Job interviews can be stressful at the best of times, but a bit of foresight, and a lot of remembering that the Maltese are creatures of habit, can give you a serious edge before you sit (awkwardly) in front of your future employers.
Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re going for a job interview in Malta, brought to you with a little help from the guys at Keepmeposted.
1. Remember Maltese traffic, and how shit it can be
It’s always good to plan ahead when going for an interview, but in Malta it’s an absolute necessity. The traffic tends to be heavy, but more importantly it’s extremely unpredictable. Some days you travel across the island in 40 minutes, others it takes you half an hour just to leave your street. Getting a lift or a taxi will give you time to prepare yourself instead of avoiding cars and swearing at other drivers.
2. Clean up your social pages
Springclean your drunken photos, naked selfies and awkward fancy dress party pics. It won’t help if your future employer recognises you from that NSFW video he shared on Whatsapp with the rest of the board of directors. If you’re unfortunate enough to have already gone viral for all the wrong reasons, your only option is to embrace it, move on and hope they can do the same. Turn your handshake with a Shower Time Bro high-five.
3. Sweating is a thing that will happen
And that’s totally OK. No employer is going to judge you for having pores that work. That being said, if you’re aware of the fact that you’re a particularly heavy sweater, wear clothes that don’t show off your perspiration skills. Also, maybe wipe your hands before shaking the CEO’s.
4. Everyone knows everyone, so avoid bitching
If your potential employer isn’t friends with your ex boss, they’re probably related to them. It’s Malta and as much as we like to pretend we don’t know everyone, in reality (and especially in work circles) we do. Being the bigger person is always better, so never be seen to be bitching.
5. Cut out all talk of politics
Maltese people tend to feel very strongly about supporting one side or the other; you may think you’ve sussed out what your boss’s political colours may be, but you can never be sure how the rest of the team feels. If for some reason politics is brought up, avoid “għax aħna” or “għax intom” – keep it neutral.
6. Dress for the job you want, not for the weather we have
Yes, summer in Malta can be unbearable, but then again so is the rest of the year. You can’t really expect a corporate company to be OK with you interviewing in a singlet and flip-flops just because it’s a sunny day in Malta. If the job demands a bit of creativity, don’t be afraid to dress down, just make sure you’ve got the skills to back up your style. Also, don’t dress desperately.
7. Google is your friend
Please research the company you’re planning to join. There is nothing more awkward for you (and them) than finding out you don’t know the basics of the company’s work. There’s no need to hack into their internal databases, but a quick scan of their website/social media should be enough. A good tip is to broaden your search to any international platform they might have. This could give you some good insight into their brand positioning.
Just don’t take it too far
8. “Sellili għall-mama”
No, we’re not implying you should rely on nepotism, but doing some digging and finding a mutual connection with someone in the company could give you the edge you need. Obviously make sure it’s someone reputable not your dodgiest uncle.
Also, try to think of a subtle way to bring it up, as opposed to blurting out “I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH YOUR COUSIN” in a panic.
9. Remember, you’re not the only one interviewing
Make sure you’re unique but don’t ever cross the line. Be remembered for the right reasons, but be remembered. Don’t just expect you’ll get the job because you think you’re qualified. Add something extra, a bit of personality or just tell a great story and make them laugh. Confidence is key. Remember the people interviewing you could become your colleagues, so don’t just be a total suck up from the get go.