First canadian job interview - sharing experience

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)            
Subject: First canadian job interview - sharing experience
  Hi everyone

I landed less than 2 months ago in Calgary and I got last week my first job interview as a permanent resident. I want to share the experience as it may be useful to future immigrants.

I first got a call from the Human resources from that company giving me a phone interview and then they said they will call me for a on-site interview, which they did and that is how I made a DAY TRIP TO VANCOUVER last Friday! (didn´t see much since the company is very close from the airport).

Anyway so I got to see the "big boss" of the company for a 3 hours conversation, i.e.: interview.

The first question he asked me was "what do you know about Vancouver ?" well obviously not much I am too new here and the first hour went on and on and on about how great is Vancouver, the guy himself is British and moved there recently.

The second hour went on the interview itself asking question about me and all the usual stuff. Nothing special really up to there.

Then the third hour was the weird one when my internal warning lights flashed on .... after getting a clear picture of my situation (i.e. newly landed immigrant looking for job) came the salary question. You have to know that it was raised at the phone interview where the HR guy said an entry level is usual about 60k/year.

Ok so this guy told me "that I have to lower down myself and my education because I have no industry experience and be paid like an entry level (that is more or less ok) then he mentioned that a new graduate gets between 40 to 50/year. I just kept quiet and let him talk (he had just trashed my PhD and years of experience in the field in 10 seconds!!) .... and the last hour went on how it is possible to live in Vancouver with 40k-50/year. ... So bad according to me, like he was trying to justify himself!!!
Later he added "you will come here anyway because you need an income"

And on the way back to Calgary, that was the only sentence I remembered from the whole 3 hours .... do they see new immigrant as desperate for work that they would accept any thing as an offer ??? Of course I am eager to work especially in my field but that doesn´t mean that I am desperate.

Anyway I wanted to share this to everyone, it seems to me that new immigrants are easy target for getting fooled around, are they underpaid ? or it is just me being paranoid ?

I will know if they will give me a job offer by the end of the month and if they do I am ready to negotiate or maybe decline. I cannot imagine being paid below the market value for what the position is for. Is that happened to anyone ? Is it the usual ?

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
baffling. let me at him. I would broker a deal - 6 months at a ramp up salary and then to a comperable salary to any other employee with your qualifications.

I think you are getting fooled around. Don´t fall for it.

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)

I feel some disappointment in you and sincerely feeling very sorry. Keep your heads up, you are still new, no need to be desperate, you at least got interview for a position that you deserve. That´s a very good sign and your profession is a real field on demand.

I also faced similar experience as well. In Toronto I worked for 2 different companies as technician (not as an Engineer with US Masters). Both interviews came through "networking". Amazingly very similar experience; in both interviews I was showed 5" thick 3 hole binders full of resume...mostly are Engineers like me, some with Uk, Aussie..European degress.. Then both of them politely reminded me that I´m so lucky just because Mr.X strongly recommended me.

Salary? They usually offer 12/13$/hr to a tech., but as I´m a US degree holder they are honoring me with 15. After joining later I came to know that the guy who interviewd me wasn´t even any Engineer, he just have some associate technical courses. Seems humilating? Not really, at that time I thanked God many times to get those golden oppurtunities.

So, nothing new, just keep trying, should be in touch with the real employers.

By the way, aren´t you going for professional licensing? Like APEGA? I think that will help a lot.

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
Stand your ground, CBV. Expect and demand what you´re education and experience is worth. This guy sounds like a jerk to me. It may not be a great place to be if that´s the attitude they have. If this doesn´t work out, there are other opportunities to be had.
(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
CBV, don´t worry.... be patient and have a positive attitude. Amen.
(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
CBV333 are you implying that this guy the "Big Boss" (the guy himself is British and moved there recently) is he a new Immigrant or someone who has been in Canada for years and just moved to BC.

If so then a new Immigrant is trying to take advantage of a newer Immigrant! Ahhhhhh

I agree with Raj and Sharon the company contacted you, they invited you, you incurred costs, they spent hours with you!

