Das (nicht sehr) perfekte Bewerbungsgespräch (Teil 2)

To follow on from Sunday’s blog, here’s more great (or not-so-great) advice for your next job interview.

Below is a video of one of our favourite German comedians, Martina Hill, showing you to act during a job interview* to make sure you get the job!

*Note: you should definitely not act like this during your job interview.

Turns out that telling your interviewer about how you go crazy if someone puts chocolate on your cappuccino after you explicitly told them not to or bringing a soft toy as your ‘previous boss’ are not the best strategies for landing the job…

For more bad advice, check out the images below.

job-interview1

job-interview2

job-interview3

job-interview4

job-interview5

job-interview6

Images retrieved from:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRqfz8PUMU8

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Das (nicht sehr) perfekte Bewerbungsgespräch (Teil1)

Infosheet 5 had a few points about how to best act during your job interview, such as being on time, looking your interviewer in the eyes whilst talking to him/ her and thanking the interviewer(s) for their time at the end of the interview. After an information-intensive Infosheet on the topic, we thought we’d lighten the mood with two blogs of bad advice for your job interview!

interview

Below is a list of common questions asked during a job interview. Here is how you should best* answer these questions.

*Note: by ‘best’ we mean ‘worst’ – you should definitely not answer questions at your job interview like this.

Q: What do you know about us?

A: Not much, but Jake in accounting is my golf buddy and said that you pay really well.

Q: Why do you want to work here?

A: My mum said I had to get a job and I know I’d look AMAZING in your work uniforms. I also hear you give out great staff discounts!

Q: Why should we hire you?

A: Um. Well, I’m pretty great. I also really need the money.

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: I’m actually a home cook and aspire to have my own TV show someday, but my MasterChef audition didn’t go very well, so I’m just applying for boring corporate jobs whilst I wait for my big breakthrough.

Q: What is your greatest weakness?

A: Lamingtons! When there’s a plate of lamingtons sitting in front of me I have absolutely zero self-control.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?

A: Yeah, how much vacation will I be getting? Oh and how many sick days are we allowed to have each month?

Q: Thank-you for coming in today.

A: So when do I start?

Blog is loosely based on:

Joyce, S. P. (n.d.). 30 Bad Answers to Job Interview Questions. Retrieved from http://www.job-hunt.org/job_interviews/bad-job-interview-answers.shtml

Images retrieved from:

http://www.business2community.com/human-resources/how-to-spot-a-bad-boss-in-a-job-interview-01266341#hx8bocFlfe6ZeYXh.97

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Once upon a time…

We all know the tales as old as time – whether Beauty and the Beast, Ariel and Prince Eric, or Cinderella and Prince Charming. Which girl doesn’t dream of becoming a princess and living happily ever after?

Whilst these may be fairy-tales, what about real-life Prinzessinen (princesses)?

Did you know that Oktoberfest originally started as a royal wedding between Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen? Whilst their official wedding was held on the 12th of October 1810, a big horse race was held as a wedding celebration 5 days later and the couple invited all citizens of Munich along! They had so much fun, that they decided to hold the horse race again the next year, and the next year after that…. And so on! Every year the event grew bigger and bigger – rides were added, the official “Bavaria” statue was unveiled, tents were erected and bands started playing, eventually resulting in the festival which we know and love today!

oktoberfest

To this day, there are many princesses and princes in Germany. Whilst Germany does not have a monarchy, many royal families still exist from the time when Germany was split up into many kingdoms.

You can read all about the German royals and keep up to date with the latest news here. Whether it’s Prince Ernst August of Hanover’s engagement to long-time girlfriend Ekaterina Malysheva or Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg’s announcement about not competing at the Rio Olympics because she did not feel that her horse was stable enough, there’s never a dull moment with the German royals! 

neuschwanstein

Information retrieved from:

http://www.oktoberfest.de/de/article/Oktoberfest+2016/Geschichte/Die+Geschichte+des+Oktoberfests/621/

www.theroyalforums.com/category/german-royals/

Images retrieved from:

http://www.oktoberfest-munchen.com/amusement-park-at-oktoberfest/

http://www.fotocommunity.de/photo/weltbekanntestes-schloss-andrzej-gryczkowski/25593785

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Vielleicht ist E nicht MC^2, sondern Manuel Neuer

Week 4 has arrived, and so has our all-time favourite topic!

This week is all about finding your dream job. What does every boy and girl dream of becoming? A Fussballprofi (professional football/ soccer player) of course! Well, maybe not EVERY boy and girl… but many of them certainly do.

