ACCESS NL > Dual careers in the Netherlands > Working in the Netherlands > Finding a job in the Netherlands > What steps should I take to prepare myself for my interview?

Finding a job in the Netherlands

I will be relocating to the Netherlands or I am new to the Netherlands and have yet to find work. I don’t speak Dutch and would be happy to receive any advice from you with regards to employment possibilities and opportunities in the Netherlands.

What kind of CV and cover letter is customary to support job applications in the Netherlands?

What steps should I take to prepare myself for my interview?

Here are some useful tips for preparing for an interview. Some may be obvious and some may be different from the way you would prepare yourself in your own country:

  • Know the exact name, place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and correct pronunciation, and his/her title
  • Research the company, products/services, growth and potential growth in the future
  • Refresh your memory on the facts and figures of your present employer and former employers
  • Prepare the questions you will ask during the interview; the interview is about input and feedback from both you and the interviewer
  • Arrive on time – this is very important in the Netherlands
  • While the Dutch may appear to be very informal in their dress and appearance, it is still recommended to take care of your own appearance when attending an interview
  • Don’t forget the importance of a firm handshake and eye contact when meeting your interviewer(s)
  • It may help you to prepare yourself by knowing about the person(s) who will be interviewing you, so look them up on LinkedIn

In the job interview, the emphasis is on your motivation. You may be asked questions such as why you chose that particular company or to name your skills and strengths, but also mention some of your less strong points and skills you do not possess. Give examples that demonstrate your skills and strengths (these are called competency-based questions) and be also prepared to answer questions about personal matters like hobbies and social engagement.

You will usually be interviewed by one or two people. Applicants often have to attend two or even three interviews. At the end of the interview, it is common for you to ask some questions.

During the interview:


  • Dress formally in business wear – although the Dutch tend to dress informally, an applicant should always be formally dressed
  • Be aware of your body language
  • Make eye contact when talking to the interviewer

Do not

  • Answer with a simple yes or no but also do not over-answer questions
  • Make negative remarks about your present or former employers
  • Inquire about salary or other remuneration during your first interview unless the interviewer mentions it first
  • Be offended when asked about your private life (employers search for long-term commitment)

Can I get some support and advice in looking for a job in the Netherlands?

How can I find an internship?

Where can I find information about international jobs in the Netherlands?

Where can I find job openings for students?

Will I be paid during my internship?