New Job in Denmark

How can you apply for a job in Denmark? What can you expect in an interview? And what happens afterwards? Learn more about how to apply (and get) a job in Denmark.

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Job-seeking

Applying for a job in Denmark normally consists of sending an application with your CV – both are important, and should complement each other.

An application will be your first contact with a company, and thus your chance to convince them that you are the candidate they are looking for. That's why it's important that your application and CV are well-written, brief and precise, as you only have a very brief window to impress.

Your application must ensure that you win an interview, but must also provide the basis for that interview. That's why you should always be able to build on what you have written if invited to an interview, and preferably to provide examples of how you have done a job, acted in certain situations and how your professional and personal skills come into play in your work.


Research and aim carefully

It's a good idea to do thorough research when applying for a job, so that you can customise your application and CV to the company you are applying to. It's important that your application sets out precisely what it is that made you apply for this particular job. You should also consider which general qualifications and personal qualities you have made use of in previous jobs – and how they fulfil the needs of this company.

Finish off your CV by writing that you can provide references if required. Avoid writing the name and contact details of those references, as it will be best if you talk to them before they might be contacted.


Want to know more?

Find more inspiration and get useful feedback on your job application:

See examples of applications and CVs at Work in Denmark

Get feedback on your application and CV within 24 hours

Before an interview

Prepare yourself carefully for an interview, as it will help you present a serious, professional impression. Decide what you want to say at an interview, so that you can make your most important points.

If you need input before attending a job interview, we offer a free career interview with one of our career consultants.

Book a free career interview


Prepare a short presentation on yourself

Make sure you prepare a short presentation on yourself before your interview that you can present in a series of short, punchy statements – which you can of course build on if you need to. A lot of emphasis is placed on personal and professional skills in Denmark, so your presentation ought to demonstrate both.

What you might prepare:

  • What are the three most important things the interview panel ought to know about you in relation to the job?
  • What relevant experience have you got?
  • Which professional and personal skills do you believe are the most relevant in relation to the job?

Your presentation ought to last 1-1½ minutes, and should neither be too self-confident nor too modest. Spend some time on preparing it, and practice beforehand. We recommend, for instance, practising out loud. Perhaps you could record yourself on your mobile to really sharpen up your formulation.

Remember that the presentation is only an introduction, you can expect follow-up questions. That's why it is a good idea if you have your main points ready to support your introduction. The thing to bear in mind here is what you can do for the company, and what drives you as a person.

 

 

Try and anticipate answers to typical questions

Try anticipating the questions you will probably be asked, such as:

  • Why are you applying for this job in particular?
  • Do you like living in Denmark?
  • Do you like the management style practised in Denmark, and what do you think about the working culture here?
  • What do you know about us as an employer?
  • What are the things you like most and least to work with?
  • Describe your biggest success and worst fiasco
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • Why do you think you are the right person for the job?

When practising your answers, it's important that you can quote examples – such as the kind of work you like best/least, quote specific situations quickly and precisely, and examples of how your skills come into play.

 

 

Find questions on the company you can ask

It's also a good idea to prepare questions you can put to the interviewer(s), as we think it important in Denmark that interviewees dare to engage the interviewer in conversation.

When choosing which questions to ask, focus first and foremost on the content of the job, and what results you think you might be expected to achieve. You can signal interest by asking about specific aspects, such as:

  • How important is the job in the big picture?
  • How is the work organised?
  • What form of collaboration is practised in teams and within the organisation?

It may also be a good idea if you prepare questions on the corporate culture, social climate and management style. If you present yourself as genuinely curious, rather than critical, it can give a serious impression of you right from the start, and result in lively dialogue.

But try to avoid questions that concern the chances of leaving work early, time off for a sick child etc. Keep those until you've been offered the job. At that point, you can negotiate special terms and discuss the terms and conditions of the job. Consider contacting us for advice on special terms to put in your contract – call us on 3296 4600.

 

During the interview

An interview in Denmark usually starts by the interview panel presenting themselves and the company. You then present yourself, leading to a discussion on your profile, work, and current situation. Finally, you can start asking questions.