Many boys and girls in Germany spend their free time running around the park chasing a football, sometimes using trees or sticks as goalposts, and hoping that one day they might get the chance to represent their country at the world cup. They aspire to be like two-time German Fussballerin (female footballer) of the year Alexandra Popp or the number one goalkeeper in the world, and recently appointed captain of die Mannschaft (German national football team) following Bastian Schweinsteiger’s retirement from the team – Manuel Neuer.

Did you know that Manuel Neuer is so popular that there’s even been a song written about him?!

neuer

It is no surprise that Fussball is the most popular sport in Germany. Germany won its first world championship in the summer of 1954, – also described as a Sommermärchen (summer fairy-tale). Since then, die Mannschaft has won an additional three World Cup titles, with their most recent win at the 2014 FIFA World Cup – you can re-live the moment here.

world-cup

Did you know that the German women’s national team is one of the most successful in the world? Although their first world cup appearance was only in 1991, they have already taken out two championship titles (in 2003 and 2007), and, out of ten appearances at the European Championships they finished as champions EIGHT times?

world-cup-2007

For any young aspiring footballers here in Australia – never fear! There are plenty of opportunities to become a professional football player right here. The Hyundai A-League doesn’t just provide opportunities within Australia, but gives players the opportunity to play internationally at competitions, such as the OFC Champions League (premier men’s football competition in Oceania). The A-League has even attracted German football stars, such as Brisbane Roar’s Thomas Broich (below), and there have been rumours that Miroslav Klose (top goal scorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup, retired player from die Mannschaft) is considering joining the A-League at some point in the future – we certainly hope so!

thomas

Images retrieved from:

http://www.arunfoot.com/germany-name-mens-womens-squads-2016-olympics-rio-de-janeiro/

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/round=255959/match=300186501/statistics.html

http://www.brisbaneroar.com.au/article/update-on-thomas-broich/cbphonj8l53k1urzmagt66s9o

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-490737/Germany-awarded-2011-Womens-World-Cup.html

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The what detective?!

For another uncommon/ emerging job – here’s one we’re sure most people haven’t heard of: the Mülldetektiv (garbage detective!).

Whether in the Wald (forest) or on the side of the Autobahn (highway) – some people dispose of their rubbish wherever they feel like it!

The number of people in Germany who are illegally dumping their waste, particularly Sperrmüll (bulky waste) – such as broken refrigerators, bed frames and chairs – has increased substantially over the past decade or so. Police and local government are receiving more and more complaints from residents, particularly the elderly, about bulky rubbish being dumped in their street during the night – in some streets it’s almost a daily occurrence. These complaints are absolutely warranted, considering that most areas offer a free (or fairly cheap) collection services for bulky waste.

Müll1

The government responded by hiring extra garbage collectors, who drive around their designated areas in a large truck and collect piles and piles of garbage; often filling up three trucks worth of rubbish in just one day. However, these garbage collectors are often accompanied by special Mülldetektive (garbage detectives) – in Hamburg there are approximately 15 people employed as Mülldetektive.

These special garbage detectives take photographs of the illegally dumped rubbish and search through the trash for clues. Whilst there is often nothing to reveal the dumper’s identity, occasionally there are letters with addresses, or boxes with the recipient’s address still attached among the trash which allow the garbage collectors to identify the perpetrators. Once their identity has been established, these individuals receive fines of approximately 500€ (almost AUD$750!) to cover the costs of the garbage disposal and discourage further illegal dumping.

Although there are a number of legal ways to freely or cheaply dispose of bulky waste, unfortunately, these garbage detectives are kept incredibly busy, with no signs of a major decrease in illegal dumping.

Müll2

Find out more information in the following videos:

http://nrodl.zdf.de.glcloud.net/none/zdf/15/09/150921_hoffmann_dde_436k_p9v11.mp4

http://nrodl.zdf.de.glcloud.net/none/zdf/16/02/160219_rieken_hde_436k_p9v12.mp4

Information retrieved from:

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/beitrag/video/2495234/Muelldetektive?flash=off

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/abfallentsorgung-die-muell-detektive-1.921373

Images retrieved from:

http://www.t-online.de/auto/news/id_70641438/autobahn-rastplaetze-muellkippen-an-der-autobahn.html

http://genial-nah.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Wilder-M%C3%BCll-Steinheim-1-1200.jpg

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Schwarz wie die Nacht, bringt Glück wie ein Schwein…

… das kann nur ein Schornsteinfeger sein!

