If I rememebr correctly, you're trying to find somewhere in Vaasa? If my girlfriend and I move back there, I could be in the same boat in the future.
First up - be yourself, regardless of the situation. In my opinion, not enough people do this. At my last interview I was told there was a high possibility of overtime, possibly up to six months. My response was "Yeah, of course overtime is necessary, but a balance between work and your social life is needed." The interviewers face looked like "What? How dare you say that? Didn't you know you were born to be a slave?"
As you can imagine I didn't get the job. But then again, I didn't want to work with people like that, either. Would you?
Interviews are all about presentation - how you sell yourself. Go too far though and you'll give the impression you're something you're not. You need to make yourself stand out from everyone else who's applying for the same position.
- what does a finnish employer like?
From the interviews and adverts I've seen, I'd say Finnish employers like people who are willing to learn new things and be adaptive. Finns like people who take the initiative, rather than just sit back and go with the flow.
- how should a resume be set up?
Don't use standard formats and fonts. Make it look different. Don't go into too much detail, either. Two pages is optimum, although it's not always that easy.
- the perfect coverletter?
Like I said, make it stand out. Give examples of what you've previously done, where you want to go etc. Tell them about yourself; your positive points etc. They don't need to know about your butterfly collection at this point, though.
I must admit, I get the impession that Finns prefer verbal contact to written applications. (Presuming you're sending random applications) A phone call might get you an interview a little quicker if you're applying for random positions.
- what to say? and more important, what not to say at interviews?
I'd say they like to hear about people who are open to new things, willing to learn new things. However, above all, be honest! Try to look like you know what you're talking about.
One last thing on the 'talking' thing. When they ask about the wage you would like, don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. I made this mistake for a few years. For the position I currently have, I said that I wouldn't accept what they offered and challenged it. Eventually, I won. It doesn't matter what the 'going rate' is. If there's a price you want, ask for it.
- how to dress?
Finns only dress up when they go to Kaarle.
A shirt (without tie) is enough for your average Finnish interview. You'll only wear it for a few days then you'll put your jeans on, like the rest of us. Saying that, if it's a managerial position you're going for, then wear a suit (with tie).
- any other suggestions?
Don't shake hands too many times after the interivew. I've made this mistake before. It's a tad embarrassing.
- post the resume that landed you a great job.
I had a corker of an application letter when I first moved to Finland. (don't have it anymore) I got two interviews which led to two job offers. Saying that, that was over four years ago and foreign IT workers were kind of still in the minority (apart from Nokia).
- describe what happened at your interview.
You get the usual "This is how our company works, tell us what you've done, what you'd like to do, tell us about yourself" etc. Plus the obligitory "Why did you come to Finland?"
- and how you deal with being non finnish.
Being from the North East of the UK, I held back my accent, but that's it. But now everyone who insists on speaking English gets the full 'artlepudlian/geordie accent.
And that's about that. Hope it was useful!
Christ, I should be a careers adviser...