Are you looking for a job in Ireland? Did you recently lose your job due to tech layoffs? Or maybe you’re a new grad, looking to enter the job market for the first time? Or perhaps you’re from another country and you’re hoping to move and work in Ireland.   

The pandemic did change job hunting in Ireland and even how it is conducted (more Zoom interviews!) so it’s good to get a refresher in terms of the do’s and don’ts of job interview preparation.  

How to find jobs suited for you  

There are different ways you can find jobs in Ireland. Here are the most common ones: 

Networking 

The Irish value connections so if you’re meeting people through networking events, they are more likely to remember you rather than sending cold emails or messages on social media sites. 

Perhaps you were able to leave the event with a few business cards in hand. Once you narrow down your prospects, don’t hesitate to reach out to these new contacts. Just make sure to follow these tips when enquiring about jobs over the phone. 

Referrals  

If you already have built your network or you know someone from school or a previous workplace whose company is hiring, it would be best to ask them for a referral. Often, referral candidates are given priority since someone from the inside is already vouching for them.  

Make sure you do actually know the person referring you as some companies may require the referrer to prove that you have previously worked together and that they can attest to your work ethics.  

Online portals like Recruit Ireland 

Reputable sites like Recruit Ireland are good places to start looking for jobs especially if you’re looking for jobs in specific parts of Ireland as the website has location-based jobs queries. For example:  

After lockdown and with more people moving back to their home counties or wishing to work closer to where they live, this function on the website is especially useful.  

Tips for first time job seekers  

Are you a first time job seeker? Or is it your first time looking for a job in Ireland? While this task may seem daunting, here are a few tips to boost your career: 

Think about how your personality can impact your role 

There are jobs that require certain personality types. For example, a career in Sales and Marketing may entail people who enjoy socialising and building relationships.  

Know how to compromise 

Perhaps your salary range expectation is too high. Most new grads are offered a starting salary and it may not meet your expectations. As long as you’re not being shortchanged and your expected salary is within industry standard, perhaps you should consider compromising.  

Know what you want 

Starting a career or even immigrating into Ireland is already intimidating so it’s important to know what you want. Have a clear goal in mind. What do you want to achieve or learn? Can the company and role you’re eyeing help you achieve your goals?  

Stick to your values  

At the end of the day, we want to feel proud of ourselves and be content with the company where we’re working. This can only be achieved if our values align with the values of the company. Does the company commit to reducing carbon emissions by optimising its operations? Does the company have social responsibility initiatives? Or perhaps the company itself is working towards a cause you deeply care about?  

Make sure you do your research before applying to hundreds of companies in one go. Applying to a few, select companies is better especially if you have already filtered through the list. 

Tips for changing career paths  

Changing careers is difficult but if you’ve been wanting to make this move so that you can work at a job you’re passionate about, here are some tips:

Reflect on your career path 

Look back on the career you’ve had thus far and seek out transferable skills that you can include in your CV which may be relevant to your new role.  

Apply for certifications or take courses  

If you do not have enough skills to take on a new role, it’s best to learn new skills and get certified. This will make you more qualified for the new role.  

Seek advice from a career coach  

Each situation is different so a professional coach can help you jumpstart your career change. The career coach can also help you explore options as you navigate a new industry. 

Read other tips on how you can change your career path.   

How to write your CV 

Having a well-written CV that stands out will separate you from the rest of the candidates. And if you’re a fresh graduate, hoping to make a career change, or looking to work in Ireland but you’re currently in another country, you have to make a more compelling argument about why the company should hire you.  

How to write a CV for Ireland and Irish companies  

Having a clear format never goes out of style. There are templates you can find online but don’t be boxed in by these. If you’re applying for a creative position, you can customise and add a little flair to your own CV.  

Just make sure the descriptions of the past jobs you have included are relevant in the role. For example, you may be applying to be an executive in a bank. Perhaps you did a part-time job at a restaurant when you were a student. That is not relevant unless you did managerial tasks that will be helpful in your new role.   

Most Irish companies are also big on company culture. They would like to know how you can fit in. Include an interests and extracurricular activities section in your CV: Do you volunteer or do charity work? Do you play sports? Do you love organising events? These are helpful cues and possible conversation starters with the hiring managers. 