Welcome to week 3 of our Infosheets!

This week revolves all around uncommon jobs. The Infosheet touched on jobs such as Imker/-innen (beekeepers), Seiler/-innen (rope makers), Geigenbauer/-innen (luthiers) and Glasbläser/-innen (glassblowers), so we thought we’d introduce you to another somewhat uncommon job in Germany – and almost unheard of in Australia – the Schornsteinfeger (chimney sweeper).

Chimney1

History

Let’s go back in time…

Approximately 400-300 years BC, around the time of Alexander the Great, houses were warmed up using portable brasiers. The Romans were the first to use pipes made out of clay to channel warm water or air throughout their houses. The next development in heating was the creation of fireplaces, however, this, predictably, created the problem of smoke filled-rooms. Initially, builders simply made small holes in the wall or roof to allow the smoke to escape, however, this still left rooms covered in soot.

Fast forward a few years to the creation of the first castles and monasteries – these were the first multi-storey buildings made out of brick. Due to the layout of these buildings, people were forced to find new ways to remove the smoke created by fireplaces, and so, the first chimney was built! Originally, the fireplace was built in the middle of a room, with a brick funnel structure built around it and two smoke ducts leading the smoke out into the open.

Chimney2

With the increasing popularity of chimneys, the demand for chimney sweepers grew almost exponentially. Nowadays houses are generally fitted with central heating, although there are still some chimney sweepers working in Germany to clean chimneys, pipes and fire places in older buildings. Approximately 800 students have started their apprenticeship as a chimney sweeper in Germany this year! 

Chimney3

Lucky Charm

Most of us know that chimney sweepers are considered good luck. It’s good luck to see one on your wedding day (especially shaking his hand or being kissed by him!), see one early in the morning or be greeted by one holding a pig on New Year’s Day. So where did this tradition come from?

The association of chimney sweepers with luck can be found throughout folklore. For example, one legend, started in medieval England, says that the King was saved by a chimney sweep, and the King hence declared that they should be regarded as lucky. Another says that a chimney sweeper lost his footing and dangled from the roof of a house, when a young lady, who was promised to marry another, took his hand and pulled him into safety – the two fell in love and were married shortly after; since then, seeing a chimney sweep on your wedding day has been regarded as good luck.

Chimney4

Information retrieved from:

http://www.schornsteinfeger-innung-koeln.de/?nav=nrw_ko&bereich=36

http://www.wellerschimneysweeps.com/?page_id=394

Images retrieved from:

http://www.chimney-sweeps-cheshire.co.uk/

http://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-2428016-stock-footage-industrial-panorama-in-the-netherlands.html

http://www.maddhatterchimneysweep.com/

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Berufe der Zukunft

With the rapid increase in technology it can sometimes be hard to imagine which jobs may be in high demand by 2030. But the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan was keen to find out – here are some of the jobs which they came up with:

Teleo-surgeons – surgeons who may operate from or in remote locations using robotic tools instead of human hands.

Nostalgist – remember your childhood home? Or your first apartment? Well, in the future a nostalgist – a specialised interior designer – may be able to recreate these memories for the elderly. Those not wishing to live in a typical retirement village may live in a space decorated by a nostalgist inspired by their favourite decade or place.

Re-wilder – rather than traditional farmers who grow food crops, re-wilders will undo the environmental damage caused by people, manufacturing plans, vehicles, etc.

Garbage designer – these individuals will focus on creating high-quality materials or new products from the by-products of manufacturing processes.

Robot counselor – with bots predicted to be a part of many households by 2030, a robot counselor will help choose the right bot for a family by spending time observing family interactions and their lifestyle.

Robot

This article was based on:

Smith, J. (2014, May 6). 9 Futuristic Jobs We Could See By 2030. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bizarre-jobs-well-see-by-2030-2014-5

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Australia and Germany – the job market and beyond

We hope that the second Infosheet arrived safely in your inboxes. This week we are focusing on the beliebtesten Berufe (most popular jobs) now, and in the future – but how do Australia and Germany compare? Are they similar, or completely different? Read on to find out!

Let’s start by looking at the overall job market. Both Australia and Germany have extremely low unemployment rates of 5.7% and 4.3%, respectively (compared to countries such as Argentina or  Greece with unemployment rates of 10.9% and 25.6%, respectively, we are doing very well!). Whilst some level of unemployment will always be present in an economy, due to changing industries and technological advances, these low unemployment rates indicate that both Australia and Germany have a fairly strong economy!

