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Hiring process in Germany: A step-by-step guide

Looking for a job as an expat or a recent graduate in Germany comes with its own challenges.

Not being fully aware of the recruitment process in Germany and what the recruiters expect from you at each step of the process can make your job search a lot more difficult than it should be.

In this article, we give you a step-by-step guide into the hiring process in Germany.

1. Apply with well-written CV

The first step in any job application process is to apply for the position with all the documents the company asked for. Typically, this includes your CV or resume and a cover letter. If submitting a portfolio or other work samples is mentioned in the job posting, make sure to follow these instructions.

Tip: Check out Asteroid’s resources to learn more about how to write a perfect CV.

2. Call for interview

As a standard practice, you receive a confirmation from the company acknowledging your application. In most cases, this is an automated email but in some cases, you can expect to hear directly from the HR manager. After reviewing your CV and cover letter, the first step in the hiring process is a call for an interview. This interview may either be a video or a telephonic interview.

In this first-round interview typically with the HR manager, the candidate is required to introduce themselves, speak about past work experience and discuss the current role in detail. Alternatively, the interview may be with a recruiting partner, before scheduling an interview with members of the company. The first round interview is crucial because it is the candidate’s chance to make a good first impression and convince the interviewer that they are qualified to do the job.

Tip: Make sure to send a thank you email to your interviewer reiterating your interest in the position.

3. Assignment

Once you crack the first-round interview, the next step is generally a take-home assignment. This assignment will be in line with the tasks you are expected to perform in the role and is your chance to showcase how well you can get the job done. At this stage, the interviewer assesses your working style and how you approach the task. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your interviewer for clarification.

4. Technical interview

The next step in the recruitment process is a technical interview. In this second-round interview, the candidate speaks to a senior employee from the concerned department. In this round the candidate is expected to answer technical questions pertaining to the area of work. It is here that the candidate gets a chance to showcase their expertise and knowledge of the subject.

Tip: Be ready to also discuss the task you completed in the previous round and give and receive feedback.

5. Third-round interview/ Cultural fit interview

Whether or not there’s a third-round interview depends on the company. If the company decides to schedule this, it means that you will speak with either the head of the department you’re applying to, or with someone from the management. At this stage, the interviewer is convinced of your credentials but wants to understand your plans for the company and specifically for the role you applied for.

Alternatively, the company may also decide to schedule a cultural fit interview to ensure that you identify with the values and goals of the company.

6. Meet the team (Optional)

While this step is not common, some companies insist that this helps them choose the best candidate not just for the role, but also for the team. At this stage, you meet your potential colleagues with whom you are expected to closely work on a daily basis. This is a good opportunity for you and the team members to get to know one another. The objective of this interview is to understand the group dynamics and how well (or not) the candidate fits into the team.

7. References

Many companies ask the candidates to submit a list of references either at the time of application or later in the process. Choose your references carefully, since they are required to answer elaborately about your working style and general skills and behaviors.

8. Job offer

Once you have aced all the previous rounds and the company is convinced that you’re the best candidate for the job, the HR representative extends an official employment offer. At this stage, you will receive an overview of other particulars, such as salary and other benefits. Depending on the company, you normally get a few days to either accept or pass the offer.

9. Employment contract

If you decide to accept the offer, you receive the job contract that finally makes it official! Read the contract thoroughly before signing and if you still have concerns, seek the help of a lawyer to go over the contract. Also discuss with the HR department if you have any questions or concerns.

We hope you now have a better idea of the hiring process in Germany and can be better prepared to ace them! Good luck!

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