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Language as an insight to culture

  •  Posted on Aug 22, 2022  by  | No Comments

Have you ever noticed how you adjust your language based on your situation? When you’re sitting in the park, the pub, or the cozy terrace with a group of friends, you speak casually, quickly, and with a comfortable level ease. If you are in the office, you will use professional tones, and your colloquialisms will be pushed to the side. If you are meeting someone new, you will choose your words more carefully and wait until you have an understanding of them before you release your natural language and conversation tones.

The same thing happens when you switch between languages. Language can be an insight into the culture. Every language has its own personality and mannerisms. German speakers, for example, will rarely interrupt each other mid sentence. In a German conversation, the sentences may feel longer, and peppered with long compound nouns, and each person will still wait until the end to respond. This may be out of politeness, but it is also strongly influenced by the fact that the German language simply does not lend itself to be interrupted. German sentence structure forces you to wait patiently for the point, since the verbs are at the end! English on the other hand, has the verbs up front, with the less fundamental aspects of the sentence at the end. It is easier to understand the point of the sentence before it’s completed, making it easier and more common to interrupt and bounce between speakers quickly.

You can even find cultural cues and identifiers within the same language, but from a different country, or within different dialects. For example, Spanish in Spain uses an extra conjugation, “vosotros.” This is a formal conjugation for ‘you all.’ You won’t hear this used in Mexican Spanish. This slight difference in the Spanish languages can be felt in the culture as well. Spain will have more of a formal undertone in the culture than you may find in other Spanish speaking countries.

Once you understand the cultural intricacies of a language, you can immerse further into the culture and feel less like a foreigner even in a foreign country. Language creates a sense of unity within its speakers. English speakers will migrate towards other English speakers, even if they are not from the same country or speaking with the same accent. There is a sense of comradery and understanding. This breaks down even farther when you move into dialects and accents. Each language group shares something in common, but they still have differences depending on which dialect, accent, and regional version of the language you speak. These commonalities and differences between languages reflect the culture of the location and the people. When a speaker switches between languages, the cultural characteristics switch with them. You may not even notice that when you switch between languages, your personality can shift as well.

I leave you with some food for thought…when traveling, speaking to colleagues, or going through your daily routine, take a moment to think about how your languages influence your interactions. Take a moment to enjoy the new cultural intricacies and insights that appear once you switch into a new language.

“A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.”

Noam Chomsky

by Samantha K. Giovino, Recruitment Consultant


Things Clients (Might) Say

  •  Posted on Jul 04, 2018  by  | No Comments
Things Clients (Might) Say When you’re a recruiter, you hear all sorts of things on the phone both from candidates clients! Below are some of the most amusing things that I have heard before and no, I did not exaggerate one bit: “So yeah, the person that we’re looking for is definitely dynamic and funny. It’s very much about the cultural fit. We have a great and unique atmosphere in the team and go out for dinner or drinks after work from time to time. The candidate has to fit in.” “Previous experience of the perfect person? Yes, what we need are candidates who have done 10-15 internships during their bachelor’s. They need to have sold similar products on at least 8 continents and be a member of Rotary or Lion’s Club. And the Managing Partner is flying in tomorrow. Can we interview the first people then? “Well, you know. What we always want.” “The last person in this job was great and well liked by everybody. She was the good heart of our office, put away everybody’s dishes, gladly worked weekends, and bought birthday presents with her own money. She always answered the phone, never complained, and just ‘got’ what this company is all about. We were honestly surprised to see her go to our competitor. We didn’t even pay that much less than the market rate. Long story short – we need somebody just like that. We’re running out of toilet paper as well.” “We’re looking for a tiger-ninja-space rocket-sales rep. Someone who has a track record of smashing the target by a whopping 350 percent. Self-driven, money-motivated, entrepreneurial personality. Office hours are 9-6 but we like to see dynamic people who are willing to go the extra mile for this soon-to-be unicorn company. Between us, our name and standing in the industry should make the search really easy for you, it will be some great placements for you. Any questions?” “Actually it’s still really flexible. I have to talk to the team leader again first and see if he made up his mind. I haven’t seen him in like two weeks. Maybe you can just send us your best people and we can go from there? The interview process should be really fast.” Jan

