A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war or persecution.
This person might have been a doctor, a teacher, a developer, a painter, in his/her country of origin.
“You and I are the same, we only have different circumstances and situations.”
Adapting to a new culture
No professional network
Gap in employment
Make the candidate feel comfortable in the interview.
Share something about yourself, about your career path; the successes, the mistakes, the doubts and the lessons. Dare to be vulnerable. Ask instead of presuming.
Ask questions you normally ask in a job interview:
Refugees may not be entirely familiar with the business culture and have a different approach to participating in a job interview. Take time to inform the candidate of the hiring process for your company and how the interview will work.
Do not ask a refugee why they left their country of origin as the experience might bring up traumatic memories. Reasons why they left are irrelevant during an interview.
If you do not hire them, make sure you give them a lot of feedback!
feedback on their CVs, on interview answers, on their body language…
Keep in mind that you are possibly talking to someone who is starting from scratch.
For you as a hiring manager, this is an opportunity to shine them up, to better prepare them for success and to give them hope..
Consider mentoring them: what should they have said or done differently?
Customize the onboarding process as if you are hiring someone who is new to the country. Consider providing language training when needed.
Treat them as a professional. Treat them like any other person you would treat.
“When I joined my first company in the new country, I was uncomfortable because colleagues were treating me differently. Not necessarily just by what was said but even by how things were said. I wanted more than anything to be treated like everyone else. Since then, I’ve changed jobs and in my current one, I am treated exactly like everyone else. I do not have additional benefits nor do I have to be reminded every day that I am different.”