The Toolbox gives you tips and tricks as well as standards to help you in presenting yourself to potential employers.
RESUME / CURRICULUM VITAE
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Your resume is no exception.
We recommend that you pay attention to:
- Clarity – Simple and clear, based on a standard resume format
- Relevance – Recent, relevant experience
- Reversed chronological order – List your relevant jobs from the most recent to the least recent
- Length – Maximum three pages
- Work history – Any gap between jobs should be explained
- Short and concise – We recommend using bullets (point form) to describe your responsibilities
- Presentation – Pay special attention to alignment, spelling and grammar
- Honesty – Be honest in your application and make sure that you can back up all that is written
THE PHONE INTERVIEW
If you have to do a phone interview before being interviewed in person, the first 45 seconds are important. You may be contacted at any time, so be prepared to answer questions typically related to:
- Your experience
- Your current and past jobs
- Your strengths
- Your weaknesses
Expect to be asked why you left your last job (or why you are considering leaving your current job) and why you are the best person for the position.
THE IN-PERSON INTERVIEW
Here are the basic rules for the beginning of the interview:
- Plan to arrive at the meeting location vicinity about 15 minutes in advance. Check traffic, road construction and pay attention to rush hours.
- Arrive alone.
- Bring a copy of the job posting, your resume and any relevant documents that you can give to the interviewer, if asked.
- Bring two official IDs (passport, permanent resident card, driver’s license, etc.), in case they ask you for these documents.
- Have a cell phone with you or a way to inform us that you will be late if it happens.
- If the person you are suppose to meet is not there at the time of your meeting, don’t turn back. Stay close by and contact your placement agent that will assist you with the situation.
- Plan your schedule accordingly; a thorough interview can last 45 to 90 minutes.
- Dress in a neutral, professional manner.
- Turn your mobile phone off before the interview starts.
- Give a firm handshake.
- Don’t sit down until you are invited to do so.
- Address your interviewer with his or her last name (ex. Mr. Smith).
- If the interview is in French, use “vous” to address the interviewer, unless the person gives you permission to use the “tu” form.
During the interview, remember the following:
- Sit up straight.
- Look the interviewer in the eye.
- Be enthusiastic and confident, but calm.
- Take time to think before answering.
- Avoid “yes” or “no” answers; develop your answers and support them with examples if you can.
- Never take over the conversation and talk for long periods of time or too frequently. Let the interviewer ask questions (he/she might have many for you).
- Keep your answers relevant to what is being asked.
- Do not interrupt the interviewer while he/she is talking. Wait until he/she is finished before commenting or asking a question.
- Never finish the interviewer’s sentences.
- Stay away from topics such as politics, religion, personal problems or other sensitive topics that are not relevant to the job.
- Look interested and nod from time to time to show that you are following the conversation.
- Expect a silent pause after you answer a question while the interviewer finishes to write notes.
- Don’t hesitate to ask relevant questions, but remember that there will probably be other interviews where more details will be shared with you, including salary.
- Tell the truth and be honest.
After the interview
- Thank the interviewer and shake his or her hand.
- You can email the interviewer to thank him or her for taking the time to meet with you. It is not necessary to call for an update if you were told that the recruiter would contact you if selected.