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CANADA JOB SPONSORSHIP+JOB INTERVIEW GUIDE

JANUARY 2013

CANADIAN JOB SPONSORSHIP + JOB INTERVIEW GUIDE INFORMATION AND GUIDED SUPPORT FOR: GETTING YOUR RESUME IN ORDER WHERE TO FIND EMPLOYMENT IN CANADA HOW TO LIASON WITH CANADIAN EMPLOYERS AND HELP THEM VALIDATE THE JOB OFFER BY HRSDC THE NEW RULES AND NEW DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR WORK PERMIT

Welcome!

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Documentation!

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Section 1,!

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Getting Canadian Employers Interested in You!

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Section 2,!

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Where to find employment in Canada!

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Next:!

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How to approach Canadian Employers and how to get a Job Offer validated by HRSDC! 6 Section 3,!

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Getting a Job Offer validated by HRSDC!

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What can you do to Assist your Potential Employer in making his decision to hire / sponsor an overseas worker! 6 Why is this important ?!

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Categories of Occupations Generally Requiring LMO (Labour Market Opinions)!

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Section 4,!

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Completing the Labour Market Opinion Application for Lower Skilled Occupations!

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Section 5,!

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Find out if you need a work permit to work in Canada!

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If your job category is not listed below, you need a work permit!

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Work permit applications can be found on the next page.!

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Section 6,!

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Application for Work Permit!

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Section 7,!

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Congratulations!

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Welcome Having been through the whole immigration process ourselves, we understand how frustrating and bewildering it can be, and hope that we can help you navigate through the legal hurdles & pathways to Immigrate to Canada and understand a little better what steps need to be taken in order to successfully qualify and apply for your Canadian Work Permit.

Documentation Within this guide, you will find 4 key sections, followed by the appropriate forms, document checklist and sample forms or document, that you will be required to complete and submit to the relevant Employers / The Labour Department / Embassy Please set aside enough time to familiarize yourself with the procedure, and all of the required steps in order to obtain a Positive LMO / Job Offer / Work Permit from CIC.

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Section 1, Getting Canadian Employers Interested in You Get Noticed by Employers. Attract the attention of an employer by assuring them that you meet the requirements for their open position. List your qualifications in a presentable manner. Focus on your skills and achievements. Prepare a professional Resume that will focus on your details skills, credentials, and abilities that are relevant to the next rung of your career ladder is necessary to grab the attention of Canadian Employers. The resume is one of the most important tools in your job search. The professional resume attracts the attention of an employer by assuring them that you meet the requirements for their open position. A poorly constructed resume or one that doesn't place the proper focus on your abilities can very easily get you disqualified by The Canadian Hiring Managers. The CV, or the "Resume", as we call it in North America, is the “Silent Salesman” for a job applicant, giving insight into the candidate’s unique abilities.

We here, at ASKMigration.com understand that making a resume requires special skills that not every person possesses. That is why we are providing a FREE Canadian Resume Template and a Cover Letter Template at our website: http://askmigration.com/canada_jobs.html

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Next: Where and How to find Employment in Canada

Section 2, Where to find employment in Canada Canada announced they need more workers and immigrants Jobs and economic growth on the rise, faster than in the U.S. Free Public Healthcare & Life Expectancy of 81.23 years Quality Education & Higher Standard of Living Canada is among the most peaceful nations in the world The Government is approving more than 260,000 applications a year. Finding employment in Canada is the KEY to Migration. At ASKMigration.com we feature thousands of Job Vacancies from major Canadian Employers where you can apply for a Temporary/Permanent Job in Canada. Our Canada Job Search Portal has new vacancies added each day, and with thousands of job vacancies available at: http://askmigration.com/jobs there’s bound to be one for you. There is also a list included of some of the most reputable recruitment agencies for you to search for positions, as well as some prominent companies in Canada for you to do some research on, who have their own careers section on their websites so that you may apply directly. Through doing this, you will be tapping into the hidden job market in Canada, and you should aim to spend equal amounts of time applying for jobs both through our own Canada Job Search portal where new jobs are added daily, located at: http:// askmigration.com/jobs and also through your own research, applying directly to companies in your field.

