Lost in Translation. Avoid these Mistakes when Interviewing for an International Job Opening in Canada
Interviewing for an international job position is unlike all other job interviews. Between the cultural differences, language barriers, past frustrations and logistical uncertainties, many things can go wrong when trying to immigrate and start a career abroad.
In fact, sometimes the secret to impressing an international employer is not about who you are and what you have done, but rather in making sure that your interview is not lost in translation.
For example, a common item lost in translation is work experience. Unless the international candidate has worked for large multinational companies, it is likely that the potential employer interviewing the candidate has never heard of the companies listed on an international candidates resume. This is not to say that an international employer will dismiss foreign work experience. However, the international candidate really won’t receive the credit they deserve unless they are able to provide some context for the companies listed and work experience described on his or her resume.
The best method of providing context is to find an analogy. If you worked for a medium size local construction company, then do a little bit of research to find an equivalent organization in the international employers region so that the interviewer can fully appreciate this local experience. A simple comment such as, ‘this company is like the ABC construction company in your city’ can go a long way to translating foreign experience into the language of the potential employer. Perhaps this equivalent company is a business that the potential international employer aspires to become or compete against. If so, the international candidates experience will all of a sudden transform into an attractive attribute for the employer.
The same principle holds true for items such as education and skills training. The international candidate may have attended the most prestigious university in the country, or have taken the most difficult certification course possible. However, it would be foolish to assume that the international interviewer has the same awareness and knowledge as the candidate, and unless some context is provided there is a great likelihood that the value of the international candidates skills, education and experience will be lost in translation.
Many international candidates make the mistake of focusing too much on communicating what they have accomplished as opposed to focusing on what the potential employer understands. In the end, providing some translation for the international employer will go a long way to helping you immigrate and find a job in Canada.