Prepare For Canada Blog

3 Job Interview Questions You Will Be Asked In Canada

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 16, 2017 5:23:00 PM / by David Singh



One of the most common tips people give when you tell them that you are about to go for your first job interview in Canada as an immigrant is to be confident.  This is great advice, but it doesn’t really help you if you are not a confident person by nature, or are prone to getting nervous during interviews.  So, now that we know we need to be confident, the hard part is making sure that we are ready to shine in our upcoming Canadian job interview.  The best way to project confidence is to be as prepared as possible for the interview.

A job interview in Canada will consist of a series of questions and perhaps a test or section of the interview that is specific to your profession.  Interviewers are often predictable and stick to 3 main question formats:

  • Skills-based
  • Behavioural
  • Situational

Once you understand the format of the questions, you can begin to prepare your answers.  Looking at the job description of the job you have applied for in Canada can give you clues to the kind of questions that they will ask.  Let’s look at these question formats in greater detail.

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Skills-based questions

When an interviewer asks you a skilled based question, they are looking to understand either your technical ability or to see you demonstrate your soft skills ability.

An example of a technical skilled question would be:

“Have you ever used Microsoft office products in a professional setting, such as Microsoft Word or Excel?”

When answering a question like this, you should never answer just yes or no.  Take your time, using specific examples of when and how you used the software, you can even reference specific projects that you worked on and challenges you faced.

You should use a similar strategy for answering soft skills questions.  An example of a soft skills based question would be:

“Have you ever had to train someone who was new to the company?”

This type of question will usually be matched in the job description, so if you see that they want someone with training experience, you should have a great answer prepared for this question that demonstrates your ability to satisfy this job requirement.

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Behavioural questions

With this type of question, the interviewer is trying to gain a sense of both your experience dealing with certain situations or customers and also your general attitude. An example is below:

“Was there a time when you made a mistake at work? Tell me about it?"

A great approach to answering behavioral questions is to use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method:

  1. Begin by outlining the Situation you were facing
  2. Then identify the Task or goal
  3. Discuss the Actions you took
  4. Explain the outcome or end Result

Try to craft an answer that is like a very short story that covers off each of these points.

Here’s an example of how you would answer the above question

S – I was working on a presentation for a client, then the night before the presentation was due, all the data was lost due to a computer malfunction that was out of my control.

T –  I needed to get the presentation ready for the meeting as it was a big client from out of town and they could not reschedule.

A – I worked most of the evening to prepare a new presentation that was just as good as the one that was lost.

R – I presented the following day, and the meeting went very well.  In fact, we won their business.  I later implemented a company-wide program that encouraged everyone to back up all of their work so myself and my colleagues never had to go through this again.

By following the STAR method you will be able to answer confidently and prevent rambling or going off topic.

Situational questions

These questions are usually hypothetical and can require some quick thinking on your part, just remember to take your time and think before you speak.  Here is an example:

“You disagree with the way your supervisor wants to handle a problem. What would you do?”

You can reference an experience you had in the past using the STAR method if you wish, however, situational questions can be specific to the working environment at the job you are applying for.  You will need to answer these questions as best you can, just remember to stay calm and be concise.

By properly preparing for an interview you will not only be more successful in your efforts, you will also be much more relaxed.  The more relaxed you are the greater the chance you have of seeming confident and qualified for the job.

Topics: working in canada, After You Arrive

David Singh

Written by David Singh

Moved to Canada 6 years ago from India

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