Are you a refugee?

Interview Tips

Working abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. The job search in Greece requires more than just the obvious Greek CV writing and translation – it requires methodical preparation. You need to pass the Greek job interview. You will face issues that probably did not even cross your mind when you start planning to go for jobs in Greece.

Do not misjudge the impact they can have on the result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, job application procedures, the selection trends and the management culture.

Most visits to Greece are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

The Greek job interview is a time of mutual assessment. Be ready for three to six job interviews. Most Greeks speak English at an acceptable level.

Prepare yourself for the Greek job interview. Before an interview find out information about the company you want to work for. Also, practice your few-sentence “speech” about who you are and what you do. Do not whine. Do not talk about being jobless. Do not dump on your former employer. Be positive.

On the initial interview, bring with you documents like letters of reference and photocopies of academic certificates. It is also advisable to have on hand written references from former bosses, coworkers, or professors that positively attest to your qualifications and work ethic. An extra CV can be handy too. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Remember, the same keywords you used in your CV will be the foundation for your job interviews. Not only do you need to be able to write about your key words, but also during an interview, you must be able to communicate about them as well, in strong and powerful statements that highlight your successes, contributions and achievements.

Punctuality is expected, so arrive at least 10 minutes before the job interview and turn off your cellphone. Smiling lightly show your friendly face.

Remember, how you dress is the one of the most important parts of not being hired.
So, check the 
Greek dress code

When introducing yourself show your friendly face, use your last name and business title. Shake hands with everyone and exchange business cards. Maintain eye contact while talking to someone. Show your interest and talk about Greek culture and language with enthusiasm.

Do not sit until invited. Talk effectively demonstrating your knowledge of the industry and/or the company, do not interrupt the interviewer and criticize former employers.

Prepare for all kinds of questions. Questions about your personal situation like age, religion, marital status and families are quite common in Greece. So do not feel offended by them. Answer them as fully as you can, avoiding yes and no answers.

Interviewers often ask about your past successes and mistakes on the job. It is a good idea to prepare a few career success stories and couple that had less than favorable outcomes but were learning experiences.

You do not have to answer personal questions, but consider in advance how you are going to tackle them. If you feel uncomfortable with a question asked, simply smile and say, “In my country, that would be a strange question.”

At the Greek job interview do not volunteer information that the interviewer does not ask for

Ask questions about the job, the lines of authority and your responsibilities, but avoid raising the issue of salary or benefits early in the process. Ask for clarification if you do not understand the question you have been asked. Do not forget to ask, “When can I expect to hear from you?” (if that has not been discussed).

Before leaving, thank everyone present for interview and shake they hands.

Do not forget to write a thank you letter to every interviewer and subsequently follow-up by letter, email or phone call. Employers regard this as an indication of your final interest in the position.

Refugee rights

Greece’s legal system on asylum is based on the Geneva Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, and on European Union (EU) legislation on the Common European Asylum System.  In 2011, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU found that Greece’s asylum system suffers from “systemic deficiencies,” including lack of reception centers, poor detention conditions, and the lack of an effective remedy.  Greece adopted two action plans and legislation to address the problems.  Significant gaps still remain, as exposed by the extraordinary migrant crisis of 2015 and as noted by the European Commission, which monitors closely Greece’s compliance with EU asylum standards.

Greece has experienced the brunt of migratory flows during the refugee crisis due to its geographical location and as first country of entry pursuant to the Dublin Regulation.  The crisis has also jeopardized the functioning of Schengen, a free area of movement and travel, as some EU countries have re-imposed border controls.  Other Schengen Member States are considering reintroducing border controls if Greece fails to control the current migratory flow.  Two relocation plans to transfer 66,000 refugees from Greece to other EU Member States are slowly being implemented.  The European Commission has recommended a number of remedial measures for Greece, including efficient border management and implementation of the “hotspot” areas for the proper registration and fingerprinting of migrants.

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Paper Work

1. Get an AFM number

An AFM number is a tax number. To get one of these you need to go in person to a local tax office. It is not possible to get an AFM number online.

Tax offices can be found across the country. You should look for the one nearest to where you are staying. Here is a list of all the tax offices in Greece. The list is arranged in alphabetical order in English. If you are having trouble understanding it and locating your nearest tax office try to find an English speaker to help you. Or you can send a message to the Refugee.Info Facebook Page.

All tax offices in Greece are required to be open between 07:30 to 14:30.

You do not need an appointment. Make sure you take your Full Registration Card with you.

Once at the tax office be prepared to wait a while to get your AFM number.

Also please be aware that the right for refugees to work after full registration is a very recent Greek law.This means the tax office may not be fully aware of this. If a tax office refuses to give you an AFM number, try another tax office.

2. Get an AMKA Number

AN AMKA number is your work and insurance ID. It is related to your benefits and pension. It is also linked to paying your insurance contributions and issuing your health booklet.

To get one you need to go in person to an IKA, or a KEP office. It is not possible to get an AMKA number online. Most offices open at 7:30 and close at 15:00. You do not need an appointment.

Here is a useful search tool which lets you search for KEP offices in your region in Greece

There is also a list of IKA offices here.

Make sure you take your AFM number and your Full Registration Card with you to the IKA or KEP office.

You will be issued with your AMKA at the office. You may also get a card sent to you at a later date in the post.

3. Get an IKA Number

After you have been offered a job you need to get an IKA number. You need to get an IKA number before your first day at work.

An IKA number allows your employer to make National Insurance contributions for you.

To get an IKA number you need to go in person to an IKA Office. It is not possible to get an IKA number online. You do not need an appointment.

You can find a list of IKA offices here.

Make sure you take your take your Full Registration Card and your job offer to the IKA Office with you.

4. Get a bank account

Most employers in Greece pay their employees their salary directly into a Greek bank account.

However, you are unable to open a bank account in Greece until you have a job. Once you get a job offer you must open a bank account to ensure that you get paid on time.

To do this, take your registration card and employer’s bank transfer information to a bank in Greece.

Your employer should provide you with their bank transfer information. If they don’t, ask them for it.

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