Successful job interview in Estonia


passing a job interview in Estonia can be a stressful moment, especially you are not familiar with the cultural and professional codes of the country.

How to successfully pass a job interview in Estonia ?

What happens during the interview ?

What are the do's and don'ts during a job interview in Estonia : what to say or not, what to wear, how to behave ?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience with us !


How do you successfully pass a job interview in Estonia?

It depends solely on the position and it depends heavily on the interviewer. Its difficult to really know what to expect from the person interested in your CV. A few bottom-line rules stand out. First: Dress is foremost the most important aspect of impression for an Estonian interviewer. Estonian business culture has a huge delusion when it comes to dress. If you dress in business fashion, it is a dictator of your personal success. In Estonia, image is absolutely everything. You can be the worst employee in the world, but as long as you know how to dress you'll make a good impression in the interview. Second: Mannerisms... During the interview, do not flail your arms around like an upset Italian chef who overcooked the meatballs for his spaghetti. Although this may express traits of extroversion and personality, in some interviews your setting yourself up for the perception of a lack of self-control in a business environment. Third: Speak softly, concisely, and clearly. In the conversation, do not put yourself on a peda-stool unless you have the hard physical proof to back-up your claim. There are some fine-lines in the working environment, but my basic advice is to be calm, confident, and give only straight-talk. In Estonia, companies normally do not gobbly-gook and fillers when you talk about your achievements or experience.

What happens during the interview?

It is usually the same old questions any person undergoes at any interview. Normally, interviews take place at lunch out somewhere, and in other cases at a company. When asked about your salary requirements as a foreigner, you must be wary that salaries are very low here. It is reasonable to ask in Estonia, Estonian average salary +20-30%. In this case you know what to ask for with the majority of jobs requiring a bachelor degree. This is crucial, because you are here for the experience, not the salary. If an Estonian wants to hire you, he/she usually questions why the heck are you in Estonia.

What are the do's and don'ts during a job interview in Estonia : what to say or not, what to wear, how to behave ?

I answered this one above in the first question

Hi cjacobs86!

Thanks a lot for your help ;)


hi Chris! I've seen you've already met the estonian employers and their "modus-operandi" :)
I could also add that the feed-back during an interview is Zero, so don't even think to expect something(you're in a nordic country after all) ;)
Usually if you are chosen for the job, after the interview, you'll get the notice quickly.

That is generally the sum up of everything.
I wouldn't necessarily say feedback is zero during interviews, but in general terms, that statement has some truth.

From a business-culture standpoint, I notice that the interview process is conducted in a manner of extreme professionalism and efficiency. Some people will find this process intimidating, simply on the fact that in many cases the interview process disambiguates the personal aspect of an potential employee to the role of a professional. That is why I mention image and mannerism as the most important thing to denote for the majority of professional positions on first impression. In my Estonian employer, personal questions are not important, but if one wishes to express personality, image and composure will speak for itself.

I simply find interviews in my home (the US) more personally and interactively engaged, although a bit more bureaucratic. Of course the professional aspect comes with the position applied for.

My conclusions are drawn from cultural difference, and as it comes as no surprise to myself, I see a lot of Estonian employers focus into international sales. A lot of companies around here hire foreign sales professionals, on the basis that it adds the "personal" side to the company needed to conduct international business, which on occasion a number of local employees lack. (Do not take that statement entirely seriously, only a broad generalization).

The Nordic areas certainly have their differences in the business communication area, and it is very interesting to be a part of.

As an  employer Im absoulutely  agree with cjacobs86.

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