Landing Your Job
Valerie Gerrard lived in Canada for eight years with her family and maintains strong links with the country. She draws on her own and her husband's work experience in writing this guide. Valerie now lives in Huntingdon, Cambs.
PREPARING FOR INTERVIEW
Doing some research
Probably the most useful thing you can do to prepare for your interview is a bit of research about the firm. This needn’t be exhaustive but could include finding out about the company’s products and any competition. Anyone intending to get ahead in the Canadian workplace is expected to be an enthusiastic go-getter.
You should go armed with a knowledge of the pay scales in your field. That will not be difficult, as Canadian employers and employees tend to be pretty open about salaries and these are usually mentioned in job advertisements.
Generally, you should dress less formally than you would for an interview in the UK, although it depends on the type of position for which you are applying. Whereas in the UK a prospective employer will expect an interviewee to arrive in a suit or equivalent, the Canadian employer could be rather intimidated if you were to turn up in your best bib and tucker for a job in, say, a production environment. Choose an outfit that is just slightly more formal than you would expect to wear in your new job on a daily basis.
What to take with you
You may not need all the following, but best to be on the safe side:
- Social Insurance Card. Your prospective employer may want to ensure that you have completed all the formalities necessary for starting work in Canada.
- Passport. Again the employer may wish to confirm that you are qualified to work in Canada. If applicable, the Permanent Resident Status document stapled into the back of your passport will reassure him.
- Permanent Resident Card. This confirms your status and the fact that you are eligible to work in Canada.
- References. Although you will have sent relevant references with your application it is a good idea to take the originals with you. The employer is not likely to want to telephone the UK to confirm your credentials so the more written documentation you can give him the better. Take along also any character references you obtained before leaving the UK. It all helps. Figure 22 is a sample of a character reference.
- Copy of the job advertisement. Useful to refer to.
- Another copy of your resume, again for you to refer to.
This next piece of advice may seem odd, but it is a fact. Canadians are discomfited if you arrive early for your interview. I don’t know why but I have seen it several times. It embarrasses them to have you turn up more than five minutes before your appointment. So take a turn around the block if necessary and report for interview at precisely the arranged time.