Overseas Jobs | Working and living in the Netherlands

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The language factor

You probably just arrived in the Netherlands, and even though Dutch sort-of-kind-of sounds like Afrikaans, it might feel like everybody is talking Greek to you! In most cases, the interviewers will be Dutch and would want to speak to you in Dutch during the intake in order to assess whether you have a basic understanding of what they are speaking about. 

Language during an interview

Based on your CV, they will know that you are not a native-Dutch speaker. Try your best to speak Dutch or “Nederkaans” as we have dubbed it. Should you really not understand the questions, rather ask them to repeat the question in English. You want to rather show that you understood the question and answer it accordingly versus rambling on about a topic that isn’t relevant. This is also a test to see how you would treat a similar situation on the work floor. Do you just pretend that you understood, or do you ensure that you get clarity and ask for help when it is needed? Should you also struggle to explain yourself in Dutch, rather ask if you can answer in English and explain your situation. Remember, they might also find it very interesting that you came to the Netherlands and where you are from. Use this as a conversation starter to create interest.

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Questions you can expect

There are a few basic questions that all interviewers ask to get to know you as a person and potential employee. Knowing what to expect will help to prepare concise and on-topic answers before the time giving you the edge on successfully being selected for the project.

Do your research

Research the company thoroughly: their website, recent articles on the company, their products/services, culture, mission statement and values. Familiarise yourself with the job description, but note that sometimes we don’t have too much information to pass onto you.

Cultural differences

As an expat it is also important to take cultural differences into consideration when you're interviewing. Below I have listed several important interview elements that can be very different.