Along the way, you are totally responsible for giving the best impression of yourself, but there are plenty of opportunities to do so if you are prepared (see under 'Before the interview') and follow this simple advice:

  • Be well prepared
  • Be yourself
  • Dress appropriately
  • Talk a lot and on your own initiative
  • Talk about the kind of jobs you can do
  • Listen to what is said without interrupting
  • Never refer to your former employers negatively
  • Conduct yourself as a guest and job applicant
  • Remember to say "thanks for your time", when leaving


Think about your first impression

When meeting the interview panel, you will be evaluated from the moment you arrive: The way you walk through the door, the volume of your voice, your handshake etc. Always remember to arrive on time.

You should not be too shy, nor too offensive. Find the right balance between self-confident and humble that will match the company, the job and your personality. Your body language and expression will signal openness by actively listening when an interviewer is speaking.

 

Take the initiative

It's important that you appear interested and show initiative. For example: you could influence the conversation by asking questions and expressing the thoughts you have in relation to the job. It's also a really good idea to ensure you maintain eye contact with the interviewers throughout the interview.

 

 

It's OK to have opinions

You will not find the same hierarchical structure in Denmark found in other countries. It can therefore be totally acceptable to disagree with or have a different opinion to your interviewers as long as you show respect for their own views, can always substantiate your own.

After the interview

Normally, you can expect to hear from the company within a couple of days, but sometimes it may take a week or more before you do.


The second interview

If you get past the first interview, you will normally be called in for a second interview. The first interview will normally be more general, whereas the second one can involve a case or a test. In such instances, the interview panel will have told you what you need to prepare.


If you are offered the job

If you are offered the job – and you are still interested – the application process is over for the time being, and the employment process will start.

It can be relevant at this point to prepare for wage negotiations, and to check the terms of employment you are offered.

Salaries, wages and pay negotiations

Check your contract of employment

How to build your network

Some advice on how to build your network and make friends in your local area, and how to help your spouse or partner gain a circle of friends.


It's important to work on your network as soon as you and your family are settled in Denmark. Karina Boldsen, chairman of International Community, offers the following advice on how to build your network:

  • Join societies and networks in your local area and participate in different kinds of events to meet the natives.

    The Danes are a little reserved, and most of them go straight home after work to spend time with their families and engage in their recreational activities. But try to take the initiative for activities. Many people like to socialise, and just need a push or the right offer. That's why it's a great idea to join existing societies and networks if you want to meet Danes in a natural way.
  • Meet other people who are in the same situation as you

    A number of international clubs arrange social events where international families can meet and learn more about Denmark and Danish culture. Keep an eye on events run by us, such as New Knowledge in an Hour, networks, workshops and events.
  • Create your own profile on relevant websites

    This will help you to get in touch with other international families or Danes interested in meeting families from abroad. It may also put you in contact with new professional contacts or other expats who share the same interest as you.
  • Learn Danish and get to know your local area

    Even though you might find it difficult to learn Danish to begin with, it really pays off. Try getting familiar with your local area through guided city tours etc. This is an important starting point for networking and engaging in local activities. You may find the 'Finanskompetencepuljen' (financial skills pool) useful, which runs free courses (although in Danish).
  • Involve your spouse or partner in your social activities

    Since many spouses and partners don't have a job in Denmark, they often feel isolated. There are lots of communities that help partners get into networks or charity projects — and some also help them look for jobs and find relevant project work.
  • Get involved in your children's school and spare time activities

    Having children is a great way to connect to other parents. Get involved in local communities and clubs where your children are active.
  • Join sports clubs and other hobby associations

    The Danes themselves say that it only takes three Danes and a common interest to set up a club. Getting involved in sports or any other spare time activity of your interest is a great way to meet Danes.
  • Sign up for cultural courses

    You may experience some degree of culture shock when relocating to Denmark. To accommodate this, signing up for cultural courses is a good idea and also a great way to network.
  • Join your company's social activities

    Use the after hours activities and meetings in your company to get acquainted with your colleagues. You might even try to kick off some new intercultural get-togethers at your workplace.
  • Network via LinkedIn

    Make your skills visible, build up your professional network and look for a new job on LinkedIn.

Learn more about the various networks the Financial Services Union Denmark has to offer here.

Check these links if you want to get in touch with international communities in Denmark:

www.internationalcommunity.dkwww.letsmeetin.dk  

www.expatindenmark.com