I’ve done my fair share of interviews in Stockholm. It is especially fun because as a foreigner, you are usually the “interesting” one. And being the interesting one, means being asked lots of questions.
As Americans, we’re prepared for zillions of interview questions and situations. Swedish interviews are much more relaxed and more about personality than Mensa brain game questions. Here is small cheat sheet on job interview tips in Sweden if you are new to the game.
There is also that list of questions that are illegal (or highly inappropriate) to ask in an American job interview. Never fear, being Sweden, no one cares, interviewers ask them anyway. As of yet, I have not figured if these interview questions are illegal in Sweden as well, but since most interviewers asked me, they must be at least appropriate.
- Are you married, divorced, separated, engaged, widowed, etc?
- What is your nationality?
- Where were you born?
- What is your mother tongue?
- How did you acquire the ability to speak, read or write a foreign language? Hahaha, I think everyone here asks “how did you learn Swedish?”
- How did you acquire familiarity with a foreign country?
- What language is spoken in your home?
- How old are you?
- Do you own or rent your home?
- Do you live in town?
- With whom do you live?
- Are you a citizen of Sweden?
In Sweden, as a foreigner in an interview, these questions seem innocuous. In the United States they would be illegal to ask. Even on the Swedish CV, you provide information that you normally would not in the United States (e.g. photo, gender, citizenship status, birthday).
If you are asked any of these questions in Sweden, smile, you are in sweden!