Whether you're a professional newcomer or not, the job interviewing process can be difficult and stressful for anyone. The stakes are high and it determines the direction of your career. It can affect your self-esteem and financial well being. Getting hired or not can impact your life. Many candidates compete for the same position but only one person will be successful - and get a job offer.
- Why did that candidate get the job?
- What did that candidate have that the others didn't?
- What makes that candidate the most qualified?
The answer isn't because a candidate has better skills. Not because they have a better personality or more experience. It's also not because of lower salary expectations, better references, or better grooming.
The answer is “having the right combination” of everything we just discussed. You need to be well rounded! Far too often interviewers end up focusing on weaknesses, or potential weaknesses of a professional newcomer. You need interviewers to focus on your strengths instead. Bad interviews can happen because of the things you say and how you answer certain questions during an interview. Other factors could be resume content, and how you present yourself in person. Lastly, from not capitalizing on questions where big points could have been scored with the interviewer.
Interviewers expect, or assume, that recent immigrants might be weaker in some areas. That's understandable because they haven't worked here yet. However, when appearing weak in too many areas, you won't stand a chance. You will appear as "not" having the right combination of skills, qualities, personality, and all the other attributes. For those reasons you will not be hired. The employer has to be impressed by your strengths, impressed enough to give less weight to the weaknesses. All candidates will have weaknesses and strengths. As long as weaknesses are kept to a minimal and won't interfere with performing a job, the candidate's strengths can make up for it.
An example would be if a candidate has fairly weak language skills but they score 90% on a technical test that many candidates fail. That's impressive and their language skills will start sounding a little better to the interviewer. On top of that, maybe they also demonstrated a great personality and attitude during the interview. Considering the language skills will improve over time, that may be overlooked and this type of scenario could easily land you the job. On the other hand, if your language skills need improving and you also answer interview questions poorly, then you won't be hired - regardless of great personality or how good you look on paper. A professional newcomer may have very strong technical experience but if he or she is not a well rounded candidate, they won't be hired. Being rejected for a job is frustrating and disappointing, especially when you know you can do the job.
Being a professional newcomer to the United States or Canada, you're at a disadvantage when competing against native-born candidates. You're also at a disadvantage to other Newcomers that have been living here for a while. Interviewers prefer candidates that have already worked here, for numerous reasons. Some of these reasons are; knowledge of workplace culture, possible culture clash, fitting in with other employees, foreign credentials not recognized, foreign work experience not considered equivalent, or potential communication and language issues. This doesn’t mean you will not be hired. It just means you have to properly address the issues and concerns that interviewers have with Newcomers. You need to address them correctly and strategically to get past employment barriers. You must convince the interviewer that you're the best choice for the role at hand. Even though you have never worked in North America or have only worked here a short time.
As mentioned already, when a professional newcomer gets invited for an interview, the interviewer already expects some weakness in a few areas. You will be gauged on weaknesses. However, what the interviewer really wants to see is how strong you are in the other areas. Can your strength areas compensate enough for weaker areas? The interviewer is also a long-term thinker. They know that newcomers will continue to improve in language skills and understanding of the workplace culture. A candidate will also be able to show or demonstrate their skills and abilities, once they are hired.
To get an employment offer, you first have to get an interview, then do well in your interview. That means avoiding common mistakes that many newcomers make during each step of the hiring process. Starting with their resume content, resume submission, interview preparation, and then attending an interview in person. If you make mistakes in the early stages of the hiring process then you won’t be invited for an interview. When mistakes happen at the interview, you will not get a job offer or called back for a second interview.
Those kinds of mistakes are why many immigrants find themselves unemployed for 3 or 4 months. In many cases much longer. This can also happen to professional newcomers who have 1-2 years of North American workplace experience. If they find themselves unemployed again, and haven't fully addressed serious weaknesses.
Professional Newcomer vs. Native-born Professional
To sum it all up, it takes unemployed Newcomers much longer to get a job compared to native-born candidates.
- Educated newcomers have a drastically higher unemployment rate compared to North American-born professionals working in the same professional fields.
- Only a small percentage of newcomers with a foreign education, actually work in jobs strongly matching their skills and training. In contrast, the percentage of North American-born professionals who work in jobs strongly matching their skills and training, is very high.
Getting Past Employment Barriers
Time can be an enemy to an unemployed professional newcomer. It’s a financial hardship, and you may have to settle for a position or career path you don’t want. You might also have to take low level jobs because at least it's a job. Moreover, having lengthy employment gaps on a resume is a big negative to employers. They view it as “no one else wants to hire you”. Let the 123getajob team help you knock down those barriers. We'll show you the best ways to approach specific issues at each step of the hiring process.
Are you an immigrant just starting your job search? Maybe you're a newcomer who's been job searching for 3 or 4 months without any employment offers yet? Not to worry, we can help in both situations. During your job search, you will encounter employment barriers and face interviewers who have concerns about hiring a newcomer. We'll show you how to knock down those hiring barriers and address the interviewer's concerns head-on. Our tips, advice, and strategies will get you more interviews, and teach you how to perform better at interviews. We will even give you a free resume analysis. You can be competitive against other candidates by avoiding serious mistakes and applying simple strategies at every step of the hiring process. Doing the right things will greatly increase your chances for getting a job offer. Get a job faster and get the job you really want! Join now for free!
Once inside the members section you will have full access to career experts. They will give you advice and answer any employment questions that you want to ask them. This site is for immigrants, and our career experts know exactly what you are going through.