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Old 01.11.2012, 00:01
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Day long interview for technician, normal?

So,

After sending out maybe 10 CV's for a technician/electromekaniker position I got a call today for an interview. Sweet.

My question is, they want me to work for 1 full day. 7am to 5pm. This is to see if I would be a fit for the position and get along with the other techs. The job is working on servicing mechanical and electrical systems on utility vehicles and trucks. Pretty cool that I've got an interview so technically soon.

And they didn't seem to mind that meine Deutsch ist schlecht. I don't say that though, I come off with "Pardon, Ich spreche Bissen Deutsch. Ich bin Deutsch lernen." which usually lets me off the hook with the grammar.

Anyway, back to the question...

Is this not unheard of in Switzerland? A full day test/interview? I can see their mentality but maybe it's normal here? Even if I don't get paid for the day, who cares if I get the 100% job. Pretty stoked but nervous.

Any info and tips would be awesome. Interview is next week Tuesday. Wish me luck!
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Last edited by Diego Knyte; 01.11.2012 at 00:02. Reason: clairity
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Old 01.11.2012, 00:09
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

It is called a schnuppertag and it is something very normal here. Here is a good translation I have found:

A Schnuppertag is an informal opportunity to get to know your potential employer (literally, you get to "sniff around"). The closest US equivalent would probably be s.th. along the lines of "an Open House for potential employees" or a "Get Acquainted Day". Another possibility might be to paraphrase, "a day during which you will have the opportunity to get to know us [become acquainted with us]".
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Old 01.11.2012, 00:11
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

As a matter of fact, we did this recentlywith someone... they had travelled a fairly long way to come for the interview, so we just slotted them in to observe and work for the day, and as you say, see if they fitted in to the team. And similar to your case, issues with language and whether the person had the confidence/adaptabilitity/basic understanding to get by...

Language can be hard to gauge in an interview because people generally under-perform if they are nervous, whereas in a more relaxed work environment you soon discover whether they have the basic understanding, are confident to communicate, and will ask questions (very important!) to clarify when they don't understand or are unsure if they understood correctly....
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Old 01.11.2012, 00:30
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

Sounds like a good idea to me, if you consider the whole thing to be a process where each of the parties involved needs to find things out about the other.

Over a full day, you will get a much better feeling for the company and they will get a much better feeling for you than in a one-hour interview. If you are good and they are good, it will be to your advantage.
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Old 01.11.2012, 07:39
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

It is fairly usual.

Some companies abuse it though. My son spent all day carrying heavy drums of cable up 4 floors, no lift, on a building site. They gave him CHF 15 for lunch.
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Old 01.11.2012, 08:13
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

Gives you a chance to get to get to know them too, maybe you don't like the way they work.
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Old 01.11.2012, 09:15
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

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Any info and tips would be awesome. Interview is next week Tuesday. Wish me luck!
Don't have any info or tips, BUT I will wish you the best of luck
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Old 01.11.2012, 09:49
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

I did a Schnuppertag when I was first here. Unfortunately I didn't get the position because even though they were impressed with my technical skills and knowledge the role did require German, and at that stage anything beyond "Ich bin Slaphead" put me out of my depth.

The company called me about 4 months later saying that they had a position for me where German wasn't that important, but by then I'd found another job with better pay than they were offering.

It's worthwhile doing as it gives you and the company a greater insight into each other, rather than just sitting in an office answering and asking questions.
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Old 01.11.2012, 10:17
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

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Anyway, back to the question...

Is this not unheard of in Switzerland? A full day test/interview? I can see their mentality but maybe it's normal here? Even if I don't get paid for the day, who cares if I get the 100% job. Pretty stoked but nervous.
My first interview here consisted of 9 individual interviews spread over one full day and the following morning.

I'll admit that my case was the exception though, I had to fly from Australia, so they didn't want to have to bring me back for the second, third rounds etc.

So you can add a return flight of almost 30hrs to the above interview time frame and you will understand what sort of condition I was in when it was over.




but I got the job !!!
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Old 01.11.2012, 10:26
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Re: Day long interview for technician, normal?

Thanks guys, sounds perfectly reasonable. Haven't really heard of this in the states.

Pardon, still groggy as I was awoke with another call-back from another employer (resume #2 sent out). They want to do this schnuppertag thing on Monday! Wow. Heh, nothing like trying to speak German just after waking up. Talk about schlecht. Heh, still worked somehow.

When it rains eh?...
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