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Next: How to approach Canadian Employers and how to get a Job Offer validated by HRSDC

Section 3, Getting a Job Offer validated by HRSDC Every year, Canadian Employers hire over 150,000 temporary workers with specific skills, including live-in caregivers When the best skilled workers are willing to relocate, employers will always benefit! Government studies have shown that foreign skilled-workers contribute more economically to employers than a local employee as they are more motivated and driven to succeed. Employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers must first apply to Service Canada for a Labour Market Opinion. The Labour Market Opinion (LMO) assesses the impact the foreign worker would have on Canada’s labour market or, in other words, how the offer of employment would likely affect Canadian jobs. Your Potential Employer will need a positive Labour Market Opinion to hire you as a temporary foreign worker. You fill need to obtain a positive Labour Market Opinion in order to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a work permit. What can you do to Assist your Potential Employer in making his decision to hire / sponsor an overseas worker You will need to confirm that the position offered is skilled and the employer has been advertised the position in Canada, prior to considering an overseas candidate. You will also need to let him know that you are strongly determined to relocate to Canada for work and that you already possess the knowledge and the documents required to successfully apply for a Work Permit, once the employer has decided to consider you for the position Why is this important ? Common concerns of Canadian Companies while reviewing Resumes of foreign workers have been well documented in the past and you will need to communicate to the Potential Employer that you understand the Magnitude of his/her responsibility, when considering Foreign Workers.

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You should also point-out that as a foreign worker, you are prepared to perform all of your duties with great determination, much like a native Canadian employee, not less because of your sheer determination and ambition to succeed in this new Economy, and make a statement for yourself.

Categories of Occupations Generally Requiring LMO (Labour Market Opinions) High-Skilled Occupations: Requests to hire skilled foreign workers (i.e., in high-skilled occupations) usually require an LMO, but as previously noted, some categories of work do not require an LMO. Lower-Skilled Occupations: Requests to hire foreign workers in occupations that usually require at most a high school diploma or job-specific training will likely require an LMO. Seasonal Agricultural Workers: Requests to hire seasonal agricultural workers from any foreign country will require an LMO. Live-in Caregivers: Requests to hire live-in caregivers (i.e., under the Live-in Caregiver Program) will require an LMO. If the Job Offer Requires an LMO Your employer will be required to complete an Application for a Labour Market Opinion and submit it to the appropriate Service Canada Centre serving his region. Service Canada considers the following factors in an LMO application The occupation in which the foreign worker will be employed The wages and working conditions offered to the foreign worker The employer’s advertisement and recruitment efforts to hire Canadians/ permanent residents The associated labour market benefits that may occur from hiring the foreign worker (e.g., transfer of new skills/knowledge, creation/retention of jobs, etc.) Consultations with organized labour if the position the foreign worker will fill is part of a bargaining unit Determination if the entry of the foreign worker is likely to affect the settlement of an ongoing labour dispute

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Please note that for certain occupations the employer may also be required to submit an employment contract which will be considered as part of the LMO assessment.

Section 4, Completing the Labour Market Opinion Application for Lower Skilled Occupations This form should be used by your employer to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) to hire temporary foreign workers under the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (NOC C and D). The application can be downloaded from: http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/cgi-bin/ search/eforms/index.cgi?app=prfl&frm=emp5517&ln=eng and all other required documents must be submitted to Service Canada.

Next:

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Find out if you need to apply for a work permit, after the LMO is processed from HRSDC, and get the necessary Work Permit Forms.

Section 5, Find out if you need a work permit to work in Canada If your job category is listed below, you do not need a work permit. However, you may need to meet other requirements. Read the information carefully. If your job category is not listed below, you need a work permit Work permit applications can be found on the next page. Athletes and coaches Aviation accident or incident investigators Business visitors Civil aviation inspectors Clergy Convention organizers Crew members Emergency service providers Examiners and evaluators Expert witnesses or investigators Family members of foreign representatives Foreign government officers Foreign representatives Health care students Judges, referees and similar officials Military personnel News reporters, film and media crews

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Performing artists Public speakers Students working on campus

Section 6, Application for Work Permit A current copy of the Application for Work Permit can be downloaded from: http:// www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/work.asp and is for people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and who wish to work temporarily in Canada. A work permit is issued if the application is accepted. NEW: CIC has introduced a new Application for a Work Permit Made Outside of Canada [IMM 1295] form. It comes with additional forms and an instruction guide. Please read the guide carefully as it contains important information on how to complete the form. All applicants must complete and sign their own individual form, including persons traveling as a family. Applicants who are under the age of 18 years must have their form signed by a parent or guardian.

