Let’s talk about job applications and interviews in this section
1) I have heard recommendations work best in Germany. Is it so?
As a couple, we have heard numerous people telling us that in Germany only recommendations work. They will let a job opening into the market only when they do not find anyone internally. But this is not 100% true. Internally means, they will first look for people inside the organization. They will put the job in the internal portal. If it does not get filled internally, they will start looking externally. In Germany people do not prefer to keep switching jobs all the time. So internal filling does not work all the time. Then the jobs come into the open market.
However, people already working in a particular company might come to know of any openings in their teams. But this cannot guarantee you a job. In my own case, few of my close friends are looking for opportunities. But my team has a different requirement altogether. So referring without relevance will not work.
2) How can I apply to jobs?
There are common websites like xing.de, LinkedIn.com, stepstone.de etc which can help you. Also the websites of the particular companies help best. Keep applying in both. In some cases you must apply in the company’s portal. Update the resume, cover letter and any other certifications if you have.
If you need to send a mail, the cover letter will be the body of the mail. The resume must be attached with the mail.
If you are in Germany, attend job fairs. Many man power consultants will collect your resume and they will keep offering jobs. This will help you stay alive in the job market. Though they offer only fixed term projects, this might be helpful to make a start.
There are a few consultants that offer such services from other countries too. Make sure to choose legitimate ones.
3) What happens next?
As far as our experience is concerned, the first call is generally over phone. Getting a mail before hand happens in most cases, sometimes not. The first call is to check if the skill sets are matching and the date of joining is feasible. Then selected candidates will be called to the personal interview.
4) How can I prepare for the interview?
Online videos help a lot. Look at mock interviews, learn how to present yourself and make sure your body language is as expected. Update yourself with the content needed for your domain. Certifications are a plus. International work experience is a plus.
There is a standard question at the end of every interview – “Do you have any questions” for which people generally tend to say no. Do not do that. Read about the company, ask them meaningful questions about their organization.
5) On the day of the interview..
If you are in Germany, it’s best to attend the interview in person. If you are seeking a job from outside Germany, try your best to travel to Germany. Skype interviews are fine, but results are less effective. If it is possible, try to schedule two or three interviews in a week and try to travel to Germany.
Give your best shot. Be positive. Be honest.
6) When will the results come?
The processing is generally slow. From the date of your interview, expect at least 3 weeks to get the result. Sometimes longer. In case they give you a deadline of 2 weeks and there is no response after 3 weeks, it is always nice to write a mail and ask them for an update, as politely as possible.
7) Will they look into my visa status?
Most of the organizations do look into the visa status. If you have a dependent Visa or Blue card, no problem at all. It means if your spouse is in Germany even on a on-site contract, you are eligible to work.
If you come to Germany on job search visa, the organization may or may not show willingness. Depends on how they perceive not having a valid work permit.
8) Is getting a visa difficult, once I get a job?
Not at all. It’s a very easy process. Once you have a valid work contract, simply submit the same with other basic documents in the embassy. You will receive the work visa in 2 weeks time. This can be done both inside Germany and from any other country. However the difficult thing is convincing the team that you will be able to get this process done. Generally, they are not willing enough to take this risk of giving an offer to someone who does not have a valid work visa.
But deter not. If your skill set is really good and if the project needs are high, this will not be a barrier.
9) Is it possible to do the whole process without coming to Germany?
Yes and No. Every case is unique. The best thing would be to do it from Germany. However there are quite some people who manage to get this done from other countries. Their strong selling points have been – German knowledge, working experience with German companies, having lived and worked in Germany in the past, apart from a strong competence in their domain.
Apart from this, there are general questions like – is coming to Germany a good choice? Is it easy to get a permanent resident status or are there issues like in USA? Similar question have been answered in Part 3 here