Whether you are applying in a German, French or Italian canton, you need to be prepared for your interview in Switzerland. Remember that you are applying abroad. So not only do you need to show that you have the right skills and know how to ask the right questions, but you also need to respect the culture there, which means showing the right level of enthusiasm and being polite and courteous. However, it is not easy to get a job interview in Switzerland because of the strong competition. On average, there is one interview for every 14 applications.
One piece of advice I would give to those interested in working in Switzerland is to learn about the country and learn something about its history and culture, because that might give you some advantage in the eyes of recruiters. First of all, it is important to know that Switzerland is not a typical state as we imagine it, but a confederation of 26 cantons, each of which has its own language, culture and tradition. Common to all cantons is the pacifist spirit, (Switzerland has always been a neutral nation) and their independence.
To increase your chances of success at an interview, you should first get to know the company to which you are applying. That way, you will not make a bad impression on recruiters. So find out more on the company’s website, on social networks and through everything you can find on the Internet.
Job interview in Switzerland – 10 tips
Here are 10 tips for a successful job interview in Switzerland
1. Be punctual, it is better to wait a few minutes than to rush at the last minute. Be punctual: punctuality is important in every country in the world but in Switzerland punctuality is an imperative. If you are late, you already lose most of your chances for employment. The Swiss believe that true punctuality is showing up 5-10 minutes early.
2. Be polite and respectful to the recruiter and wait until you are asked to sit down. Never use a friendly or informal tone, as the Swiss pay close attention to form.
3. Don’t forget to bring all documents: cover letter, resume, references and diplomas.
4. Pay attention to your physical appearance, (haircut, hand care, etc.) and to your clothing, which must be in keeping with the style of the company. If you are applying for a secretarial position, it is not recommended to show up in jeans, it is different if you are a web developer. In any case, to remove all doubts, it is useful to search the Internet for pictures of company employees to see what kind of clothes they wear.
5. During the interview, expect questions from the interviewers. The questions they might ask you are the classic questions typical of any job interview. Always answer honestly. In Switzerland, fairness and honesty are two of the most valued qualities.
6. If you feel uncomfortable, you can simulate a job interview with an acquaintance or alone, so you can practice and become more fluent during the interview.
7. Pay special attention to body language, because it often reveals things about us that a recruiter would be better off not knowing. It is definitely a good thing to smile and look the recruiter in the eye
8.Check your social profiles because most recruiters will review them before hiring you, and it’s a good idea to delete any comments or posts that may be inappropriate.
9. Be prepared to ask questions at the end of the interview. This will show your genuine interest in the company.
10. After the interview, do not forget to greet the recruiter and the company employees you are dealing with. You can also thank them by email, but do not go too far. It is not advisable to send emails to find out the outcome of the interview, as this will give the impression that you are impatient and pushy. Do not worry, if the company is interested in your profile, they will keep in close contact.
If you want to learn more about working in Switzerland, I recommend reading the article: How to work in Switzerland