Want a Job in Canada? Avoid making these Three Job Interview Mistakes
One of the most challenging aspects of getting a job in Canada as an international candidate is the job interview. We cannot tell you how many times we have heard international candidates say that they just did not feel ‘right’ after a job interview with a Canadian employer.
Upon reflection, many people believe that language and culture are the main reasons why they cannot feel comfortable in a Canadian job interview. In fact, it is more likely that you are simply using the wrong approach to interviewing for a job in Canada. If you want a job in Canada, you must avoid these three job interview mistakes.
It is about Them not You
You know that your job interview in Canada is going well if much of the time has been spent talking about the company and its problems rather than yourself. It might feel good to talk about how great you are and what you want to accomplish in life. However, if you have not spent time figuring out the why the employer wants to hire someone like you as well as the problems they are having, then you are not the best person to get the job.
Be curious about the company and its problems. Ask direct questions that will lead to a discussion about how you fit into solving that problem. The framework of your job interview should be about the employer’s problems and not your resume.
Use Stories not Skills
One of the challenges of an overseas interview is that it is rarely done in person. Usually a candidate can measure whether they are being less than memorable by looking at the employer’s body language and tone. Sometimes you can measure the human element of an interview over Skype, but trying to figure out if you are making an impression on someone in a completely different country through video or email is nearly impossible.
That is why it is critical that you present yourself in the international interview as an interesting human being rather than an overseas piece of paper. An effective way to accomplish this is to persuade the employer that you are a solution to his or her problems through the use of stories as opposed to the use of skills.
Lets say that the employer’s problem is that they have had very bad luck finding skilled standing seam metal roofers with a positive and customer friendly attitude. One option would be to say you have ten years of experience running your own roofing company and that you have many satisfied customers.
Or you could tell a story about how one day you were watching the owner of a very successful roofing company talk to a customer and the first thing this owner did was tell the client that he just wanted to make the client happy so he would paint the metal any colour the client wanted. Lighter colours would prevent solar heat gains while darker colours would provide a sleek and unique look.
Afterwards, you asked the roofing owner why he did this, to which he replied that once the client felt that the roofer and client were truly working together, the rest of the job and the relationship was always smooth sailing. As a result of this story, you realized the value of accomplishing this early and up front and this has become your successful approach to customer service.
Which approach makes you seem more interesting, human and credible? Given the short amount of time you have to make an impression in an overseas job interview the answer of storytelling is obvious.
Offer Solutions not Accomplishments
You are a solution and not an employee. All of your degrees, awards and volunteer work are not relevant unless they can translate into a solution to the specific problem that the employer is facing. Of course, your first task is to find out what that specific problem actually is, however international candidates do not get jobs because they are great candidates, rather they get jobs because they are the right solution for a problem that cannot be solved by a domestic worker.
Always remember that there are lots of domestic candidates that are smart and accomplished, but the international employer is spending a lot of time, effort and money to find an international worker for a problem that he or she cannot currently solve. Stop wasting your entire interview listing off all your accomplishments and talking about your greatness. Instead, if you spend your interview time figuring out the problem and offering solutions, you might just find yourself on a path to starting a new life in Canada.