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Useful Tips

How to dress for your job interview in Israel

Congratulations! You have a job interview!

I am sure you've researched the company thoroughly (using LinkedIn, Glassdoor, the Company website etc.), and you have written and rehearsed your answers to dozens of interview questions.  Now all you need to know is what to wear.

While the dress code in Israel's workplace is far more relaxed than in other countries, as a rule of thumb, my advice is – always dress one up from whatever is customary. It may be alright for employees of that company to come to work in shorts and sandals, you – however - should not. You may do so once you are hired but for the interview you want to make the best impression you can.

The safest choice is formal button-down shirt and slacks for men (and a jacket if you are interviewing for a managerial position) and a blouse and slacks or a skirt for women, if you choose to wear a dress choose one with sleeves and long enough you don’t have a problem sitting down comfortably – always err on the side of conservatism rather than the opposite.

 

To make an informed decision, ask yourself these questions:

1.  What kind of job am I applying for?  Is it an executive position, managerial or will I be a regular staff member?

2.  Who is the company?  Are they an international concern, a start-up or just a small local business?

3.  Who will be interviewing me?  Am I meeting a representative from the Human Resources department, my professional supervisor or am I meeting with senior management?

4.  Do I understand my employer's needs?  Will I be working face-to-face with the public?

5.  Does the company have its own dress code? Are they likely to expect workers to wear a uniform? Do they work with the religious community who expect conservative dress?

The weather will also influence your clothing choice, regardless the temperatures, you must dress professionally.

 

Interview dress tips for men

  • Be clean shaven or, if you sport a beard, make sure it is well trimmed and looks well cared for.
  • Your shoes tell a prospective employer a lot about you and your attention to detail – make sure they are clean and polished. No sandals or sneakers!
  • If you are applying for an executive or managerial position wear a jacket with a button-down formal shirt. Never push your jacket sleeves up like Don Johnson did in the '80s.
  • If you are applying for a job with a high level of responsibility, no need for a suit - a button down formal shirt, with tailored pants is acceptable.  Only keep the very top button of your shirt open.
  • If a less formal shirt is appropriate, a polo shirt is always a good choice. Avoid stripes and bold prints.
  • Make sure your clothing is clean and that shirts and pants have been pressed and ironed.
  • The hem length of your pants should go below your ankles but never dragging on, or touching the ground.  No frayed hems.
  • Torn or fraying jeans, even if they are in fashion, are not acceptable. No hip-hop dress, or rapper style clothing, underwear should not be visible above the belt line.
  • Brown, black, grey or navy blue (matching) socks to match your pants.  
  • Wear a plain leather belt that matches the color of your pants.

 

Interview dress tips for women

  • The length of a skirt has a significant meaning in Israel (especially in the religious community) NO mini-skirts.  Be modest but not extreme.
  • If you wear slacks make sure they are properly tailored and fit well.  No shorts, tight or baggy pants even if they are fashionable. A pant-suit is appropriate if you are applying for an executive or managerial position.
  • Sleeveless shirts, T's and tank-tops are not okay. A blouse in a silky fabric, cotton or chiffon (not see-through though) works well.
  • Bold prints, shiny and brightly colored fabrics are a distraction.
  • Shoes are preferable to sandals although a nice pair of peep-toes or high heeled sandals can be ok too.  No Crocs, thong sandals or beach shoes.
  • Belts and accessories can be fun but make sure they are simple and don't get overdo it.
  • From top to bottom, your undergarments should not peek out.

Colors to wear to your interview

Men and women;

  • Unless you are interviewing for a job in the fashion industry and need to make a fashion statement, go with conservative clothes and colors.
  • White or light blue classic, tailored shirts, for men and for women are best.  Pastels for women are also appropriate.
  • Black or brown shoes are best.

Remember you have only one chance to make a good first impression.  You will not get a second chance to rectify your dress mistake.

Good luck!


The Interview Process in Israel from the Oleh’s Point of View

 
Steve H. made Aliyah with his family in August 2018. 
Following a very pro-active and intense job search, he was recently accepted to one of Israel’s large high-tech companies.
We asked him to give us a summary of his interview process and some tips he found useful.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The interview process begins with the CV. Israel has clearly defined rules around CV’s and Michal and Yael from Telfed assisted me greatly to makes sure it conforms to the standards such as one page, using correct terminology, simple sentence structure etc. 
 