The most common job in Germany right now is Kaufmann/ Kauffrau im Einzelhandel (businessman/ businesswoman in the retail industry). Interestingly, the most common job in Australia is salespeople in retail, so we’re looking pretty similar at this stage… but how about the future?

Aus-Ger

The five jobs with the most promising future in Germany over the next decade are:

  1. Wirtschaftsmathematiker/-in (econometrician): the global financial crisis highlighted the need for individuals who are able to estimate the risks and opportunities of investments or who are able to make cost-intensive decisions
  2. Altenpfleger/-in (carer or nurse for the elderly): with Germany’s ageing population, it is no surprise that the demand for Altenpfleger/-innen is continually increasing
  3. Softwareentwickler/-in (software developer): a lack of current software developers paired with an increasing demand for these has made the job market very for graduates in this field of study
  4. IT-Sicherheitstechniker/-in (IT safety engineer): as data privacy protection becomes increasingly important, there is a growing demand for specialists who are able to actively fight and prevent hackers
  5. Ingenieur/-in für Energie- und Gebäudetechnik (electrical engineer/ building services engineer): whilst there is a high demand for qualified engineers, there have been less than 5,000 students graduating from civil engineering annually over the past few years – with the fairly saturated engineering job market in Australia, why not consider studying and/ or working in Germany?!

JobsGer

The five jobs in Australia which have the most promising future are:

  1. Front end programmers: the demand for front end programmers is larger than the current supply, making it an advantageous job market for those possessing the required skills
  2. Carpenters: a boom in the construction industry has led to an increasing demand for qualified carpenters
  3. Site managers: whilst the mining industry has decreased, the growing property sector has created demand for site managers
  4. Forklift drivers: distribution centres have been increasing their capacity keep up with online shopping demands, both domestically and internationally; these distribution centres rely heavily on forklift drivers to transport materials from one location to another
  5. Account managers: individuals able to articulate the return on investment for solutions they are selling to acquire and maintain customers are continually high in demand

JobsAus

The job market is undergoing rapid changes from one decade to another (sometimes even from one year to another!), so if you’re still in school and deciding which career path you’d like to take, we hope this blog has given you some inspiration!

As Socrates once said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Information retrieved from:

http://www.news.com.au/finance/small-business/whats-the-most-common-job-in-australia/story-fn9evb64-1226623537666

http://www.tradingeconomics.com

http://www.australiannationalreview.com/5-popular-jobs-australia-year/

http://www.freenet.de/finanzen/jobs-karriere/die-10-aussichtsreichsten-berufe-fuer-das-kommende-jahrzehnt_1807298_4707706.html

Images retrieved from:

https://lifeoutsideindia.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/australia-germany.png

http://www.freenet.de/finanzen/jobs-karriere/die-10-aussichtsreichsten-berufe-fuer-das-kommende-jahrzehnt_1807298_4707706.html

http://www.australiannationalreview.com/5-popular-jobs-australia-year/

http://www.fevicoldesignideas.com/assets/admin/js/ckfinder/userfiles/images/Furniture%20Contractor.jpg

http://i1.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/article8062890.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/JS50204129.jpg 

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Kinder bringen Leben in Altersheim

Continuing this week’s topic of the German education system we thought we’d provide you with a heart-warming story about an activity which many German schools (generally primary schools, sometimes even Kindergartens!), particularly in smaller towns and villages, take part in.

When people make time for each other and engage in meaningful conversations, relationships start to form. These relationships are what make life worth living! The bond which develops is the reason why children in second grade want to go back to a nursing-home after their first visit or why children in sixth grade are visiting some of the lonely seniors in their spare time or starting a Brieffreundschaft (they become pen pals) with some of the elderly ladies.

Altenheim

Some German schools have strong relationships with local Pflegeheime (nursing homes) or Altersheime (old-age homes). School classes will occasionally visit these homes and spend time with the elderly – cooking for them, baking cookies with them, doing arts and crafts, singing Christmas carols, playing board games together (often old favourites such as ‘Mensch ärgere dich nicht’) or simply having a chat. As in Australia, many elderly residents in these homes either have family living far away or family who are very busy and therefore unable to visit regularly. Whilst some residents may receive (several) weekly visits, some receive none. Having school students visit and foster these relationships is beneficial for both the children and the elderly. For example, in some cases, dementia patients were starting to make progress, as they started to recall things from the past as their long-term memory was activated during children’s visits.

