Previously I gave you some tips on winning a job in The Netherlands. This time I want to share with you some tips , how to handle interview in Netherlands.
Remember I base my tips on my own experience being recruited , recruiting new team members and my clients who won a job.
1. Smile and social attitude
Going to the interview cost us lots of stress. This is natural. We really want to get a job and are anxious about coming questions from employer and impression we will give.
Dutch people pay a lot of attention to people social skills. It is crucial if you are going to be a good match for a team. I do remember when we were recruiting new team members in one of my ex companies. There were fantastic candidates with rich job experience and strong technical background , however personally they didn’t match the team.
Work on your mental preparation. Try to come with positive attitude and smile on your face.
2. Eye contact
Personally it was a bit shocking for me. In my country it is of course important to have an eye contact, but in Netherlands it was almost 100% of the time. I felt a bit weird to gaze all the time into each other eyes, but for Dutch is a sign of trust worth. If you look into eyes and don’t run away from eye contact you are being seen as person who is not hiding anything.
3. Focus on preparing with company values and culture.
Before coming to Netherlands I only focused on this what is company history and what they are doing. I have never thought it might be important to know what the company believe in and how your values match their values.
Interesting thing is that you might be asked how your experience and own philosophy match their. How you like the culture of the company, showing that you can be a fit as you are looking for that culture and not another one
4. Focus on the bullets of the job
Be prepared with the job description and make strong preparation with your own experience. You need to show them that you had experience similar to they needs and you need to show it in examples.
This is very common in Netherlands, they will not test your knowledge like on the university exam. They will make a example case and try too see what is your way of working . How did you handle such a case in the past or what is your way of thinking. This is also back to the tip number one. Example case might involve other team member, as they will want to see what kind of person you are. Do you play indecently or you are team spirit. Think deeply while looking at the job description how could you show your experience on each of them and how would you manage issues / what kind of issues you might have.
5. Pragmatic thinking and problem solver
I can tell you that this is national attitude. We can see it even on recent word changes. Netherlands was taking different steps than other countries in Corona virus strategic plan. They will always think 10 years ahead for the result and try to plan wisely next steps.
They always look also for such a people for their team. This might mean questions during interview like:
- What kind of issues did you have in your previous job and how did you solve it?
- What is your career plan for next 5 years?
- How would you handle ‘example scenario’?
- What improvements did you create in previous job?
6. Enthusiasm for Netherlands and Dutch culture.
I know we expat has our opinion about Dutch culture and the weather. I would strongly recommend to keep it for yourself. If you want to live in other country you need to adjust and find positive things in it.
They want to know that you will not demotivate people every day complain about everything.
Look at this what you like in Netherlands and show them your enthusiasm. They do like to hear that you want to stay in Netherlands and you do see positive things here.
If you at least try to learn Dutch language then this is a big plus too. Learn basic conversation in Dutch language to be able at least greet your interviewer in their own language.
And what is your experience with being interviewed in Netherlands? How did you win your last job?
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