Most HR companies in Israel use software to filter through CV’s and present HR with the ones that are the best fit for the role. This means every CV submitted has to be worded carefully with keywords for the software to identify or it will not be viewed.
 
When HR call to set up an interview time ask them what the interview will be like. They usually are happy to say what to expect and it helped me prepare. (One interview I was told in advance I was doing riddles and puzzles and with that knowledge, I spent time practicing)
 
Getting ready for the interview is very important. On average, I would spend about 8 – 10 hours per interview. 
 
For me it was a four-stage process:
 
1. The first thing I did was search the internet for common HR questions. I took about 20 and wrote down scripted answers. This really helped me frame my answers in a positive and concise manner. As my interviews were in English with people who do not speak English as a first language, having well worded answers allowed me to convey my thoughts very simply but convincingly at the same time. Before each interview, I memorized the answers.
Some of the typical HR questions included:
i. Strengths and weaknesses
ii. How I handled conflict with a superior / subordinate
iii. What would my former colleagues say about me now that I no longer work there
 
2. The next step for me was to learn the company and the role. I studied the websites, found press releases and watched YouTube videos to allow me to understand who they are and what they do. I also looked at competitors to ensure I knew what made their business different. This helped me prepare for the unscripted parts of the interview.
 
3. The third and most important step - preparing a strong sales pitch. What I noticed early on is that experience is important but the interviewer is more interested how I could use my experience in the role I was applying for. So having all the information from the website, YouTube etc. I scripted more answers detailing how my experience would assist in the role. 
 
4. Lastly I refreshed myself on body language, how to sit, where to position my hands, not to slouch etc.
 
Some valuable advice I received from those who are more experienced than me:
 
1. Always ask the interviewer questions at the end of the interview. It shows you are interested and want as much information as possible. I made a list of about 20 questions that I had with me in the interview and made sure to ask a few. Some of these included:
a. What about my CV interested you. (This is a gem because I knew if I made a next round interview why they were keen on me)
b. What personality traits are you looking for? (also good for framing answers in round 2)
c. How will I know if I am succeeding in the role?
d. What is the culture of the department / company 
 
2. If the interview is not successful, ask HR to be honest why. I learned a few things through this and was able to fix it next time round.

 

The Israeli job market

Israel employs the highest number of scientists per capita in the world, and it competes internationally in terms of innovation. With a highly-motivated and talented workforce, the Israeli job market is competitive.

Israel exports many high-end technologies and develops computer hardware, software and medical products. In addition to exportation, other important parts of Israel's economy include agriculture, finances, industry, telecommunications and tourism. Most jobs are in computer engineering, finances, research, medical and private professional services.

The Israeli job market is competitive, and more than a fifth of the population of Israel has a degree of some kind, and foreigners who do not have a university degree might not find a job easily. You will have to put a lot of effort into finding a job in Israel.

New olim find jobs in industries such as medicine, law, business, marketing, education and technology. The most popular jobs for foreigners are in the high-tech industry, which means that computer programmers and electrical engineers should be able to find jobs fairly easily. Other popular jobs for foreigners include sales and marketing personnel, accountants and financial representatives.

In professions like marketing, the more languages you speak (in addition to Hebrew and English), the more likely you will be hired.

Certified jobs in Israel

Most professions in Europe and North America are accepted in Israel. In many professions, you must be certified to be legally employed (e.g. nurse, lawyer, real estate agent).

Certification exams are difficult and are held in Israel, If you are thinking about aliyah, you may take your examination before you register for immigration.

For more information on your profession's certification requirements, consult our website.

Do you need to speak Hebrew?

If you apply to a foreign company, you might get a job without knowing Hebrew. Technical companies and electronics developers might hire you because much of the computer industry works in English. However, it is important to know Hebrew to communicate with your co-workers. Lack of Hebrew can be an obstacle and may create a glass ceiling that will prevent you from more advanced positions such as Team Leader etc.

Teaching English

Israel has a shortage of English teachers, and becoming an English teacher is a popular way for olim to get a job in Israel.

 

You need to be certified before you can be a teacher. Certificates are obtained from educational schools and the Ministry of Education has special fast-track programs to retrain academics and experienced teachers. Israel also accepts teaching certificates like the ones given by TEFL and TESOL.

 

Adapting your CV to Israeli Standards:

To enlarge page 1, Click HERE

To enlarge page 2, Click HERE. 

To enlarge page 3, Click HERE.

 

The Journey of your Resume:

 

 

 

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