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Getting an interview simply means that you have provided yourself a platform to demonstrate your suitability for the role.

You have already applied for a job in Canada and wowed a prospective employer with your cover letter and resume.

Now, the hard work starts here. Practice speaking about yourself out loud in front of friends as this will allow you to become comfortable, but most importantly prepare yourself to answer potential questions.

Preparing for common job interview questions: general advice

  • Ensure you have researched the company and the role extensively. If you are new to the country, you need to demonstrate an ability to get up to speed quickly.
  • Prepare to speak about your motivation for moving to Canada and how long you plan to stay. Ensure that you display you are determined to stay in Canada long term by proving yourself worthy to employers.
  • Many interviews will begin with the prompt “tell me about yourself”. Prepare a two-minute overview that takes your interviewers through your resume and displays your suitability for the role in question. Practice this out loud over and over again. First impressions last, so this is a short slot to show your employer how competent you are. Do not use phrases like “as you can see”. Proceed as if they have never seen your resume.
  • Write out answers to common interview questions and ensure the answers roll off your tongue. Your ability to plan and prepare is being examined, so do your research.
  • Sometimes hiring managers will ask planned job interview questions to test your ability to think on your feet. Listen carefully to each question, always pause to plan your answer and only speak when you know exactly what points you are going to make. Focus on having an introduction, a body, and a summary for each answer.
  • Speak slowly. It’s easy to rush when nerves take over, but slowing down will ensure your brain has a chance to work out what to say next. Additionally, it will ensure your answers are fully understood.
  • Always think before you speak.
  • Be aware that all workers have the right to be treated fairly and with respect, even during the job interview. Learn more about your rights during an interview.

At Moving2Canada we’re committed to helping you succeed and find work in Canada. Our mission is to help newcomers achieve their potential, and finding work that you enjoy is a crucial component to your new life in Canada.

How to Answer job interview questions

1. Answer briefly, but try to avoid yes/no answers.

2. Don’t worry about pausing before you answer — it shows you can think before answering.

3. Don’t worry about admitting that you don’t know something, but don’t say it too often.

4. Be prepared for hypothetical interview questions — take your time, and think before you speak.

5. Be prepared for unexpected interview questions.

6. Keep the conversation moving.

7. Speak up when answering job interview questions.


Typical job interview questions

1. Tell me about yourself

Keep your answer to one or two minutes. Don’t ramble. Use your resume summary as a starting point.

2. What do you know about our company?

Do your homework before the interview. Spend some time researching the company and prepare for interview questions on this topic. Find out as much as you can — products, size, revenue, reputation, image, people, skills, history, and philosophy (vision and mission). Be able to demonstrate an informed interest. Let the interviewer tell you about the company as well. Ask questions about the company.

3. Why do you want to work for us?

Don’t talk about what you want, first talk about their needs. You would like to be part of a specific company project; you would like to solve a company problem; you can make a definite contribution to specific company goals.

4. What could you do for us? What can you do for us that someone else can’t do?
Refer to past experiences that show you’ve had success in solving previous employer problems that may be similar to those of the prospective employer.

5. What do you find most attractive / least attractive about the job offered?
List three or more attractive factors and only one minor unattractive factor.

6. Why should we hire you?
Because of your knowledge, experience, abilities, and skills.

7. What do you look for in a job?
An opportunity to use your skills, to perform, and be recognised.

8. Please give me your definition of a {the position for which you are being interviewed}.
Keep it brief. Give a definition related to actions and results.

9. How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our company?
Not long at all, you expect only a brief period of adjustment.

10. How long would you stay with us?
Focus on showing your employer you are in Canada for the long term. Tell them you intend to stay and build your career here.


Personality-based job interview questions

11. Do you generally speak to people before they speak to you?
Depends on the circumstances.

12. What was the last book you read? Movie you saw? Sporting event you attended?
Talk about books, sports, or films to show that you have balance in your life. Interview questions like this give a glimpse into your personality, so try to be positive.

13. What is the toughest part of a job for you?
Be honest. Remember, not everyone can do everything.

14. Are you creative?
Yes, give examples.

15. How would you describe your own personality?
No matter which words you use, try to come across as balanced.

16. Are you a leader?
Yes, and give examples.

17. What are your future goals?
Avoid “I would like the job you advertised”. Instead, give long-term goals.

18. What are your strong points?
Give at least three and relate them to the company and job you are interviewing for.

Career goals — job interview questions

19. If you could start your career again, what would you do differently?
Don’t give the impression of being regretful.

20. What career options do you have at the moment?
Relate these to the position and industry.

21. How would you describe the essence of success? According to your definition of success, how successful have you been so far?
Think carefully about your answer to these interview questions and relate it to your career accomplishments.

Your work habits and style

22. If I spoke to your previous manager, what would he or she say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Emphasize skills — don’t be overly negative about your weaknesses. It is always safer to identify a lack of a skill as an area of improvement rather than a shortcoming.

23. Can you work under pressures, deadlines, etc.?
Yes, it’s a way of life in business.

24. How have you changed the nature of your job?
Improved it, of course.

25. In your present position, what problems have you identified that had previously been overlooked?
Keep it brief, don’t boast.

26. Don’t you feel you might be better off in a different size company? Different type of company?
Depends on the job. Elaborate slightly.

27. How do you resolve conflict on a project team?
First you discuss the issues privately.

28. What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make?
Try to relate your response to the prospective employment situation.

29. In your current or last position, what are or were your five most significant achievements?
Refer to key achievements already identified on your resume.


