If you’ve decided to move to Ireland and landed yourself a job interview, you’ve probably started to wonder what style of interview and interview questions you’ll face. Like anywhere in the world your interviewer will want to assess your relevant skills and if your outlook and values match that of the business. Unlike doing an interview at home you’ll be out of your comfort zone and asked a few things you won’t have been asked before. Familiarize yourself with the process, do some simple prep and give yourself the best chance of getting the job you want.
Job interview types
If you’re looking for a job abroad expect the interview process to be a little lengthier, and include a phone interview or Skype interview.
Generally Irish companies will conduct a phone interview before moving on to a one-on-one job interview or Skype interview. This kind of interview is used to narrow down applicants and get a feel for your skills and personality before committing to a lengthier interview.
Phone interviews can be scheduled or unscheduled. If you’ve had time to prepare, these are some things to pay attention to:
- Organize to be in a quiet place where you know you’ll have good reception
- Ideally use a landline over a mobile
- Have your CV and some short notes about the company prepared and in front of you
- Use any notes for reference – don’t read them or it’ll be obvious in your voice
If you’ve yet to arrive in Ireland, then you’ll probably have a Skype interview. Skype interviews should be treated the same as any other interview, but there are a few extras things to note to ensure a smooth Skype.
- Make sure you have an appropriate Skype username
- Update to the most recent version of Skype and run an internet, video, and sound test the day before, and on the day
- Test call a friend, ideally someone who is living in Ireland or abroad, for a few minutes to make sure your stream doesn’t drop or freeze
- Make sure the room is well lit, the background clean, and tell anyone you live with the time of your interview so you won’t get interrupted and so they can keep noise levels down
- Look at the camera instead of the screen to establish good eye contact
- Don’t try to sneakily search things online - if you’re caught cheating, you’ll be ruled out
- Close everything also on your laptop or computer but Skype, so no notifications interrupt the interview
What interview questions you’ll be asked
The good news is, no matter what kind of interview it is Irish businesses generally ask the same interview questions. Interview questions tend to be split into four groups: questions about you, questions about your work experience, questions about the company and more abstract or curveball questions.
Questions about you
If you’ve ever been to an interview before you’re probably familiar with the common interview questions.
These include: tell me about yourself. Why should we hire you? What is your biggest weakness? Tell me about a time you worked as part of a team. Why did you leave your last job? Why do you want this job? Tell me about a time you had a negative work experience.
66% of employers favor candidates with overseas experience, so expect some questions on your experiences abroad, your eligibility to work in Ireland, what motivated you to move and what you hope to gain from living in Ireland too.
Curveball questions are used to see how you think and deal with unexpected situations. Specific answers aren’t expected so keep calm and try and answer these kinds of questions as legitimate tasks.
With any interview question the main thing to remember is to be honest, be enthusiastic and try and highlight a variety of skills with your answers. Hiring managers want to make sure you’re the right person for the job and that you will be content in your possible new role.
Questions about the company
No matter what type of interview you’re having expect some questions about the company you’re interviewing for. These questions are asked to see if you’re genuinely interested and will be happy in the role on offer.
Prepare for questions about the company by looking at their website and social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. It’s also a good idea to Google the company and check if there are any current news stories relating to the company.
If it’s a multinational company and you know someone working for the company in America, ask them what it’s like and for some interview advice. Even though you’re interviewing for a different country, businesses like these tend to have the same policies and values internationally. LinkedIn is a great way to easily check if you know anyone working in a company.
What not to do in an Irish job interview
Now that you know what to do here’s a few things to avoid. The main interview no no is negativity or directing blame at others. When asked about previous roles never speak badly about former colleagues and employers. Negative answers will only raise concerns and suspicions about your own behavior.
Questions where you might be tempted to answer negatively include: why did you leave your last job? Describe a difficult experience you’ve had with a co-worker.
Answer these questions with a positive attitude and ideally use the question to display how good of a communicator and team worker you are.
Another big mistake is being over familiar with your prospective employer. Almost half of employers would reject a candidate that is over familiar during their interview, so be professional and remember you’re being assessed from the moment you arrive until the minute you leave.
For a full list of the most common interview questions and all the job interview advice you need download the Cpl Job Interview Handbook on www.cpl.ie