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Section 7, Congratulations If you’re reading this, that means you’ve made it! We share your excitement and sincerely believe that Canada is the best possible place to relocate because of its excellent settlement services, the stability of the environment and openness to those wishing to become part of its landscape. Canada as a land of opportunity provides economic prosperity, easily accessible and affordable education, one of the world’s best health care system and abundance of land and fresh water. Now you and your family can share with Canadians and take part in continued creation of the world’s most admired and peaceful nation and country You can be proud to call Your home - Canada !

Yours in success!

The team at http://ASKMigration.com

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YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS By ResumeCompanion.com


YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS

ResumeCompanion.com

Table of Contents Before the Interview .......................................................................................... 3 Preparing for the Interview.......................................................................................................... 4 Interview Strategies ..................................................................................................................... 6

Interview Questions You Need to Master ........................................................... 8 25 Basic Interview Questions ....................................................................................................... 9 20 Challenging Interview Questions .......................................................................................... 15 Interview Questions for Students .............................................................................................. 19 Interview Questions for Career Changers.................................................................................. 21 Interview Questions for re-entering the Job Market................................................................. 22 Illegal Interview Questions ........................................................................................................ 23

After the Interview .......................................................................................... 25 Post interview Wrap Up ............................................................................................................. 26 Before you hear back ................................................................................................................. 27 Negotiation Tips ......................................................................................................................... 28

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Before the Interview

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Preparing for the Interview The sixty second pitch The sixty second pitch is a clear and concise summary of who you are that you should prepare and memorize. It should include: • Your current and/or target occupation • Your most impressive and relevant qualifications and skills • Your educational attainment This pitch is invaluable when meeting prospective employers and for general networking purposes.

Researching the employer Researching the employer prior to an interview is critical. Although time consuming, it will impress prospective employers and dramatically increase your odds of a follow up interview. Basic information can be found on the employer’s website. You should be come generally familiar with the company’s: • • • • •

Leadership/management team Products/services Recent company news and events Industry trends Top competitors

We recommend printing out the information above and having it ready to reference back to during the initial phone interview.

First round interviews Most first round interviews are conducted over the phone. An employer who is interested in learning more about you may call you at any time. If you feel unprepared it is acceptable to ask the interviewer if you can reschedule the interview for a later time.

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Most often, however, the interviewer will schedule a time in advance that is mutually convenient. During the interview, make sure you have a printed version of your resume on hand and are ready to take notes. Talk confidently and slowly, resisting the urge to answer quickly. Think through your answers – it is acceptable to ask for a moment while you think through your response. As the phone interview comes to an end, reaffirm your interest by asking the interviewer what the next step in the hiring process is and if there is anything you can do to make yourself more competitive. Make sure to follow up with a thank you note, just like you would after an in-person interview.

A note about professional references Prepare a list of professional references at the onset of your job search. It will take time for you to get permission from your references, so start early. Choose two to three professional references from previous employers or from close business associates. Other potential sources include previous clients, professors and community leaders. Do not use friends and family members as professional references. References should never be included on your resume, but instead on a separate document which should only be given out upon request with the implicit understanding that your references may be contacted.

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Interview Strategies Knowing in detailed fashion what is on your resume and practicing the interview questions provided in this document will take you a long way in acing your next interview. You will notice a dramatic increase in your confidence knowing you are prepared to answer any question that may come your way.

Proper dress attire Proper dress attire is an important detail not to be overlooked. Adhere to the following dress attire rules: • Men: Wear a conservative, two-piece suit, white shirt, silk tie and lace up wing tip shoes. • Women: Wear a professional-looking dress or suit with low-heeled shoes. • Impeccable grooming: Get a haircut; trim your nails, shave, etc. Note: every company and occupation is different. Use your best judgment and when in doubt, it is better to overdress than under.