30. How to answer the ‘your biggest weakness’ interview question

The interviewer won’t be impressed with classics like “I’m a perfectionist,” or “I’m a workaholic.”

You’re sitting face-to-face with the person you most want to impress — your prospective boss — and they are asking you, “What is your greatest weakness?” This is probably one of the most difficult and frequently asked job interview questions, so it’s smart to be well prepared with a good answer.

Interviewers really don’t care what your weaknesses are. The interviewer simply wants to see how you handle the question and what your answer may indicate about you. They also want to see how well you’ve prepared for this question as you should know it is coming.

Be honest. Answer it honestly in a way that makes you look positive. Mention a genuine weakness, but not one that will disqualify you in the interview.

“My area for improvement is…”

Highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and, more importantly, describe what you are proactively doing to enhance your skills in this area. Being able to say you are actively trying to change your weakness into a strength is a good idea. For example, “The area I would like improve on is public speaking, and I have just enrolled in a toastmaster’s course.”

Highlighting an area for improvement demonstrates you are self-aware. Describing what you are doing about that weakness demonstrates that you are proactive and seek to improve your talents.

Name weaknesses that have little to do with your prospective job. You can nominate a skill you may not actually need on the job, like languages, for example.

Avoid the blatant, overused ones. Examples include “My problem is I work too hard” or “Perfectionism” or “I am a workaholic incapable of taking lunch breaks.” With such weaknesses, who needs strengths? A few employers eat this stuff up, but most will roll their eyes and send you packing.

31. Behavioural job interview questions

Be sure to have examples dealing with conflict, stressful situations, achievements, initiative, teamwork and leadership. Some interviewers choose not to ask the “weakness” question directly but to couch it in terms of a past experience.

Behavioural job interview questions that draw out deficiencies are: “Tell about the biggest mistake you made in your career and what you learned from it”, or “Give an example of when you disagreed with your boss or co-worker and how you handled it.”

Choose your weakness before the interview. Limit your answer to one weakness and say what you did in order to overcome it. Overcoming a weakness is actually developing a strength.

Being able to discuss your weaknesses also indicates an ability to handle constructive criticism without becoming defensive. It shows a willingness to grow personally.


Other common interview questions:

32. Why are you here?

33. If you had only one way to describe yourself, what would it be?

34. When have you failed?

35. What’s the one accomplishment that you are most proud of? Why?

36. What qualities in your co-workers bother you most? What do you appreciate most?

37. How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for your weaknesses?

38. If I were to ask your current boss what your greatest strength is, what would he or she tell me?

39. If I were to ask you current boss to tell me one thing you do that drives him crazy, what would he tell me?

40. What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?

41. What changes have you made in working with others to become more effective at work?

42. What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people? How do you rate yourself in those areas?

43. How do you make decisions?

44. If you were limited to just one person to get advice and help from, which person would you choose? Why?

45. Tell me about a work incident in which you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside.

46. What would you do if you made an important business decision and a co-worker challenged it?

47. Describe a crisis you faced at work. What was your role? How did you resolve it? What were the results?

48. Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do. How did you handle it?

49. Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you?

50. What will make you love coming to work here every day?

51. What would you do if management made a decision you didn’t agree with?

52. What is there about this opportunity that most excites you?

53. What is your greatest fear about this opportunity?

54. If you get the job, how could you lose money for me?

55. Assume that you come to work here. One year from now you go home one Friday evening thinking that accepting this job was the best thing you ever did. What happened during the year for you to feel that way?

56. Is there any question that I haven’t asked you that I should?

57. “Is there anything you would like to ask us?” Questions to ask the interviewer.

It is a good idea to have questions prepared for the end of the interview. It will show interest in the role and company. It is not advised to ask about the package or salary at this stage. You should focus more on the organisation and the role itself.

Question examples may include:

–  What are the main objectives of the role?

–  How does the company expect these objectives to be met?

–  What obstacles are commonly encountered in reaching these objectives?

–  What is the desired time frame for reaching these objectives?

–  What is the career progression like with the job?

–  May I contact you with further questions?

–  What do you enjoy most about working for the company?

–  What’s the company culture like?

–  What are the biggest challenges for this position?

–  How would somebody like me contribute to the company?

–  What type of educational background do you look for in your employees?

–  What are the skills and attributes you value most in your employees?

–  What types of training do you offer?

–  What are the opportunities for advancement?

–  What does X mean for the company?

Other employment resources

Now that you’ve mastered how to handle job interview questions, here are some more resources to help you win interviews and find a job in Canada.

Remember also that not all recruitment is done through formal job interview processes. Find out how to use an informational interview as a tool to develop your network in Canada.

For vacancies, be sure to visit our Moving2Canada Jobs Board. For construction and engineering opportunities, visit Outpost Recruitment.

Get planning for Canada! Did you know that Canada offers free pre-arrival services for approved immigrants who plan to arrive in the country within the next 12 months? You can get free employment mentorship and more through government-funded pre-arrival services. Find out about pre-arrival services provided by Canada InfoNet here:

About the author

Ruairi Spillane profile picture

Ruairi Spillane

Founder & CEO - Finance & Recruitment Specialist
As the founder and CEO of Moving2Canada, Ruairi has been advising newcomers on how to immigrate, settle, and succeed in their new lives in Canada since 2011. He is a frequent contributor to discussions on Canadian immigration and has earned several recognitions for his expertise in the immigration space.
Read more about Ruairi Spillane
Citation "Things you could be asked in a job interview in Canada." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation