By: Marc Wessels

When your company relocates to the Netherlands, you will probably be looking to hire Dutch employees. There may be differences between how job interviews are conducted in the UK and in the Netherlands. How do you conduct a job interview with a Dutch employee?

Ask relevant questions

In the Netherlands, employers are only allowed to ask questions directly related to the position they are looking to fill, including questions about work experience, the applicant’s aspirations, how they believe they will add value to your company etc. The purpose of job interviews is to become acquainted and find out if the applicant is suitable for the job. Questions about personal matters or health are considered inappropriate.

Questions about personal matters

Employers may not ask questions about applicants’ personal lives and even if they do, applicants are not obliged to answer. Questions could include inquiring about a female applicant’s plans to start a family. Only questions that are relevant to the job may be asked during an interview.

Questions about health

Employers are not allowed to ask their applicants health-related questions. Enquiring into sick leave taken at a previous employer is also considered inappropriate. Questions regarding applicants’ health are only permitted for positions that require a medical examination. The job vacancy must include the medical exams requirement.

Applicants are required to notify the employer of any medical information relevant to the performance of the duties and responsibilities associated with the position. This includes illnesses where the employee would have to leave their post, but excludes pregnancy. Applicants are never required to disclose information related to pregnancy during a job interview.

What type of questions are you allowed to ask?

In the Netherlands, the purpose of a job interview is to find out as much as possible about applicants. Employers focus on asking questions to assess the suitability of candidates, such as relevant work experience with tasks and responsibilities described in the vacancy. You may also ask questions such as:

  • As a receptionist, you have to be able to sit at a desk for long periods of time. Are you able to stay seated for a few hours without having to get up?
  • Office jobs require employees to spend long periods of time in front of a computer. Are you able to look at a computer screen for long periods of time without needing a break?
  • For this position in the hospitality industry, you have to be able to stay on your feet for long periods of time. Would that be a problem for you?

Relocating to the Netherlands?

Brexit Amsterdam offers translation services and training courses to help you make the transition as smoothly as possible: