Most interviewers tend to ask the same types of questions, so it has become slightly easier to prepare for any job interview. If you are immigrating to Canada, chances are you will be doing your interview over Skype or telephone, which doesn’t mean that you should be wearing your pajama bottoms for the interview. Dress appropriately and more importantly, do all the research that you can on the company before your interview.
The Top 10 Interview Questions
Q1: Tell me about yourself?
A1: While it may be easy to start telling the interviewer all about your life, try and stay focused by talking about your skills, goals and how this job fits perfectly into your career path.
Q2: What is your greatest strength?
A2: This answer should align with these particular job specifications. Highlight your skills and show them exactly why they need YOU.
Q3: What is your greatest weakness?
A3: This is a particular favorite among recruiters and sometimes throws applicants off. You should always plan for this question with a weakness that you are working at. An example of this is that you may not be able to stick to deadlines, but through proper planning and focus, you have managed to improve.
Q4: How do you handle stress and pressure?
A4: Everybody cracks under pressure sometimes, but employers want to know that you can handle stress in the right manner. The best answer is to give an example of how you handled pressure in a previous situation. You should focus on how that stressful situation pushed you to step up and helped you grow as a person.
Q5: Why is there a gap in your employment history?
A5: You may have struggled to find work for some time but you can always spin in a positive light by saying that you used the time to continue studying or you took up a new hobby.
Q6: What is the most difficult obstacle that you have had to face?
A6: The purpose of this question is to find out how you face challenges and how logical you are in solving the problem. Choose a situation that somebody else caused and had an impact on your job in some way. Then tell them how you solved the issue and how you learned from the situation. Always end on a positive note.
Q7: What interests you most about this job?
A7: Talk about the most important aspects of the job description. For example, if the job requires that you work in a team environment, talk about your willingness to join the dynamic team.
Q8: What are your achievements to date?
A8: Choose one work-related achievement that stood out for you and shows off your skills. Give specific details on the situation and make sure that you pick a time where you were able to reduce expenses, raise revenues or solve problems for the company.
Q9: Are you happy with your career to date?
A9: Your answer should always be yes. The interviewer is asking this loaded question to find out about your career aspirations, confidence and self-esteem so you should be honest and always justify your answers.
Q10: Why are you leaving your current job?
A10: Never speak badly about your previous employer or throw your current company under the bus. This always comes across the wrong way and rarely makes you look good. Rather say that you are looking for something a little more challenging and want to expand your skills. Whether you are interviewing over Skype, over the telephone or in person, you will need to brush up on your interview skills. If you are properly prepared, you can impress the interviewer and be successful in your next endeavor.
Q11: What is your motivation to move overseas for this job?
A11: So, you need the money and you’re excited to move abroad and you say: “Because I need the money and want to travel.” This is not how you want to respond to this question (even if it’s true). In fact, steer clear from any answer that has a materialistic motive as this could sabotage your chances of landing the job.
You want to give the impression that you want to enhance your professional growth and nurture your skills in a fulfilling, rewarding environment. You believe that this company aligns with your vision of growth and that you know this company/brand will give you the opportunity to do so. This is a rather flattering response for the interviewer and a positive outlook on your part.
Q12: When can you secure your work permit?
A12: You could use this opportunity to ask questions about whether or not the company will be sponsoring your work visa, and if so, how much are they willing to pay - will they be paying for a partial or full work visa? All Canadian employers are well aware of the tedious procedures involved when it comes to work visas so don’t be afraid to let them know that it will take some time.
However, do not ask the interviewer questions about work visas that you’re meant to ask the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This gives the impression that you’re unprepared and that you have not done your research. You want to show them that you are forewarned and that you are serious about working abroad.
Q13: Can you adapt to a work culture abroad? If so, give us some examples of your adaptability.
A13: This question tests your level of adaptability in a new working environment overseas. The idea is to see how quick you’re able to fit in and transition from one working culture to another. You want to craft your response carefully when giving examples of your adaptability. Withhold any political or religious views and keep your response light-hearted. For example, you could say that you’re very curious and love learning about new cultures, languages, and the culture’s work ethics. This shows that you’re flexible and open-minded.
Q14: How do you think you can add value to our company?
A14: This question allows you to outline your expertise and explain why they should choose you over someone else. Remember, there are plenty of people applying for the same position so don’t undermine the competition.
This is your time to demonstrate the various skills that you have and convince the interviewer why you’re the ideal candidate for the position. Bear in mind that the perfect candidate is confident and has a can-do attitude.
Q15: Where do you see yourself in X years from now within our company?
A15: The objective of this question is to assess how goal-driven you are while you unravel common trends in the industry. Explain what these trends mean in the future and how you will confidently handle them.
Most candidates struggle with this question because they haven’t worked in the environment to know exactly where they see themselves. The trick here is not to get too caught up in your own head and respond with certainty.
Q16: How do you handle conflict in a working environment?
A16: To address this question, you want to give an example of a positive situation which you handled in a professional, constructive manner. Demonstrate your ability to deal with conflict resolution and explain how your positive attitude had an impact on others and the outcome.
If you’re highly opinionated, be sure to communicate your views in a respectful way. Once again, refrain from political or religious views and be mindful of your body language or selection of wording while you explain. These little non-verbal cues speak volumes of your character and professionalism.
Q17: How do you manage multiple tasks at once?
A17: This question relates to your ability to prioritize important tasks. Before answering, think about your skills set and your ability to multi-task various projects to fill in the gaps. If you’re not a multi-tasker, you can talk about how much you value quality. Instead, explain how working on multiple tasks at once may make them prone to more errors.
At the same time, you want to let them know that you have a plan up your sleeve should more than one task come to you. For example, you can mention that you have a checklist, outlining the most important to least important tasks, while talking about your habit of taking notes.
Q18: What are your salary expectations?
A18: It’s totally natural to feel a bit intimidated by this question since you don’t want to set a high salary expectation that could throw you out of the running to land your dream job. You also don’t want to set a salary expectation that’s too low and get paid way too little.
Try not to give an exact figure but rather talk about how you expect your salary to match your level of experience and qualifications. This is a neutral, rational response which allows room for negotiation or to offer a salary range.
Q19: How do you handle failure?
A19: You may want to share a little anecdote that explains how you handled failure in the past. Try and make it brief and talk about how you were able to turn a failure into a positive situation. Talk about what you’ve learned from the experience and what measures you’ve taken to avoid potential errors in the future.
Q20: How do you handle criticism?
A20: The last thing you want to do is talk about how you’ve never received any criticism as this would come across as arrogant or paint you as someone who lacks self-awareness. The question examines your ability to take constructive feedback – do you get irritated, upset or defensive? You may want to share a story that explains how you handled constructive criticism and how you translated that feedback into other tasks going forward.