While applying for an overseas job can seem daunting, it is manageable with the right knowledge. In order to make sure you know everything you need, here’s 10 tips on how to excel in an overseas job interview!
Always start with research
Even when you are preparing for a job interview within the UK, it is important to understand more about the business you are applying at. This is because the values and goals of businesses differ significantly, and your ideal approach to the interview differs as a result. For example, some businesses might value individuality and initiative, while others would prefer to hire team players. This depends on what the job itself demands. Getting hired as an event organiser and getting hired as a team manager for a moving company requires a very different set of skills. Besides, businesses love when you show you know exactly what they value. It shows that you care enough about the job to do research prior to applying.
Pay attention to the way you dress
Dress codes are always an interesting topic, but a well-rounded business or business casual are always a pretty good choice when you plan to attend an interview. It can seem like a tempting idea to opt for clothes that are more ‘traditional’ for the country you are applying in. However, this can come across as mocking or garish. This would obviously not reflect well on you or help you to excel in an overseas job interview. At the same time, you should avoid wearing too much jewellery or makeup. This, too, comes across as crude. Even if you are going to attend an online interview, it is still imperative you follow these dressing rules.
The things you show up to an interview with matter
If you really want to excel in an overseas job interview, then what you bring to the interview matters, too. Unfortunately, this does somewhat differ depending on what country you are applying for. In most western countries, showing up empty handed would be an insult. It shows you don’t care enough to take careful notes during the interview. And yet, in Spain, for example, job interviews are more ‘lax’ and showing care by listening attentively is more important. The same applies in many eastern countries, since proper politeness and careful attentiveness is held in higher esteem there.
Be respectful of the local manners and culture
Based on our previous two entries on how to excel in an overseas job interview, the importance of accounting for local manners and culture should already have been revealed. Well, it is doubly important to make sure you don’t accidentally insult your interview through carelessness. American and German businessmen value bluntness and a direct approach. In the UK, we value being polite and there are a whole host of nonverbal communication cues to follow. There are even more unique and, from our point of view, unusual practices you need to observe in order to avoid faux pas. For example, in the United Arab Emirates you need to shake hands, sign and pass documents using your right hand, since the left is traditionally used for bodily hygiene. In order to ace your job interview, you need to study up on the local culture ahead of time.
Never allow yourself to run late
No matter where you apply, no matter if you’re going to the interview in person or doing it online, being late as the interviewee is considered rude. It you are rushing to move overseas for a job interview, then prepare the best way you can and ensure there’s nothing else demanding your time on the day of the interview itself. Otherwise, your interview might be entirely called off.
Have answers ready for why you want to work overseas
It is a rare overseas job interview where you won’t be asked why you want to work there. Moving away from your own country is a major step, and the employers are naturally curious about what motivates you. Here, you need to carefully steer away from praising the local culture. Unless you’re talking about work culture of course. And even avoid things such as ‘beautiful nature’. Give them a concrete reason why their country seems appealing from an employee’s perspective. Opportunities for growth, a rich and thriving industry, etc. Even if you are trying to get a remote working job that would let you work from the UK, this still applies.
The right way to bring up past employers
In order to excel in an overseas job interview, you need to be strategic about how you mention old employers. You should never express anger or dissatisfaction, since this hints at a lack of loyalty to your workplace. No employer finds the idea of hiring a ‘trouble maker’ appealing.
Note that the interview is the time for you to ask questions, too.
In order to show your interest and dedication to getting the job, asking questions yourself is surprisingly crucial. If you’ve prepared questions ahead of time, even if they are about your future salary and working conditions, it just reveals how serious you are. And employers always appreciate that.
Pay attention to your body language and condition throughout the interview
You want to be in the best possible condition for your overseas job interview. So, even if you are moving a very long distance away and dealing with the stress of that, ensure you walk into the interview calm and collected. There are always ways to ease the process. Moving to the Middle East can be made easy by using container shipping, and you’ll transport everything in a heartbeat and have the time to settle down! The same conveniences can be found in any other country. So, there’s no excuse for showing up looking harried and tired. At the same time, ensure that you look open, friendly, and ready for the interview. If you look withdrawn, defensive and rigid, your first impression will be very lacking.
The question of languages
The final thing you need to keep in mind in order to excel in an overseas job interview is to be careful with your language use. If you don’t know the local language well enough, don’t push yourself to use it. That will just be awkward and land you in trouble when it becomes obvious you are unskilled. At the same time, there are countries, such as France, where you are expected to apologise at the start of the interview if you can’t communicate in the local language. Note that you’ll need to dazzle with your competence and expertise to make up for this lack of language skills!
Lots of prep work and studying is required to excel in an overseas job interview
Even with our 10 tips on how to excel in an overseas job interview, you’ll need to do some serious studying before one! This is because each country and business demand you learn more about them. You need to know the manner, the local business culture, etc. in order to succeed. But, if you do put in the work, you’ll be leagues ahead of other applicants who don’t!