5 tips to prepare for an interview

  •  Posted on Jul 04, 2018  by  | No Comments
Interview Preparation Some people are afraid of the dark, some of public speaking and others of interviews. However, all you need to remember to ace an interview is preparation, preparation, preparation and perhaps the following tips: • Look into your interviewer’s eyes: This is perhaps my number one pet peeve and from what I hear from my fellow recruiters, I am not the only one. Looking into someone’s eyes conveys a sense of importance and presence. It says, “Hey, I’m not weird, I have no secrets to hide and I will even look you in the eye as I talk through my CV!” • Be nice to EVERYONE: This includes everyone from the receptionist who lets you in to the assistant who gets you coffee. This is especially true if you’re interviewing at a small to medium sized company. Trust me, the receptionists and assistants will talk to their bosses about their first impressions of you. This brings me to my next point… • First impressions matter: By first impressions I mean punctuality in particular. First of all, don’t be late but sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. So secondly, plan in some buffer time. Be there an hour in advance if you have to; plan for the worst. Thirdly, if you do all of the above and it still goes wrong, say the magic words: “I’m sorry” and make sure you call them as soon as you realize that you will be late. It’s all about managing expectations! • Know your audience: The most frequent negative feedback that I get from clients is “The candidate wasn’t a team fit”. As vague as this may be, there are certain things you can do to convey the fact that you are indeed a team fit. For example, if you’re interviewing at a hip, modern start-up in Berlin, you may want to consider ditching the suit and tie and go for something a little bit more semi-formal. If you’re interviewing at a very conservative law firm in Frankfurt, you may consider not focusing too much on your gap year in Thailand and talk a little bit more about your A+ internship experiences. • Don’t be obnoxious: Yes, an interview is about selling yourself but no, you don’t have to over-sell yourself. There is nothing worse than going through an interview with an obnoxious person. I mean the sheer effort put into not rolling your eyes as an interviewer itself makes the entire experience painful. Be proud of your achievements but realize that that does not mean you are owed respect or the job. If your achievements are amazing, the interviewer will realize that themselves. To those of you reading this who have interviews coming up, congratulations! You have already passed the hardest step- getting someone to pick up your CV, like it and invite you for a meeting. To those of you who are waiting on some positive feedback from your applications, all the best! Sarah

How to deal with bossy co-workers

  •  Posted on Jul 03, 2018  by  | No Comments
How to deal with bossy co-workers   Bossy co-workers and superiors are a workplace norm. It’s probably something we all can relate to: the boss who tries too hard to be a boss or the newly-appointed-manager who desperately wants to prove his capability or maybe even the colleague who wants to be your boss. Either way, it isn’t a pleasant experience. If you google “how to deal with bossy co-workers?”, you will find hundreds of articles and columns detailing ways to get around such people but perhaps something you may not find, is the suggestion of becoming your own boss. By this, I don’t mean going into self-employment but maybe considering a career path that gives you the independence and freedom to work with minimal supervision might not be a bad idea. Recruitment, for example, could be an option that you haven’t considered before At my job as a recruiter, I have almost free reign on how I organize my day, what I do and what I say, which language I work in, who I call and who I don’t call and the list goes on. Basically, I run my own desk from start to finish and am able to reap the benefits of my hard work at the end of the day. As someone who generally likes to be left to my own devices, I greatly appreciate the ability to be independent but besides the freedom I have, the independence that I enjoy also translates into trust. This sense of trust and acknowledgement is what I appreciate the most about my job.  I know for a fact that my boss and colleagues trust me 100% to get the job done without having to breathe down my neck. This then translates into higher motivation levels on my part as I don’t want to disappoint my colleagues and want to reach the expectations they have of me as well as my own. Of course, every now and then we all need a little bit of guidance and support from our superiors and in these moments, I am able to rely on my colleagues for support and advice. As in most recruitment agencies, I have my own desk but at the same time am sitting in a room with some very talented recruiters who are always happy to share great candidates and give me the advice I need. So, all in all, recruitment gives you the freedom and independence to work as you want and reap the benefits of the hard work that you sow and at the same time, it allows you to work together with a group of people who share the same goals and motivation as you do. I hope this short article was able to give you a quick insight into the life of a recruiter. If you’re sick of your bossy co-workers and want to work in an independent manner, consider becoming a recruiter!   Sarah George

3 ways to ace the application process (Pirate Style)

