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How to prepare for a job interview as an immigrant in Canada

Job interviews can be an incredibly nerve wracking experience – some are naturally good at them while others need lots of practice to build more confidence. However, as an immigrant in a foreign country like Canada, job interviews are even more of a challenge, since your competition are mainly local, native-english speakers. So, what are the things you can do to prepare for your interview and increase your chances of landing the job? Here are some useful tips.

Expand your English vocabulary

Even though you are most likely already fluent in English, when getting an English-speaking job as a foreigner it is important to keep improving your speaking skills. The most convenient way to do this is through online English tutors but you may find in-person classes or learning apps to work better for you.

Expanding your vocabulary, particularly the business-related side of it, is important whether you are native speaker or not. In your interview, you want to show your potential employer that speaking English is not only easy to you, but you exceed the expectations with a varied and professional  vocabulary. Some online language tutors focus specifically on improving your B2B English, if that’s what you feel less confident in.

Your motivations for getting a job in Canada

When preparing for job interviews, most people will focus on their motivations to work for that specific company. However, many businesses will be mindful of your motivations as an immigrant living in Canada – can they trust you to stay and grow your career within the company long-term?

The recruitment process can be expensive and inconvenient for most businesses, so they will avoid anyone who isn’t serious about the job. Try to avoid mentioning things like “gap year” or “temporary work permit”. Have your reasons for living in the country and working for the company as a long-term opportunity.

Do your research

As with every job interview, it is of paramount importance that you come as prepared as you possibly can be. Go above and beyond when it comes to your research about the company as well as about the job specifications for your role. Once you have that knowledge, you may showcase it by mentioning specific things you’ve learned about the company, proving to be a thorough candidate.

Additionally, always prepare questions for the interviewer too. While such questions as “what’s the company culture like?” are fine, you will really show your interest and involvement in the role by asking deeper and more specific questions.

Prepare examples for specific questions

While you can never know the exact questions that you will be asked during the interview, you can still put in some work preparing specific examples from your previous experiences. Certain examples can be suited for multiple different questions or situations.

For instance, being asked about a particular challenge in your previous work experience and how you overcame it can also overlap with questions related to work-load management, team-work, specific job skills and so on. These situations can be very difficult to remember on-spot, when you are feeling nervous during the interview. So, writing down and memorising particular examples will be very helpful in those situations.

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