There are many factors that contribute to finding a job in Canada, and how well you perform in an interview is one of them. To help immigrants who are interested in working in Canada, we have made a compilation of 5 steps anyone should take when preparing for a Canadian job interview.
Although you may be a foreigner in Canada, these tips are applicable to anyone taking an interview anywhere. What’s more? Canadian employers are well used to the idea of employing foreigners to take key positions in their organizations.
They are rarely racists or heavy critiques. The essence of the interview is to further determine how well do will do in the position. With that, employers can make a choice of an employee from the many persons that qualify for the interview.
Table of Contents
- 1 Step 1: Research the Organization
- 2 Step 2: Know your Elevator Pitch
- 3 Step 3: Go over Your Skills, Strengths, and Weaknesses
- 4 Step 4: Improve on your English (or French)
- 5 Step 5: Prepare for Virtual Interview if you will be Taking One
- 6 Other Tips you Should Note:
- 7 FAQs About Preparing for a Canadian Job Interview
Step 1: Research the Organization
Of course, before you make any application to any company, you should do a little research on the company. This includes checking the integrity it has maintained over the years. Now that the organization has selected you for an interview, you need more details about it and what it does.
This will give you more insight into how relevant you are to the organization and what roles you can play to improve it.
While you answer interview questions, chipping in one or two facts you know about the organization can give your interviewer an impression of keen interest in working for the company.
You can leverage the successes of the company over the years and mention how your skillset and working in the position can help to drive more success.
In essence, researching about the organization helps you get a hand on how well you fit into the job description. And this is one thing you must make your employers see while they interview you.
Step 2: Know your Elevator Pitch
The use of the words “Know your elevator pitch” might have become a cliché. Yet, “Tell us about yourself” is something anyone should expect in an interview. If the interviewer asks you this question, you don’t want to sound unprepared or unsure of who you really are.
During the interview, there is ample chance that tension and nervousness may make you stumble around your words. Worse of all, you may miss details relevant to the job, which your employers are searching for.
To save yourself stress, customize an elevator pitch when preparing for your Canadian job interview. Put yourself in the shoe of your interviewers and then consider the job description. How best would you want someone to describe himself so he fits into that job?
That is what you should do in creating your own pitch. You don’t need to overly rate yourself by saying things you are not or things you can’t achieve. Just focus on what you are and the feats you have achieved that are most relevant to the organization.
Do not forget also, your elevator pitch is meant to be brief. It is not a speech or a proposal. As a rule, it should be no more than one minute.
Step 3: Go over Your Skills, Strengths, and Weaknesses
Before you come face to face with your interviewer, the first contact the resource persons have with you is your cover letter, resume, and portfolio. They must have been attracted to the skillset and strengths you included in those documents.
Your interviewer may have questions for you based on what you’ve included in your interview. For example, if you mention that you are very proactive, the resource person may refer to it. He/she may ask a question on how you would address a problem if it comes up.
Hence, you need to remind yourself of what details are in your resume and be ready to answer questions regarding them. During a Canadian job interview, your employer may also ask you what your strengths and weakness are.
You should not be scared of talking about your weaknesses. In fact, you should be as honest as you can. However, you must also lead the person to the bright side of you by talking about how your strengths are the greatest assets to the organization.
Step 4: Improve on your English (or French)
Canada is chiefly an English-speaking country, except for Quebec which is dominated by French speakers. Most employers will therefore need you to be able to communicate fluently in either English Language or French, (or both). This depends on the location and the requirements of the job.
If you are a resident or a citizen of a non-English or French-speaking country, you should prepare for the interview by working on your understanding of the language of interest beforehand. You don’t have to worry so much about this.
The truth is your employers will understand your background. They should not expect your accent to be as perfect as that of persons from Anglophone or Francophone countries.
Again, most employers rely heavily on foreign workers so they are well acquainted with working with non-Canadians and will not judge you for being a foreigner. If you are able to communicate effectively, you will pass the language requirements most employers are looking for.
While this is not a compulsory requirement, your prospective employer may ask if you have taken any language test in recent times and what the result was.
This is just to ascertain your knowledge of the primary language of communication. However, no matter how excellent your results in language tests might have been, your employers expect that you should be able to have hitch-free communication with them during the interview.
Step 5: Prepare for Virtual Interview if you will be Taking One
Your potential employer may indicate that you will have a virtual interview or leave you to choose which you will prefer. If you explain that you are applying from your home country, the organization may schedule you for a virtual interview.
First, you must understand that they will conduct the interview with respect to the Canadian local time.
Also, know that there are significant time differences across the Canadian provinces. You must work with the location of your interviewer.
Prepare for the Canadian job interview by getting yourself familiar with the virtual platform if you are not already.
Fidgeting your way around the interface of your computer during the interview may get you more nervous and put a wrong impression on your interviewer. Few hours before the interview, you should test your sound system. You can create a mock interview over the platform with a friend to test the clarity of the sound system.
Prepare a well-lighted room that is devoid of distractions for your interview. Position the camera well to show the full features of your face. Your eyes should stare directly at the camera or your face will have a slanted or angled view.
Other Tips you Should Note:
- Don’t look like you are not prepared
- Research about the likely persons that will conduct the interview such as the human resource manager or recruiting officer
- Think about common questions interviewers ask and prepare the appropriate answers for them
- Prepare relevant questions you also wish to ask your interviewers
- Go through your cover letter, resume, and portfolio, and be prepared to talk about the details in them
- You will maintain eye contact with your interviewers but you shouldn’t appear too daring
- Talk about the long-term during the interview. Hence, you should be careful to avoid talks of temporary permits as this may discourage your interviewers from employing you. While you may have the intention of applying for pr after your work permit expires, mentioning that you will be working with a temporary work permit could be a red flag to an employer. If the organization has indicated its interest in employing short-term workers only, you may choose to mention that fact.
- Your dressing is important. But you don’t have to be so uptight with it. Check out how to dress for a job interview.
As important as interview questions are, Canadian law considers some questions as illegal and an infringement on privacy. These questions or those that look like them are considered illegal and should not be asked during a Canadian job interview:
- Probing on religious affiliations and questions on doctrines and sects
- Sexual orientation
- Marital status
- Biodata like height, weight, etc.
- Ethnicity, race, country of origin
- Family background and structure
Although these questions are illegal, they may still come up during an interview session in Canada. While they may appear impolite and intruding to ask, some may truly be relevant to the job description.
If you feel offended by any question or think you shouldn’t talk about such a subject, you can politely inform your interviews of your reluctance to answer the question.
Except it is highly relevant in determining if you will get the job or not. In all, you should consider and ultimately anticipate why your interviewer may ask certain questions or why he/she may have reservations about certain facts about you with respect to the job.
FAQs About Preparing for a Canadian Job Interview
In terms of job employment, Canada relatively has more employment opportunities than most other developed countries. This is why the government actively introduces more and more programs to bring in skilled and experienced persons to work in the many vacancies available.
This is not to say that getting a job in Canada will be easy peasy. However, with the right academic background, skill set, work experience, and job-finding skills, you should be able to land your dream job in Canada.
- Retail salespersons
- Nurses and nursing aides
- Web developers
- Project managers
- Teachers (online and on-ground)
- Human Resource Managers
- Electrical engineers
- Financial Advisors
- Software engineers
- Data scientists
- Cybersecurity specialists