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Employment and jobs

How to pass an interview for a Luxembourgish job position

Last time updated
15.04.24

Well, it is not easy to dismiss an unfit employee in Luxembourg and the rest of Europe, in contrast to the CIS countries. As such, to get a job in Luxembourg you may be interviewed in 4-5 rounds: distant and face-to-face, by phone, online and/or at the company's office. Take it easy.

Phone interview

The telephone interview is usually carried out by a company HR manager in order to filter the non-eligible candidates. This is the first stage of the selection process during a job search in Luxembourg, for foreigners as well.

If you were contacted, it means that your resume and cover letter were sufficiently convincing. Now the recruiter needs to see if your CV is accurate and make a genuine impression of getting to know the potential employee.

Correspondingly, as a job seeker, you will have to convince the HR manager that you are the fitting candidate to get to the next stage.

An interview typically does not take more than 20 minutes.

What will you talk about:

Personal information: age, place of residence, and sometimes family status.

Current work status: are you still employed or open to starting work.

The reasoning for the new job position — but do not discredit your previous employer.

Key skills availability: Provide examples and relevant experience to prove that you have the needed skills. Keep up with the recruiter's questions. If it's an orientation interview, keep it short, 3-5 minutes. If it's a background check into your last experience, give enough detail to create an expert impression of yourself, but not too long and wordy.

Communication skills: do not interrupt the interviewer, but make sure to ask questions, but try not to bring up the salary first. Either the interviewer will ask you about it further, or you will at the face-to-face interview.

When taking a phone interview, the person cannot appreciate your facial expressions and gestures, so they will pay attention to your tone of voice, speed of speech and manner of speaking.

To make a good first impression and ensure your position in Luxembourgish company, speak confidently, calmly, don't bounce between topics, and avoid interrupting the interlocutor.

Online

This is the most common method of a job interview for abroad candidates for a job in Luxembourg. But covid made online interviews a widespread practice, even if the candidates reside in the country. Online job interview includes both objectives of phone and on-site interviews. It is possible to evaluate the non-verbal communication of the candidate – gestures, facial expressions, and behavior.

Specifics:

Such interviews are mostly handled in Zoom or similar services. According to the etiquette rules, the cameras of all participants should be turned on.

On the employer's side, there is an HR manager and the head of the department you are applying to. However, other representatives of the company may also be present.

The average length of an interview varies from 45 minutes to an hour.

Many international companies may start the interview with a small talk to help lighten the mood. In this case, you will be invited to discuss relevant topics or news. However, Luxembourgers can be straightforward and eager to get down to business.

Face-to-face

This kind of interview when looking for a job in Luxembourg involves a conventional office visit for a face-to-face discussion. If you want to find work as a foreign candidate relocating to Luxembourg, then distance formats will be more relevant for you. Meanwhile, for those who have already moved and are in search of a suitable job in Luxembourg, this would be one of the steps alongside the remote interviews.

Specifics:

An interview with international companies can take longer than the standard hour and a half or two. Sometimes it can take an entire day. This is justified by the fact that in one day you may have to go through a series of interviews, i.e. talk to several representatives of the company on the same day.

Physical copies of resumes, academic certificates, and letters of recommendation in English and/or French can be useful.

Most of the questions are meant to determine your professional level and to make sure you have the necessary knowledge and skills. However, be prepared to chat about your hobbies and personal life.

Getting ready

To find a job in Luxembourg and eventually get the dream position, you should get ready properly for every step of the employment process and check yourself on a few important hints.

Conduct research about the company and write down important facts — the field of activity, in which countries it is represented, what are the specifics of manufacturing, how it has developed over the last 2, 3, 5 years. What is it's a startup? This information will help you out during the conversation with the company's representatives.

Study the requirements of the position and try to plan the answers to the possible questions from the recruiter. Don't be shy to prepare a few cases about how your previous relevant experience would complement this exact company, try to give examples. Think about trivial questions as well, like what can you say about your good and bad sides, how do you see yourself in the future?

Ask the interviewer in advance in which language the conversation is to be carried out. The interview may be conducted in French, English, German, and Luxembourgish.

Arrive on time and dress appropriately. Regardless of the format of the interview, you are expected to be businesslike and polite.

Prepare for the salary question. Use neutral but direct wording. For example: «Right now I would be comfortable receiving [amount] a month. But it's negotiable. I'm willing to listen to your terms». Try not to ask this question at the first interview.

Make 3-5 questions about the job that would be reasonable to ask. You can ask about departments in the company other than your own and with whom you will have to cooperate, whether there is any overtime and what the regulations are on them – if they are taken into account and paid for, whether you will have employees in your management, etc. depending on the position.

Bring copies of resumes, academic certificates, and letters of recommendation in English and/or French.

If it will be an online-interview

In case the application for a job in Luxembourg involves a remote interview, the preparation can be expanded with a few fair points.

Prepare the place: it should look professional, preferably with a monochrome wall of neutral color behind your back. Place a glass of water within reach.

Check your Internet connection 30 minutes before the call.

Check the camera and the sound.

Make sure your face is clearly visible and there is enough light.

Have a notebook and pen ready to write down some notes.

Tips

Following this advice will help you feel more confident during the job interview and you will eventually find your perfect job in the Grand Duchy.

During the interview

Follow business etiquette. Address your interlocutor politely, for example, by using the formal "vous" rather than "tu" when speaking in French. Do not interrupt the person you are talking to until he/she has finished speaking. Do not sit down until you are invited to or simply ask if you may sit down.

Don't ask a pre-prepared question if the answer has already been answered. This displays your inattention and disinterest.

The final interview should include a discussion about the relocation, such as whether it is available and in which format:

Will the employer provide short-term housing (apartments, hotel for up to 3 months) in order for you to find an apartment for long-term rent?

Will any of the costs of relocation be reimbursed, how and in which amount? For example, the purchase of tickets per family, delivery of belongings, transportation of animals, etc.?

Is there a reimbursement for rent and utilities, and if so, how much and for how long?

Does the company have a lawyer/HR or another responsible person to help with obtaining documents/opening bank accounts?

Would there be any reimbursement of integration costs? For example, taking language courses, etc.

In the case that you are fired or choose to resign, what is the reimbursement procedure on your part?

Negotiate what happens next. Establish what the next steps will be and the deadline for getting back to you with feedback.

After the interview

If the employer did not return within the given time with feedback, you can write an email or call and clarify what has been decided. This is a natural question on the part of a person who wants to find a job. In Luxembourg feedback is not systematically provided, so you should ask for it yourself.

In case of rejection, it is possible to confirm the reasons, but companies have right to refuse with no explanation. Some companies write recommendations on professional development - on what needs to be improved in order to qualify for a similar position. You can also ask for professional advice.

You can contact ADEM for help if you have difficulties at the interview stage. The employment agency offers to counsel. Besides, from time to time ADEM conducts training on how to properly approach a job interview.

Authors: Daria
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