  •  Posted on Jul 02, 2018  by  | No Comments
  1. Before you send your CV, call!
“Hello. This is Captain Hook speaking.” *Friendly and cheerful*   “Hi, my name is Jan and I am calling for the position of Pirate Trainee. I worked in the treasury department of a Caribbean bank in the past and am a master in martial arts. So I thought this posting was quite interesting and I wanted to know what documents you are expecting from applicants.” “Hi Jan, thanks for your call! For the beginning your CV is fine. Please note that this job is offering a success dependent bonus only without fixed salary.” “That’s fine, thank you! Which email address should I send my CV to?” “It’s” “Alright Captain Hook, then I will send you my CV within the next 2 hours. Bye” ‘Harrrrrr”
  • Make the hiring manager curious and show positivity but don’t take 5min of his time to tell him what he can read in 10sec on your CV
  1. Taylor your CV for each job you apply for
Most of us write a specific Motivational Letter for each job application but we use the same CV. However, you should always change both according to the requirements in the job ad. For example if you apply to a classy and conservative pirate ship, you want to bring across values like trust, stability, and first-class service. But if you apply to a pirate start-up it is very different. Innovation, creativity and taking risks are key words you want to mention in your CV. Also, hiring managers use specific wording. Try to put exactly those key words into your CV so it becomes “scannable” as most hiring managers don’t have time to read each CV thoroughly. If the job requirements are a question, then your CV should be the answer to them. Somebody from outside the industry should be able to tell that it’s a great match when she/he looks at a job ad and your CV.  
  1. Be a great communicator and be available for interviews
You receive positive feedback, well done! You already see yourself cruising the seven seas and talking to a parrot. But you’re not there yet! First you need to…
  • Be quick and clear in your communication. Answer questions directly and make yourself available for interviews in the following week. An unavailable/ difficult candidate is usually seen as an uncommitted candidate
  • Research what the media wrote about Captain Hook and his ship lately – he will find it flattering and you can ask good questions about their future goals
  • In the interview, give “business card replies”. Everything you say should fit on a business card. Then let the other person ask further or switch the topic

Why are more and more companies turning to recruiters in Germany?

  •  Posted on Jun 30, 2018  by  | No Comments
  Why are more and more companies turning to recruiters in Germany? A typical 360° Recruiter- that is, a recruiter who does both client acquisition and candidate sourcing- will tell you that their day usually starts off with cold calling. One obvious reason they do cold calling on a regular basis like this is to get a few jobs in so that they can start building their pipelines. While this still remains the case for me and my colleagues at Euro London Appointments, it is very often the case that companies call and ask us to assist them with roles that they have in Germany. I have been in recruitment now for 8 months and as such, have not known any different. So, for the purpose of this article, I asked a few colleagues of my mine who have been with the company for more than 5 years if this was always the case. Interestingly, they told me that just as recently as 2 years ago, it was not like that at all. They would have had to canvass quite a number of companies before getting any client to actually give them a job to work on and in the past 2 years, things have started to change.   In a typical week here in Frankfurt, we now get in a lead per day coming in through calls and e-mails alike. This demand boom or “Nachfrageboom”  in German  simply boils down to the very tight candidate market in Germany at the moment. The unemployment rate in Germany is at its lowest level in 38 years at an impressive 3.4% (April 2018) i.e. since July 1980! This means that most people have jobs and not only that, they have jobs that are secure (due to strict employment laws) and jobs that they enjoy. On the other hand, there are many companies hiring and hiring rapidly. Germany’s job creation level is at it’s highest since reunification with 638,000 jobs being created in 2017 alone. Putting the lack of candidates and the abundance of jobs together, gives you a very tight candidate driven market.   Kandidatenmangel + Überangebot von Stellen = enger Kandidatenmarkt In these circumstances, many employers, especially SMEs, find it very difficult to find candidates quickly, if at all. This is when they approach recruiters - especially recruiters who are actually based in Germany to overcome the tight candidate market. The increase in the amount of incoming requests that we and many recruiters in Germany have had are testament to this. If you have a casual look at the job section on LinkedIn, you will also see that a lot of the jobs in Germany are actually posted by recruitment agencies indicating that many companies are working together with agencies to fill their jobs. But if the candidate market is so tight, how does using an agency solve this problem- you ask? Well first of all, recruitment agencies have a pool of existing candidates that they can turn to as soon as a job comes in. They do not have to start the search from zero and as such have access to a pool of actively looking candidates and are able to close a job much quicker than a typical in-house recruiter. Even if it is a job in a niche market and they have to start the search from zero, they are able to dedicate a huge chunk of their time and energy into sourcing great candidates as they do it all day, every day. Recruiters are also able to sell the job and the company to candidates both online and as they speak to candidates making client’s jobs stand out of the multitude of generalistic job ads available online. All in all, what I am trying to say is, if you have been job hunting for a while now and notice that a lot of jobs in Germany are posted by recruiters, you now know why. This somehow bothered me when I myself was job hunting for some reason but after working for a recruitment agency myself, it makes a lot of sense! If you are indeed a candidate looking for a job in Germany and not registered with us yet, I would urge you to do so as we have so many jobs coming in on a weekly basis that could be interesting for you and as they say business is all about having the right connections at the right time. If you are on the other hand, looking to hire people and are finding it difficult to navigate around the German market, give us a ring and we would be happy to help.   Best regards from Frankfurt, Sarah I specialise in Sales and Marketing positions across Germany and would be more than happy to connect with you on LinkedIn or via e-mail ( to discuss business opportunities     Source: