  • The proper ways to show respect when interviews end.
  • Things the company will do that are not considered appropriate in the US.
  • Common greetings and social cues, so you have an idea when something is not right.

Examples of behaviors to think about

The US emphasizes hard skills and “early is on-time”, for example. Whereas in other countries, the interview “time” usually means it will start several minutes later. Additionally, countries like Denmark place a strong focus on hiring for personality and training for skill.

Countries in South America often avoid saying the word, “No.” It sounds rude to them, so instead, they send social cues that let you know something is wrong.

Other countries have been known to conduct interviews in the form of personality tests, ask about religion, or marital status, which may violate every EEOC law in the United States.

Research the preferred language

It is a good idea to know, before applying, what language the company prefers to use for business.

Even though the most commonly used language in business is English, other countries may view your lack of ability to speak their language as a sign of arrogance or disrespect.

You cannot learn a new language overnight, obviously. But apps like Duolingo can be of great assistance when you are trying to learn a language quickly, or show a company you respect the job enough to start learning.

Also, learning their native language will give you some confidence and put you at ease while visiting the country.

Watch for the subtle tests of your personality

Company employees may want to get a sense of how you interact with other staff or the local culture.

If you get invited to an impromptu job interview, do not be surprised by requests to drink alcohol or take part in local cultural activities.

Whatever you do, just be sure to not overdo it with the idea of impressing everyone. You can only be yourself.

Do not try so hard, drink too much, or get yourself into a fix where you end up embarrassing yourself.

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