A note about punctuality Punctuality may be obvious but can be more challenging than expected when traveling to an unknown destination for the first time. Give yourself ample time in case you get lost, the bus is running late, your car runs out of gas, etc. By planning to get to your destination 30 minutes in advance, you give yourself the opportunity to review your resume and take a leisurely walk outside the building to clear your mind. Do not go into the office 30 minutes in advance – 10 minutes is standard.

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What to bring Prepare your documents in a clean and professional looking binder or folder. Make sure you are not fumbling around with your things as you greet the interviewer – you want to be cool, confident, relaxed and in charge. Make sure you bring: • • • •

Several unfolded copies of your resume and cover letter Notepad and pen Several copies of your list of professional references Examples of your work (writing samples, presentations, etc.)

Body language You only get one chance to make a positive first impression. following body language tips and you’ll exude confidence: • • • •

Practice the

Smile when you meet Walk and talk with confidence Shake hands firmly Keep your documents and notepad organized and accessible without difficulty • Let your eyes travel naturally to and from the interviewer’s face • Remember the interviewer’s name and pronounce it with confidence

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Interview Questions You Need to Master

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25 Basic Interview Questions About the Job Why do you want to work in this industry? The key is to create a narrative of how you first became interested in this type of work. Call out similarities between your current/past work and the job you are now applying to. By demonstrating your passion for the work you differentiate yourself from the other job candidates that are simply “job shopping”.

Why do you want to work here? If you have done your initial research this should be easy. Describe one or two things about the company that are special and caught your interest. Perhaps the company has the best customer service in the industry. Or the company recently came out with a new product that you personally have used and enjoy.

What skills do you think are most critical to this job? Describe the key skills that are required for the position and how you’ve demonstrated those skills in your current or past work. Make sure to describe specific examples and avoid generalities.

Considering your own resume, what are your weaknesses in relation to this job? The trick here is to turn the question around and get the interviewer to disclose what he or she believes may be your weaknesses. Ask the interviewer “What are you most concerned about?” Similar to a sales rebuttal, once you have identified the objection give an example of how you are suited for the job.

If I hired you today, what would you accomplish first? This is a great question because it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate both your knowledge of the industry as well as your skills. Talk about a specific project that you would spearhead and how you would utilize your former experience to get the job done.

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Your Career Path Where do you want to be in five years? Resist the urge to give specific job titles or time frames as you may end up shooting yourself in the foot. Talk about your professional interests and how you want to continue improving your skills in your chosen field or industry. Make sure you focus on the specific field and industry you are applying for.

What are your long term career plans? This is similar to the five year career path question but distinctly different. It is reasonable to plan five years out but longer than that is difficult, given the changing nature of businesses and the economy. Therefore, focus on the types of experiences and accomplishments you wish to achieve. For example, talk about how you want to become an expert in your field and obtain a respectable position in management.

Why are you leaving your current job? Focus on the lack of growth or challenge at your current job. Emphasize why you think the position you are interviewing for would provide the challenge and additional responsibilities you are seeking.

What are your salary expectations? The key is to turn the question around. Ask the interviewer what the salary range is for the position. Then ask the interviewer how your qualifications rate compared to the average requirements for the position. The idea is to position you towards the highest pay bracket as possible.

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Strengths and Accomplishments Why should I hire you? Resist the urge to repeat your resume verbatim. Instead, describe how you stand apart from other job candidates and why you are passionate about the job. For example, you might describe how you’ve used the company’s products since college. You might describe your participation in industry associations and thought leadership in the field.

What are your strengths? Describe one or two of your skills that are most relevant to the job. Describe them in detail and how they could be applied to the new job. For example, you might talk about your ability to communicate cross functionally and how important that will be for the position.

Describe an improvement you personally initiated. Make sure you have a specific example on hand. The interviewer wants a concrete example of your initiative and your ability to work through a project from start to finish.

Describe your leadership style. There are many correct answers here. We prefer the tried and true “lead by example” response. Make sure you can provide an example of how you took on a leadership position by leading by example.

