As this is a blog mainly about moving to Malta I thought it’d be a good idea to pop up a post about job interviews. If you’re moving here, or even if you already live here, chances are that at some point you’ll be looking for a job. I’ve had a few interviews here and have interviewed soo many people that I feel my two cents worth will be at least a little helpful.
To be honest, most of this will be applicable for job interviews all over, but a few points are quite culturally specific to Malta.
The interviewers time is valuable so you don’t have time to try and win them over if your first impression doesn’t go well, so make sure it does. * Don’t be too early– its actually a HUGE inconvenience. They have a job to do and if you turn up early they feel obliged to entertain you which means they can’t be doing their job. Arrive at the place in plenty of time to make sure you’re not hot & flustered but don’t knock/ring/impose until 15 mins early MAX. 5 or 10 mins early is preferable. * Dress code– Smart casual, unless you’re going for a fairly high up job, no need for a full suit. Malta is hot and relaxed, but you still have to make an effort. A shirt, trousers (or smart black jeans) and some nice shoes. No tie or blazer generally required, but definitely no scruffiness, baggy clothes or sports wear and ladies- do not have your bra showing. It’s not nice. * Be Hygienic– don’t smell. It’s a shame I actually have to say that but my experience proves that some people need to be told! Give yourself time to get there so you’re not rushing & sweaty. WASH. Smell nice but don’t overdo fragrance, it gives me a headache.
How To Act
Smile. Be chatty and friendly. Don’t give one word answers, they’re expecting a conversation, trying to get to know you and find out more. Elaborate but keep it relevant- don’t waffle but do open up.
Money. We know that everyone works for money, thats a fact, but don’t make it the focus of the interview. Do not bring it up, wait for the interviewer to mention it. If they don’t then wait until the very end to enquire about the salary.
Take the interview, job and company seriously. Do not belittle the job you are applying for. Whatever it is DO NOT DESCRIBE IT AS “EASY”. Don’t say things like ‘low stress’, ‘brainless’ etc. I will assume you are lazy and are not willing to work hard.
Be humble. Do not act dismissively or rude to anyone you meet during your time in the office. If you are being interviewed by someone younger do not make them feel this is an issue. You may be trained by, and working under, people who are younger than you. Grow up & deal with it graciously. If you are a man do not make any woman feel like you think you’re better than them. If a man doesn’t look at me during an interview or wont speak to me directly, I am not going to want to work with them. If an older woman acts as if she has a problem with my age, she wont be hired.
Express a desire to grow and progress within the company but do not act entitled. Make it clear you understand you have to work hard & prove yourself but above all make it crystal clear you want the job you’re going for. They’re hiring for a specific role, a role they need filled and hiring is hard-work, they don’t want to go through the same thing in six months. Of course you want to grow and a company will want to reward and promote talented staff but don’t make this the focus of the interview.
Sell yourself. You have to show you are an asset to the company. Do not bang on about what the company can do for you- don’t say you want the job for experience, or to improve your English. The company will pay you to improve them, so focus on what you can do for them, not what their job can do for you.
How to Shine
Chances are they’re seeing a lot of people and they can all kind of merge into one. You need to make sure you stand out, that your name will be remembered.
Research the company (their website, facebook, twitter, forums) well and ASK QUESTIONS. In interviews if the candidate doesn’t ask any questions I’m going to forget them. I always remember people who have looked into us and ask intelligent questions about the company. Examples- 1. Who is your biggest competitor and how do you differ? 2. What is the average day in this role? 3. What kind of systems will I be using? 4. How many employees in the company/department?
Listen to the interviewers names and use them at least once. It makes a huge difference.
Know who you are. I’ve always struggled with the free time/hobby question, I felt I had nothing to say and was boring but you don’t have to be super sporty and a member of loads of clubs to be interesting. For example I am passionate about writing and channel that passion into a lifestyle blog which I’ve been working on for over 3 years, I used to make and sell my own jewellery but had to stop as postage prices put me out of business, I love reading- Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood and I loved The Hunger games so much I read the trilogy over and over again. I adore British music such as The 1975, Scouting for Girls, Jamie T, Bloc Party and The Kooks. I enjoy photography but I just do it for myself so have never taken any courses- I just love going to a pretty beach, a beautiful forest or amazing building and snapping away.