Getting ready for your job interview in Canada: The country is open and friendly because its economic and social success relies on people from all over the world. It can be hard to find a job in your field in Canada. But many immigrants show that it is possible as long as you are ready.
The job interview is one of the last steps in the job search process, so how well you do there is very important to whether or not you get the job. This page is a complete help for newcomers to Canada who are getting ready for a job interview. You can find out about the different kinds of interviews, the best ways to prepare, what you can’t ask in an interview, and more.
What kinds of job might I have in Canada?
In addition to the typical one-on-one interview with an interviewer and a potential employee, there are other types of interviewers that newcomers to Canada may meet when looking for work, based on their industry and role.
In a common type of interview, two or more people who work for the company are asked to talk to each other. Each person will ask you one question about your life and how you feel about it. At the end of the interview, you will have a chance to ask questions, and if you need to give a short talk, they will tell you ahead of time.
Group Interview: The point of a group interview is to show the company how you work in a team. They want to see if you can be a team boss, help solve problems, or be a helpful team member.
In this type of interview, you are generally given a small project to do with a group of other candidates. For example, you might be asked to make a proposal or build a tower out of paper and tape.
There could be anywhere from 3 to 20 other people in the interview. To make a good impression, you should be confident, be yourself, and avoid being too quiet or too controlling during the group exercise.
Phone or video interviews: Usually, the first step before a face-to-face interview is a phone or video interview. Even people who don’t speak English as a second language (ESL) can feel nervous in these situations.
Since body language and face expressions can’t be seen, it’s important to have good language skills. The employer may ask you questions that are more like a conversation, so it’s important to know about your work experience and goals for the job.
Competency/Technical/Skills-Based Interview: In this kind of interview, you have a short amount of time to finish a job. Depending on the job you’re looking for, you might have to play a role with a difficult customer, do some programming or marketing, or put information into a client database.
The goal of this interview is to see how well you pay attention to details and come up with creative solutions to problems. The employer will also ask about your skills and how you dealt with problems in the past.
Co-op diplomas give you real-world skills and up-to-date information that can help you in this kind of interview. Always be ready by doing study on the company and looking at their LinkedIn profile to think of questions you might be asked.
How many interviews do I have to go on before I get a job offer?
The number of interviews you have to go through before you get a job offer is based on how the company you are going to hires people.
Most of the time, there are between two and three interviews, with each one going into more and more detail about the job description and duties.
Also, it’s not unusual for some companies to mix different types of interviews at different points in the process. For example, they might start with a phone or video interview, then move on to a skills-based interview, and then end with a group interview.
Since this is the case, it is neither rude nor unusual to ask your interviewer what the whole process will be like during your first meeting. Since every company has its own way of hiring, interviewers are generally happy to share this information.
How do I get ready for an interview for a job in Canada?
To do well at your job interview, you need to prepare. Here is a list of best practices you can follow to make sure you are well-prepared for your job interview:
Look at the job posting: Read the job ad carefully to find out about the duties, qualifications, and skills needed. Align yourself with what the company wants and come up with answers that show you can learn and grow;
Find out what you can: Check out the company’s website, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor pages to learn about their products, key leaders, recent news, company culture, size, and competition in the market;
Make your elevator speech: Make a short (20-30 second) introduction that talks about your schooling, work experience, Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and a question to get the interviewer’s attention;
Set up your portfolio or examples of your work: Put together relevant portfolios, work samples, or a self-managed blog to show how knowledgeable you are in your field and how you can add value to the job and the organization;
Get ready to answer these questions: Learn about common interview questions for your job and have a general idea of the most important things you want to say. Instead of memorizing answers, talk easily and in a conversational way;
Think of what you want to ask the interviewer: Prepare questions based on your study and the job posting to find out more about the job and the company, clear up any questions you have, and show that you are interested and paying attention;
Know your application: Make sure you know everything on your resume and are ready to explain anything. Prepare detailed examples of your work to back up your work history;
Choose what you’ll wear: Choose a business dress outfit that fits well, is clean, and has been pressed. Pay attention to the right shoes and items. Plan your trip: For in-person interviews, be there at least 15 minutes early. Check the weather and traffic ahead of time, and if you’re taking public transportation, be aware of any delays. Treat everyone you meet in the building with kindness.
What is the Canadian way of acting at job interviews?