Tell me about a major accomplishment. This is similar to the “describing an improvement you personally initiated” question. You should have a specific example prepared. Walk the interviewer through the steps you took, the role you played, and the result.

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Problem Solving Tell me about the most difficult problem you’ve ever dealt with. Prepare a specific problem in advance. Discuss the problem briefly and then focus on what actions you took to solve the problem. Describe why this problem was personally hard for you and what you did to remain objective and professional.

Describe how you’ve used a problem solving process. Describe step by step how you utilized a problem solving process and how you saw it through to a successful conclusion. What measures did you use to control or manage the process? What were the results?

Tell me about a problem you failed to anticipate. The objective here is to demonstrate your ability to be humble. It is also a great opportunity to relate an incident from which you learned an important lesson. What warning signs should you have seen? How has your judgment improved as a result of this experience?

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Interpersonal Skills Tell me about your relationship with your previous bosses. The interviewer is interested in whether you will work well with supervisors and management. Describe the positive dynamic between you and your supervisors, making specific mention of how you work well with managers that set clear expectations and clear lines of communication.

Describe a time when you assisted a coworker. Demonstrate your willingness to pitch in and get your hands dirty. It is a great chance for you to demonstrate how you lead by example. Try to discuss a time when your expertise produced a positive outcome for a coworker and for the company as a whole.

What type of people do you work with most effectively? You want to focus on the positive here. The interviewer wants to find out how well you would fit in with the other personalities in the company. You can’t go wrong by saying you work well with various types of personalities, even difficult ones, due to your patient and pleasant demeanor.

Personal Interests What books do you keep on your desk? The recruiter will be interested in determining how seriously you take your profession. Make sure you are armed with two to three books that are relatable and relevant to the job. Be honest – you don’t want to get caught not knowing what a book entails if you say that you have it on your desk! Noting specific websites is also a good substitute if you don’t have any books to provide as an example.

What do you do in your spare time? The interviewer wants evidence that you’re well rounded, not just one dimensional. He or she is also looking for shared interests or common ground. Try to relate your answer back to the job.

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Other Have you ever been fired? If you’ve never been fired this is an easy question to answer. But if you have been fired you’ll need to be prepared to discuss the situation in detail and possibly answer a series of follow up questions. If the termination was a result of a situation beyond your control, such as corporate downsizing, most interviewers will be very understanding. But if you were fired due to your performance or some other problem, you’ll need to admit your fault and convince the interviewer that you’ve corrected the issue. You should be completely honest - If you aren’t and the recruiter finds out as much you will most likely be subject to immediate dismissal or your job offer will be rescinded.

Why have you changed jobs so frequently? Professional growth, a larger budget, or other career enhancing experiences are all valid reasons for moving on. Convince the interviewer that you’re interested in his or her company for the long haul.

Why did you stay at your last job so long? The interviewer may be concerned about your lack of interest in personal growth, tackling new assignments and initiative. He or she may also be concerned about whether you have a tendency to get too comfortable with the status quo. Demonstrate how you’ve taken on new job responsibilities and challenges.

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20 Challenging Interview Questions Through our collective experience as resume writers and career coaches we’ve assembled 20 of the most challenging questions you might be asked during an interview. If you can master these questions and answer intelligently and confidently you will be able to gain a huge advantage over other job applicants.

Tell me about a project in which you were disappointed with your personal performance. Describe specific challenges and what you’ve done to get around them. Describe what you would have done differently given the chance and what you have learned from the experience. The key is to focus on your approach to problem solving and what you have learned from the experience, all while staying positive.

What would you do if I told you that I thought you were giving a very poor interview? Ask the interviewer if there were specific areas of the interview that he or she felt you did not address sufficiently. Tell the interviewer that you would be happy to respond more fully and appropriately, given the opportunity. Remember to stay calm, confident and relaxed.

Tell me about your most difficult work or personal experience. Describe a specific experience and how you were able to overcome the problem. If you cannot think of an extremely difficult situation, use a more commonplace challenge. Tell the interviewer that although this may not be the most difficult situation you have encountered, it did require you to take the following steps to work through the problem. Then describe the steps you took.

