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Canadian Job Search Strategies: Informational Interviews

Canadian Job Search Strategies: Informational Interviews

Thinking of immigrating to Canada? Have you recently arrived and are looking for a job? Or are you thinking about changing careers?

When you move to Canada, one of your most important concerns is finding a job, often the same position you had in the country you've come from. To accomplish this, you need to apply effective job search strategies. One way is to speak to people who are working in positions you’d like to have or for companies you're interested in. These people may be aware of changes in your field, employment opportunities, and things you need to do to get a job. They may be willing to share their knowledge and give you advice, and suggest other people who can give you the additional information you need.

Many professionals are aware of the value of research and networking in the job search process. One of the best ways to connect with professionals is through informational interviews

What is an Informational Interview?

An informational interview—sometimes called a coffee meeting—is a short meeting with a potential employer or someone in your field of work. It’s most effective if it’s a face-to-face meeting, but it could be by phone or email. Informational interviews are a great tool for expanding your job search network and getting valuable information about a company or organization. They can also help you find information about occupational and educational requirements.  

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It might sound awkward especially if this is not a common practice in your own culture, but this is something you need to do in Canada. Some people will feel flattered that you’ve asked them. But remember, if you’re asking for an informational interview, you need to have a plan before you make the request.

Arranging an information interview

Arranging an informational interview takes time and planning. Employers who agree to speak with you are usually able to share 15-20 minutes. Follow these 3 steps when arranging an informational interview:

Step 1: Identify the companies that interest you:

Assess your own interests, abilities, and skills and where they fit/match with the companies' needs, projects and values.

Step 2: Identify people to interview:

Start with your list of people you already know—people from your own community and settlement organizations, friends, relatives, neighbors, teachers, and employment counselors. Ask them to suggest people for you to meet. Use LinkedIn to get connected with professionals in your field or a related one.

Step 3: Arrange for the interview:

Ask someone you know to refer you to the person you want to interview.

Contact the employer yourself to arrange for an interview.

Requesting the Interview

You can contact employers in person, by phone or by email. Whichever way you use, remember these points for setting up the meeting:

Although contacting potential employers for an informational interview is challenging, try to remember that the information you can get is well worth the time and effort.

Tips for any information interview:

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Where to Meet

You’ve got to propose a location for the meeting, which can be tough. Do you meet at a coffee shop or lunch spot down the street? Finding the right answer isn’t hard, just present the options to the other person and let them choose what they find most convenient.

At the end of the day, you never know what doors could open for you as the result of an informational interview.

Find out more about informational interviews and job searching in Canada by registering for free online courses at http://www.arriveprepared.ca/.

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Saturday, 22 February 2020

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