You know that you can do the job well so I suggest you negotiate for 70k.

Your worth it. Hold your ground and call the "Big Bosses" bluff.

Don´t forget Umbrellas are expensive in Vancouver.


(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
Dear CBV333, I am happy to hear from you and glad you decided to continue to share your experiences with the rest of us!

I was shocked to hear that the interview lasted 3 hours! wow! that seems to me like a long time! Didn´t the ´big boss´ have anything else to do... I mean, no offense... I know that hiring a new person must be important but 3 hrs! I would go mental if I have to talk to someone I just met for 3 hrs... anyways...

You have always sounded like a pretty smart and confident person, you seem to know what you want and what you are worth so, keep trusting yourself... you are right... if you are not desperate, who is he to tell you that you are! what a jerk! he should not even mention any of these comments... what does he know of your situation as an immigrant or if you are lucky or not to have his offer... maybe you came loaded with money! how does he know!...

Hang in there... keep searching... something great will come your way! Good Luck and God bless!

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
Sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. Here is our recent experience: My husband just interviewed (finally) for a great position which he is totally qualified for and very excited about. The interview apparently went fine (it was over the phone, so hard to tell) but he could sense the tension when salary requirements were mentioned. He gave a reasonable range, and mentioned that because that because he would be new to the specific field, he would be willing to go a bit lower on the scale than he normally would. However, in this case he isn´t compromising himself; cost of living in this particular city is low, the advancement opportunities good, and it would be worth it to us a family just to get our foot in the door. Plus it´s a job he would really enjoy. He would not be able to do this if the job were in Toronto or Vancouver, however, where costs are so high.

We´ve definitely noticed that salary is a big sticking point when interviewing. I don´t know if it´s because we are immigrants or because salaries are generally higher in the US and the Canadian companies just can´t compete with that.

Always good to hear about your hands on experience as you navigate through your new life. I hope you feel good about whatever decision you make about this "opportunity".

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)

In general 3 hour interview is very reasonable, not abnormal. Usually in the US, the big IT related companies (like MS, Intel..HP..) interview their job candidates for almost a full day with lunch. That doesn´t mean that a single person talk with the candidates for the whole day. The candidate is passed to different groups.


Salary difference in US/Canada now is not that much like it used to be even 5 years ago. In US not many entry level salary is 60K.

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
DC, I have to tell you that I´m also shocked by how you were treated. I wonder what causes this "you´re lucky to be considered" attitude by some of these employers? My guess is that there are just too few jobs and many more applicants causing this level of arrogance.

In my experience, these employer attitudes used to be common in Europe, where high unemployment existed. Especially true in some of the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe.
In my case in the UK as well, where class structure always defined the employer and employee relationship a lot more than here and elsewhere (this may have changed there since then). But I´m surprised this approach is still apparent with certain employers in Canada when dealing with qualified
immigrants as job candidates. Shame on them.

(in reply to: First canadian job interview - sharing experience)
"you?re lucky to be considered" attitude by some of these employers?".

- 99% immigrants interpret such behaviour as racial. But I think that you answered that question correctly. That is very very obvious, when there are too many candidates fighting for few limited positions. Same rationale worked for CBV as well. Her employer quickly sensed that she is a new immigrant, so the best candidate to exploit. She´ll have limited choice by default regardless of her qualifications. While working in Toronto sometimes we used to get candidates willing to work for free, just to get the precious "Canadian Experience".

Not only in personal experience; this fact is now well documented by StatCan´s report. They reported that mass immigration on average reduced the salary level in Canada. Higher the position, more pronoucned the effect is. For the professionals they reported this around -7/8%.

I don´t know much about Europe. Some of friends are there in UK, Sweden..They went there as the local degree and right after got desired jobs. I didn´t hear any mistreatment from them about salary or in professional life. Story may be different in daily life. I always hear from them the main complian about how expensive there life is. I don´t think that immigration is even possible in the East European countries.