If this were your first annual performance review, what would I be telling you right now? Tell the interviewer that he or she would be thanking you for all of the dedication and hard work. Mention one or two of your selling points from your resume.

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Give an example of a time when you were asked to accomplish a task but weren’t given enough information. How did you resolve the problem? The key is to demonstrate your problem solving ability and initiative. Think of an example where you thought outside the box to solve a problem.

Describe a time when you failed to resolve a conflict. The key is to describe a conflict that was not yours to solve in the first place (e.g.; downsizing of an adjacent division). If you must discuss a personal conflict, choose a lighthearted one and focus on the positive steps you’d take if you could go back and do it over again. Describe what you have learned as a result of the conflict.

How have you handled criticism of your work? Demonstrate your accountability and professionalism. Describe a specific project that caused you a problem and the steps you took to overcome it. You might also describe a time you responded objectively and professionally to particularly harsh or unreasonable criticism of your work.

Tell me about the last time you put your foot in your mouth. The interviewer is looking for your sense of right and wrong, and your ability to be responsible for your mistakes. Use an example that did not cause serious or long term damage, especially in the work place.

What might your current boss want to change about your work habits? The correct way to answer this question is to point out minor differences that are inconsequential to the actual performance of your work. For example, you might like to work early in the morning while your supervisor likes to come in later and work until seven o’clock.

Tell me about two or three aspects of your last job you’d never want to repeat. Describe specific things you’ve done in your previous job that you did not particularly enjoy but completed anyways in order to help the entire team reach its goals. This is a great opportunity to showcase your determination, initiative and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

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Tell me about a situation that frustrated you at work. Try to describe a situation that was outside of your control but how you were able to work through it with professionalism and poise. This is a great opportunity to give an example of how you were able to resolve a problem.

Tell me about one of your projects that failed. Use an example that did not cause significant or long lasting damage. You can also use this opportunity to describe one of your positive traits. For example, you could say that you used to have a tendency to take on too many tasks at once, and that in hindsight it would have been better to delegate work in order to meet aggressive deadlines.

Tell me about a time when your employer wasn’t happy with your job performance. Discuss a relatively minor evident. Show a willingness to accept responsibility for the problem – don’t push blame onto others. By making sure you describe either what you learned from the experience or how you were able to overcome it, you are able to keep the discussion positive.

Have you ever been passed up for a promotion that you felt you deserved? The correct answer is to provide evidence that you possess patience and maturity. Describe how you believe that the quality of your work and your actions has always been recognized by your peers and supervisors.

Tell me about a problem you’ve had getting along with a colleague. Don’t discuss a personality clash; focus instead on a difference in work ethic between you and a colleague. For example, you might say that you worked with a colleague that cut corners with his or her work which ultimately led to their dismissal. The interviewer will empathize and you will have demonstrated your own work ethic.

Tell me about your least favorite manager or professor. What the interviewer really wants to know is the way in which you speak about your previous supervisors or teachers. The interviewer is trying to bait you to

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speak negatively about them – don’t fall for it! The best answer is to choose an example that is not overtly negative. Touch upon it briefly, and then focus the rest of your answer on what you learned from the experience.

Who’s the toughest employer you’ve ever had, and why? Again, you should avoid speaking negatively about your previous employers, at all costs. Instead, turn the question around with a positive and upbeat response.

Give an example of a time management skill you’ve learned and applied at work. Describe a time management technique you’ve applied at work that’s allowed you to save time and resources. Describe how you are able to utilize this technique to boost productivity and get things done, especially under tight deadlines.

Would you be able to work extended hours as necessary to perform the job? Your response should match closely the position you’re applying for and should reflect a realistic understanding of the work and time required. Of course, showing a willingness to work extended hours can only help your cause.

Prove to me that your interest is sincere. Be unprepared for this question at your own peril. If you have done your homework and understand the company’s products, services and market you will be prepared to give an insightful answer to this question. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself and tell the employer why you would be perfect for the job. Note: If asked an impossible or tough question that you cannot answer: Think about it for several seconds, then with a winning smile and without apology, say: I don’t know, but given the opportunity I am certain I can get the answer for you.

