Job interview in the globalized world of work: applicant matching and foreign language skills


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Text comes from: ERFOLGSERPROBTE EINSTELLUNGSINTERVIEWS: Wie Sie mit professionellen Fragen die passenden Mitarbeiter finden (2016) from Uta Rohrschneider, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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Increasing globalization and networking has made the world feel smaller. Lots Company work with international clients of different cultures. Of course, the same is expected of employees. Job interview in the globalized world of work: applicant matching and foreign language skills Job002


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Uta Rohrschneider UtaUta Rohrschneider is Managing Partner of grow.up. Management consulting.

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What do you expect from your employees?

Being able to communicate with customers or colleagues from foreign branches in at least one foreign language is often a requirement for a new job.

Similarly, it is now expected that employees can move around the world without problems, so they can adapt to different cultures and respond adequately to cultural differences and practices.

Job interview in a foreign language

If recruiters want to make sure that their candidate actually speaks a language, it makes sense to do at least part of the interview in that language.

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This gives you a precise idea of ​​whether the language skills meet your requirements. But that's not enough: change your perspective: put yourself in the situation of having to fill an important position. How do you learn the necessary things from the applicant?

Learn more from the applicant

The following questions will give you an insight into how your applicant is structured with regard to the topic of internationality and intercultural competence:

  • How would you describe your international or intercultural competence? (To give concrete examples)
  • What international experiences did you make? How did you do that? / What did you learn?
  • How often have you worked so far in an international context, where communication has not taken place in German?
  • How have you worked with international clients in the past? (Let specific examples be mentioned)
  • How important is it for you to work internationally / with international customers?

The job that suits me

Young employees attach great importance to personal development and the opportunity to develop and be noticed individually. This is not excess, it is a question of habit. They often report that they are looking for one Company or a job that suits you, almost as if it were tailored to you personally.

This requirement that the profession should be suitable for one's own life must not be understood as the excessiveness of young employees. It is simply due to the fact that generation Y has been used to it since early childhood that things can be individually adapted to them.

What are the requirements of the employee?

For this reason it is very important when selecting young employees to ask exactly what requirements they have on your company.

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  • What is their respective life situation to which your body should fit?
  • What do they find appropriate for themselves?

The employee has to fit in the job

An examination of the fit is therefore based on the fact that you can assess whether the position fits your life today by asking the current life situation of your candidate. But it is not just for the candidate that the position must be appropriate. The respective life situation of the candidate must also be suitable for you and your company.

If you are looking for a person for a position that always involves a high level of travel, it makes sense to make this clear in the selection interview to see if the candidate has made himself aware of this and if he is interested in the job even under this condition ,

How to find out what your candidate wants

Below you will find some sample questions to find the requirements that a candidate presents:

  • What expectations / wishes do you have for your future employer so that the job suits you / your current life situation?
  • What does an optimal working week look like for you?
  • What are the basic conditions of an activity in our company that are motivating / demotivating for you?
  • Under which working conditions are you capable of maximum performance?
  • What conditions did you lack for your professional satisfaction in the past?
  • How does an optimal workplace look for you (eg working hours, equipment etc.)

Technical development: Rasant!

The technical development of the past twenty years has advanced rapidly. For personnel, it is important to find out in the interview: What technical skills does the applicant bring?

Considering the spread of the mobile phone since 1990 alone, an increase of formerly about a quarter million connections in Germany is currently shown on 100 million connections. The trend goes to the second or third mobile phone.

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Developments on the Internet, which have become indispensable in today's professional life, have been similarly rapid: eMail, Google or Wikipedia, just to name a few. Not to mention laptops, mobile internet etc. The technical world of 1990 has only partly to do with the technical world of today.

How to find out how technically savvy your applicant is

To find out what skills and experiences your candidate has with the Internet and in dealing with technical devices and whether he uses them in the way your company wants, you can ask them some of the following questions:

  • How do you know about using XY?
  • Do you own XY for your private use?
  • Have you already used XY with another employer?
  • What are your requirements for the technical equipment at your workplace?
  • Which technical devices do you need to be able to work well?
  • What social networks do you use on the Internet?
  • What is your experience with XY?
  • What programs do you use to make XY?

Matching must be right!

Not for all young applicants, these four subjects will be of equal importance. There will also be applicants from other generations for whom these topics are particularly relevant.

However, in order to ensure a good position, you can always consider how your company is dealing with these four topics and what offers and opportunities exist in the company. Please inform the applicants. So give you a realistic insight into their potential field of activity.

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