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Finland: Interview Advice

by GoinGlobal

When interviewing in Finland, it is important to be able to thoroughly explain your achievements and strengths. However, using grandiose adjectives can be interpreted as lying. Display confidence without exaggerating to make a good impression. Be direct and concise and use the Finnish language if possible.

If there is more than one interview round, 3 to 10 candidates are generally screened in a group setting. Although interviews are typically organized separately for each applicant, sometimes group interviews are organized to get a better understanding of the candidates in a team situation. Being active in the group discussion is positive, as is listening to the others and involving them in the discussion.
Nowadays the first interview may be conducted by video over the Internet. This tool allows the recruiter to evaluate more applicants than via a time-consuming face-to-face interview. You will receive instructions by email about the video interview, which usually follows the same approach as a face-to-face interview.
The interview usually begins with the interviewer presenting the company and explaining what type of position they are in the process of filling. The interviewer will then ask you to talk about your background and work experience. Additional questions can be asked throughout the interview. Typically, employment-related negotiations get to the point very quickly, but it is best not to discuss salary or compensation benefit items early in the interview process.
In Finland, many people have not learned to ‘sell’ themselves; personal praise does not come naturally to Finns. It is to your benefit, however, to be able to thoroughly explain your achievements and strengths. Finns appreciate honesty in all forms, so using grandiose adjectives when describing yourself could be interpreted as lying. Being direct and concise, showing initiative in asking questions, displaying confidence without exaggerating and using the Finnish language, if possible, are all regarded positively.
The interviewer will be evaluating your personality and how you are likely to perform as part of a team. Often, assistants and lobby workers will be asked about the conduct of applicants when dealing with them, so be polite with everyone.
At the end of the interview, it is quite acceptable to ask about the next phase of the recruitment process.
After the first interview, approximately half of the interviewees will be chosen for a second interview. If a recruitment company is in charge of the recruitment, the second interview may be a group interview, where one of the participants is actually a recruitment consultant, whose true identity is not revealed. The other interviewees are not competitors to each other but are candidates in different recruitment projects.
When the interviews are done, it is very common today for an employer to send two to four final candidates for an aptitude assessment, which is carried out by an external recruitment agency. The purpose of the assessment is to help in the recruitment decision by examining the compatibility between the candidate’s capabilities and the hiring organization. You will typically be evaluated for motivation, efficiency and work methods, interpersonal and cooperation skills, and for other skills preferred by the company.
Remember that you are entitled by law to get oral feedback and/or a written report on the assessment evaluation even if you are not chosen for the job.


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