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Interview Questions for Students Why weren’t your grades better? Chances are that if you’ve made it this far you will have fulfilled the basic criteria for the position, including the educational requirements. The interviewer is trying to judge how well you handle adversity, so it’s important not to get defensive when faced with this question. Instead, try to put a positive spin on the question by concentrating on what you learned and the extra effort you put in, rather than on the grades you received.

Why did you decide on your college major? Demonstrate that you have well thought out and logical reasons for choosing your major. In failing to do so, the interviewer will wonder how much thought you’ve put into choosing your career. Be sure that your reasons for choosing your major are compatible with your career choice. For example, don’t say you were you a music major because you love to play the guitar if you’re applying for a position as a banker.

Was there a course that you found particularly challenging? The interviewer will want to see how well you respond to difficult situations. Demonstrate that you won’t fold in the face of difficulty, and that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to meet any challenges that arise.

Why didn’t you participate in more extracurricular activities? The interviewer is worried that if you don’t have many outside interests, you may suffer from burnout. Employers like candidates that are well rounded and have interests outside of work. If you didn’t participate in formal extracurricular activities, you still want to talk about your interests, such as cooking or reading, which you participated in on a more informal level.

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Since this will be your first job, how do you know you’ll like the career path? Discuss relevant internship or conversations with industry insiders that’s allowed you to preview the work involved. Describe other people in the profession who have been mentors or who have taught you about the field. Bring up what you have learned about the industry and how you stay current with trends.

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Interview Questions for Career Changers Why do you want to leave your current position? The interviewer wants to know why you want to change careers. Show the interviewer that you arrived at your decision through careful consideration. Explain why you decided upon this particular position and how the position will allow you to pursue your passion and interests.

Why would you want to leave an established career for an entry level position? The interviewer wants to determine your motivation for choosing a new career and the likelihood that you will be comfortable in a position where you will probably have less responsibility compared to previous jobs. Discuss your reasons for switching careers and show that you have a solid understanding of the position and the industry in general.

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Interview Questions for re-entering the Job Market Your resume doesn’t list any job experience in the past few years. Why not? Whatever the reason for your hiatus, be honest. Discuss the decisions behind your absence, whether they were to stay home and raise a family or to recuperate from an injury. Tell the interviewer why you’re now ready to return to work. The key here is to emphasize your eagerness to resume your career and your specific interest in this position.

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Illegal Interview Questions What religion do you practice? Answer 1: I do not mix my personal beliefs with my work. I assure you that I value my career too much for that. Answer 2: I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose of this question. Would you please explain to me how this issue is relevant to the position? Answer 3: That question makes me uncomfortable. I’d prefer to not answer it.

How old are you? Answer 1: I am in my fifties and possess over 30 years of experience in this industry. My qualifications include… Answer 2: I’m too young to retire, but I’m old enough to know better than to answer a question like that. Answer 3: I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose of this question. Would you please explain to me how this issue is relevant to the position? Answer 4: That question makes me uncomfortable. I’d prefer to not answer it.

Are you married? Answer 1: No Answer 2: Yes I am, but I keep my family life separate from my work life so that I can put all of my effort into my job. I’m flexible when it comes to travel and late hours, as my references can confirm. Answer 3: I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose of this question. Would you please explain to me how this issue is relevant to the position? Answer 4: That question makes me uncomfortable. I’d prefer to not answer it.

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YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS

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Do you have children? Answer 1: No Answer 2: Yes I do, but I keep my family life separate from my work life so that I can put all of my effort into my job. I’m flexible when it comes to travel and late hours, as my references can confirm. Answer 3: I’m not quite sure I understand the purpose of this question. Would you please explain to me how this issue is relevant to the position? Answer 4: That question makes me uncomfortable. I’d prefer to not answer it.

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YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS

After the Interview

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YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS

ResumeCompanion.com

Post Interview Wrap Up Write down your thoughts It is important to get down to paper what was just covered during the interview while it is still fresh in your mind. Ask yourself these key questions: • What does the position actually entail? • What do you like in particular about the position and company? What don’t you like? • What mistakes did you make during the interview? • How could you improve your overall interview technique? This post interview retrospective will help you to narrow down between positions if it comes down to that, and it will also help you to improve your overall interview skills.

