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Excerpted from the Guatemala Career Guide

In general, it takes good personal marketing through a résumé (usually including LinkedIn and Twitter as an extension of its contents), networking or a combination of both to secure a job interview in Guatemala. An interview presents a great opportunity to reinforce the list of personal attributes in your résumé, and even expand on it as you explain to the employer the competitive advantage and the value you would bring to the company.

Pre-Interview Preparation

As in the rest of Latin America, traditional interviews (face to face and by appointment) are very common in Guatemala. The usual setting is a desk with the interviewer on one side and the job candidate on the other. Exceptions to this practice are, however, becoming increasingly common, and technology is now being used to interview candidates. For example, you may be interviewed by phone, Skype, GoToMeeting, MSN or videoconference. You may meet the interviewer in an informal setting, such as a restaurant, cocktail lounge, job and product fair, or a facilities tours. The interview may include two, three or even more interviewers (panel style), or it may involve problem-solving simulation through written or live case studies.

Interview Conduct

Guatemala shares Latin America’s lack of emphasis on punctuality. A 20-minute or even longer wait can be expected. For your personal marketing purposes, and specifically for interview purposes, being late is highly disqualifying. It is better to arrive early and wait.

In almost every case, formal attire is required for interviews; i.e., a suit for men and the equivalent dress for women. While this is true for most Latin American countries, it is especially so for Guatemala, even if you are applying for a position in which you would never need such clothes.

The Interview

Most interviews last between 30 and 60 minutes. However, some companies give a short initial interview, while others last 90 or more minutes. Interview length usually depends on the interviewers and the degree of attention the candidate attracts. Human resource representatives usually take less time conducting an interview than unit heads, managers, presidents and CEOs. This, however, is not a general rule and the first interview can be conducted by a human resource representative or by the company owner.

This is just a sample of what you'll find in the complete Guatemala guide.



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