Even though Canadian interview etiquette is pretty simple and easy to understand, newbies should learn it to improve their chances of getting a job. Some important rules about how to act in an interview are:
The Talk Show At first glance: Your smile, handshake, clothes, personal space, and smell all play a part in your first impression. Because it could cause allergies or sensitivity, don’t wear strong scent or cologne. A daily shower is enough and appreciated;
How to Dress: To make a good first impression, dress well. Employers in Canada want to see that you are clean, neat, and dressed appropriately. Follow the tips on the “What Employers Say” tip sheet from Diversity Canada to learn more;
Telling lies: Tell the truth on your resume and at the interview. If you lie about your work experience and schooling, you could lose your job, lose people’s trust, and hurt your self-esteem.
Table Etiquette: If you have a lunch interview, be careful about how you act. Don’t order the most expensive thing or drink too much booze. Wait until everyone is served to start eating, and don’t say anything about how the subject eats;
Don’t Take Calls: Don’t answer your cell phone during the interview. If it rings by chance, say sorry and turn it off. It is rude to pick up the phone during an interview;
Where Should I sit?: Wait until someone gives you a seat or ask where you should sit if it’s not clear. It would be rude to assume you are the boss and take the boss’s chair by accident.
Getting Ready for an Interview: Use the interview as a chance to show how great you are. Answer all of the questions in a clear and brief way. Watch the interviewer’s body language for clues and feedback;
We appreciate the interview. People usually send a short thank-you card by mail or email after an interview. This is also a chance to add anything else you might have forgotten to say during the interview;
Phone Messages: Make sure your phone has a professional left message. Make sure your name and phone number are clear when you leave texts for other people. Slow down your speech so the person can write down the details;
Email Addresses: Think about having different email addresses for work and for fun. Choose a standard email address that is a variation of your name for your resume. Stay away from email addresses that aren’t proper for work.
Keep your eyes on the person you’re talking to as a sign of respect. If it’s hard for you to look someone in the eye, imagine an eye in the middle of their face. This will help you focus your gaze.
What things can’t my Canadian interviewer ask me?
Whether you are a casual foreign worker, a student, or a new permanent resident in Canada, you have the same rights at work as a Canadian citizen. This means that an interviewer can’t ask you certain things during a job interview.
During a job interview, some questions may come up by accident. This is because companies want to make sure that the person is a good fit for the company. But Canadian human rights law says that interviewers can’t ask about:
- Country/place of origin and citizenship status
- Religion, faith, or creed
- Gender or sexual orientation
- Race or ethnicity
- Family structure, children, or marital status
- Mental or physical health and disability
- Appearance, height, and weight
- Forgiven crimes
It is completely against the rules to ask about any of these things at any point in the hiring process, with very few exceptions. The questions you ask at an interview should only be about how well the candidate can do the job they are looking for.
How should I answer an interview question that might be against the law?
Some of these topics may come up in interviews, such as when someone talks about a personal situation or case. For example, an employee might say, “Sorry to keep you waiting, but my sick kid was on the phone and I had to take care of him. Do you have kids?”
Unfortunately, it is also possible for an interviewer to ask inappropriate questions, like “We’re looking for someone who is committed. Do you plan on having children in the future?”
In these kinds of cases, it’s up to you to decide what to do. Depending on the situation, you may not want to cut the conversation short but instead choose to deflect or answer the question directly.
You could say, “My [family status, country of origin, etc.] doesn’t affect my ability to do this job,” “I’d rather not answer this question unless it’s directly related to the job,” or “Can you please explain how this question relates to how I do my job?”
Even if the wrong questions are asked in a casual way with no bad intentions, it makes you wonder what role your answers played in the hiring process. It’s important to know your rights and act professionally and with confidence in these circumstances.
- Candidate evaluations: Group, phone/video, and skills-based interviews.
- Research the job.
- Dress nicely.
- Silence your phone.
- Know your rights.
- Act professionally.
- Act with confidence
What are the different types of interviews in Canada?
Interviews in Canada can be group interviews, phone/video interviews, or skills-based interviews, each serving different purposes.
How many interviews are typically required for a job in Canada?
Job seekers often go through 2-3 interviews, with varying types employed at different stages of the hiring process.
How should I prepare for a job interview in Canada?
Prepare by studying the job description, researching the company, creating an elevator pitch, assembling a portfolio, practicing answers, and formulating insightful questions.
What are some important etiquettes to follow during Canadian job interviews?
Follow dress codes, create a positive first impression, be truthful, observe table manners, avoid phone disruptions, and respect seating arrangements.
What questions are prohibited during a Canadian job interview?
It’s against the law to ask about topics like origin, religion, age, gender, race, family, health, appearance, and forgiven crimes during interviews.
How should I respond if I’m asked inappropriate questions during an interview?
Maintain professionalism by deflecting, offering relevant responses, seeking clarification, and asserting your confidence while upholding your rights.