Thank you letter While a Thank you letter probably won’t help you secure the job, not sending one will most certainly hurt your chances. You should send a thank you letter immediately after the interview to everyone that you met with. Personalize each thank you letter and keep the entire letter to no more than two or three paragraphs. You should include: • Your gratitude for the opportunity to interview with the employer • Your increased enthusiasm for the position and the company in general • Call to action for the next step in the selection process

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YOUR GUIDE TO INTERVIEW SUCCESS

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Before You Hear Back Keeping in touch It is important to keep your candidacy fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Be proactive and send work that may intrigue the interviewer. If during the interview you discovered a common interest, such as traveling in Italy, send the person a great article you just found on the topic. This will create a sense of camaraderie and help to distinguish you from the other candidates.

If you don’t hear back You should give the interviewer up to 10 business days to contact you after receiving your thank you letter. If you don’t hear back within that time period, you should follow up with a phone call or follow up email. But don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive an immediate response. Most companies will interview several candidates before making a decision as to who to invite to the next stage of the selection process.

Handling rejection Rejection is bound to happen, so the key is to take it in stride and don’t take it personally. What you should do is contact each interviewer that sends you a rejection letter. Thank your contact for considering you for the position and request that he or she keep you in mind for future openings. You may want to ask the interviewer for suggestions to help you improve your chances of getting a job in that industry or for the contact information of people who might be looking for someone with your skills. Send your response letter within one to two days of the rejection, expressing your disappointment in not being offered the job but also your gratitude for the company’s time and consideration. Stay upbeat in your letter and you may be surprised at what opportunities may arise from being proactive.

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Negotiation Tips What to consider While starting salary is often the most important criteria when considering a job offer, you should also take into consideration whether or not the job will help in your overall career development. This in turn has an effect on your overall job satisfaction, lifetime earning potential and future marketability. In some organizations, you may be given a lot of responsibility right away but then find your upward progress blocked. Make sure you know if there are opportunities for advancement. Ask about performance reviews – how often are they conducted? Other information you should have in order to make an informed decision include: • • • • • • • • •

Start date Job title, and associated responsibilities Salary, overtime, and compensation Bonus structure Tuition reimbursement Vacation and parental-leave policy Life, medical and dental insurance coverage Pension plan Travel requirements

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Salary and benefits Don’t make the mistake of accepting a job that you’re not enthusiastic about simply because the starting salary is a few thousand dollars higher than what you’re currently making. Ask yourself whether the position presents a career path with upward mobility and long range income potential. Benefits can make a big difference in your compensation package, so don’t overlook them. With health insurance costs at an all time high in the United States, you should find out if the company covers these costs in full. If the company only pays only a portion of these costs, make certain that you can afford to pay the difference out of your own pocket.

Negotiating the offer Never try to negotiate salary or benefits until after you’ve gotten an offer. Try it, and you’ll look as if you care more about money than putting your skills to work for the company. Your goals at an interview are twofold: 1. Prove to the recruiter that you’re well suited to the job. 2. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the prospect of performing the job and working in the environment the company offers. If you’ve been offered a position, the hard part is over! Don’t worry about the company withdrawing the offer if you ask if the offer is firm. The worst case might be that employer tells you that your salary is set by company policy and there’s really no room to negotiate. But the employer is equally likely to tell you that he or she can’t give you an immediate answer and will have to get back to you.

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Determining appropriate salary Do your research using salary calculators such as salary.com or payscale.com. Make sure you account for regional differences in salary. For example, the same position may pay 20% more in New York City than in Dallas. If you are an entry level or recent college graduate make sure you set realistic salary expectations. With limited work experience employers are taking a leap of faith based on the potential you’ve demonstrated in classes, internships, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities. If you are an experienced hire, your negotiating power might be much greater. After finding out if the offer is firm, you may be asked to supply a target salary figure. Don’t paint yourself into a corner by providing a concrete number. Instead, say something like, “Based on my experience and the stated responsibilities of the position, I’d expect to receive compensation that is competitive and appropriate in this industry. Can you give me some idea of what range you have in mind?”

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Canada job sponsorship & job interview guide