Altenheim2

Children start to learn at an early age that things change when people become older – their vision starts to worsen, they may not be able to hear properly and they often start requiring assistance for even simple tasks, such as eating. Some schools prepare their students with so-called ‘Empathieübungen’ (empathy-practice/ exercises), such as putting cotton wool in their ears to mimic partial deafness, wearing a blindfold and letting another student safely guide them through the room to build up trust, spoon-feeding each other pudding or sitting on an office chair with wheels to practice pushing a wheelchair.

Many students end up forming close relationships with some of the elderly residents and even choose to visit them on the weekend with their parents! Others may send letters or postcards and even bring them a small handmade present for Christmas.

Information retrieved from:

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duisburg/kinder-bringen-leben-ins-altenheim-aid-1.995679

http://www.erziehungskunst.de/artikel/aus-dem-unterricht/wann-kommen-die-kinder-wieder-ein-besuch-im-pflegeheim-vermittelt-ueberraschende-einsichten/

Images retrieved from:

http://www.derwesten.de/staedte/nachrichten-aus-wetter-und-herdecke/kindergarten-trifft-altenheim-id6759446.html

http://www.vennbruchschule.de/raus-aus-der-schule/freitags-unterwegs-im-stadtteil.html

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Die Schultüte

Die Schultüte

We hope that you enjoyed our first Infosheet. It provides an overview of the German education system as an introduction to this year’s theme – ‘Arbeitswelten’. Therefore, we thought it was only appropriate to write a blog about our favourite German tradition surrounding the first day of school!

The first day of school is something incredibly special for all children and parents around the world. In Germany it is common for both parents and grandparents to take the little ones to school on their first day and present them with a Schultüte.

So what is a Schultüte and where did it come from?

Literally translated, a Schultüte it is a ‘school-bag’, but really, it’s more of a giant cone made out of cardboard, decorated to reflect the child’s hobbies or favourite things, and filled with goodies!

Schultüte

Before the tradition of the Schultüte started, school students would receive a Brezel (pretzel) on the first day of school from their teacher. Legend said that there was a Brezelbaum (pretzel tree) in the cellar or on the roof of the school and first graders would receive one or two Brezeln after school for the first few days of school; after this, the tree would be empty and the ‘Brezel-Segen’ (pretzel-blessing) would be over. At first, the community covered the costs of the Brezeln, however, eventually parents were asked to pay for them and then, some years later, they had the idea of giving their children something sweeter.

Brezel

The tradition of the Schultüte can be traced back to the early 19th century around Thüringen (Thuringa), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) and the Vogtlandkreis (a county in Sachsen). For example, in the city of Jena (in Thüringen) around 1820, a child would receive a bag from his/ her father filled with sweets from the confectionery shop. The reason behind this was not only to celebrate the first day of school, but also because the first day of school marks the first day in a child’s life when he/ she must start taking responsibility – parents wanted to sweeten the seriousness of life (‘den Ernst des Lebens versüβen’). A few years later, these bags started to take on their cone-shape and thus, the Schultüte was born!

Schultüte mit Kindern

In the early days, Schultüten would be filled with sweets, dried fruits, nuts and similar treats. Nowadays, they still include treats and small toys, but also practical items, such as books, games (e.g card games), vouchers, materials for arts and crafts, audiobooks, key chains (with a house key attached; the first day of school is the first time many children receive their own house key), jerseys (often from their favourite football (soccer) team), fashion accessories for girls (such as colourful hair ties), plush toys, wallets, umbrellas, lunch boxes, drink bottles, good luck charms and many more!

Inhalt

The Schultüte is one of our favourite German traditions – who knows, maybe it’ll become a trend in Australia in years to come?!

You’ll find instructions on how to create your own Schultüte at:

http://www.sandiegofamily.com/for-the-kids/crafts-for-kids/1450-first-day-of-school-craft

Or watch the following video (in German):

Information retrieved from:

http://www.daserste.de/information/wissen-kultur/wissen-vor-acht-ranga-yogeshwar/sendung-ranga-yogeshwar/2011/woher-kommt-die-schultuete-folge-616-100.html

http://www.netmoms.de/magazin/kinder/einschulung/das-gehoert-alles-in-die-schultuete/

Images retrieved from:

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/panorama/das-geschaeft-mit-der-bunten-tuete–49338012.html

https://za.fotolia.com/tag/banderole

https://de.fotolia.com/tag/schult%C3%BCte

http://mrsberry.de/schultute-fur-schulanfanger/

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