What skills to put on your CV 

The skills you put on your CV should be relevant to the job you are applying for. Forbes also shared a list of skills that will help you be competitive in 2023 and beyond: 

  • Adaptability 
  • Resilience and grit 
  • Communication skills 
  • Coding skills (for certain industries)  
  • Knowledge in using AI and machine learning (for certain industries)

Make sure to have a good combination of hard skills or knowledge-based skills and soft skills or those that allude more in terms of your character in the workplace. For example, if you’re aiming to work in a multicultural office, it would be good to include skills related to intercultural communication, etc. As Ireland is home to many of the EU headquarters of big tech companies, this skill will come in handy. Just make sure you do have this skill by taking online courses or practicing it in your current place of employment.  

How to write a cover letter  

A good cover letter should be concise, well-written, and focused on how your skills and experiences make you the best candidate for the job. It should also be tailored to the specific job and company you are applying to, and should leave the hiring manager with a positive impression of your abilities and potential fit for the organization. 

It should also be tailored to the specific job and company you are applying to, and should demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for the position. To write a good cover letter, start by addressing the hiring manager by their name and title, if possible. Then, briefly introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in the job and the company. 

Next, highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments that make you a strong candidate for the position. Be specific and provide examples to demonstrate how your qualifications match the job requirements. 

In the final paragraph, thank the hiring manager for considering your application and express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to interview for the position. Be sure to also include your contact information and a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” 

Check out other tips and templates on how to write a cover letter 

How to prepare for a job interview  

To prepare for a job interview, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about knowing what to answer but how to answer the questions. Confidence is key and first impressions usually last so you have to make a good first impression during those few, precious minutes of the interview. 

Before the interview, make sure you calm your pre-interview nerves. You can do this by researching a bit on who will likely interview you and anticipating and preparing for questions they will likely ask. 

To do this, you can actually take some online courses to help you land your dream job. Yes, you read that right. There are several short courses available on websites like Udemy that can help you prepare for job interviews  

What questions to ask in an interview 

Sometimes, you will make an impression on recruiters if you ask the right question. So when it comes to that part of the interview, here are several questions you should ask that show dedication to the role and long-term planning: 

  • What are your expectations for me in this role? / What does success look like in terms of performance?  
  • What’s the most important thing I should accomplish in the first 90 days? 
  • What’s the performance review process like here?  
  • What was the career progression like of someone who took on this role previously?

Aside from this, you should also ask questions that will help you decide if this is a company you would like to work for. Here are some examples:  

  • Describe the work culture in this office.  
  • Do you sponsor work permits? 
  • Do you help non-Irish workers process visa applications?
  • What’s your policy on remote working? 

What to wear to an interview  

Knowing what to wear to an interview has changed after lockdown. With online interviews, perhaps you’re considering just finding a good top to wear and just wearing your PJs down there.  

But getting dressed from head to toe even in an online interview may get you in the right headspace for the Q&A.  

In face-to-face job interviews, the classic never fails: smart slacks or dark coloured jeans, tailored jeans for men and knee length or midi skirt with a well-fitting blouse for women. Avoid anything too sexy but don’t hesitate to show off your personality too, especially if the role you’re applying for is in the creative industry.  

There is something to be said about colour psychology as well. Many experts recommend neutral colours and blue, which is associated with trustworthiness.  

How to answer interview questions  

It is important to prepare for your interview by practicing in the mirror and anticipating some standard or classic job interview questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself. 
  • When was the last time you experienced a challenge at your previous job or at school and how did you handle it? 
  • Why should we hire you?

They could also give you situations you may face in the role and ask you how you would handle it. A common answering technique is called the STAR method which stands for:

  • Situation – Explain or elaborate on the situation 
  • Task – What needed to be done? What was the goal?
  • Action – What action should you take?
  • Result – What are the expected results?

Aside from answering the questions, another thing you have to consider is how you can show your passion in an interview. It’s not just about your vibe or attitude, but also about how you present yourself and how excited you are about the work you have done and work you’re about to do.

We hope those tips are helpful as you prepare for your next job interview. Don’t forget to check out the different recruitment opportunities with Recruit Ireland: