Networking is a crucial way to research and learn about your profession in Canada. And asking the right networking interview questions can help you to make professional contacts, speed up your job search, and grow your career. And to help you network in Canada, you can join Professional Immigrant Networks (PINs).
Grow Your PINs Contacts with Network Interview Questions
PINs provide skilled immigrants with a chance to connect with others from a wide range of professions. PINs help newcomers to Canada achieve career success in Canada. From networking to learning events to mentoring, joining a PIN can help you to:
- Meet other professionals in your industry
- build confidence
- grow your network contacts
- access the hidden job market.
And when you connect with other professionals to ask networking interview questions you’ll gain helpful information about:
- labour market trends
- job postings, and
- training and skills development.
You’ll benefit from meeting other newcomers and learn from their career experiences. PINs are often organized and run by newcomers who have achieved career success and want to share their insights with others. And, they want to help you and answer your networking interview questions.
There are a number of PINs to help you network in Canada from fields such as:
- Human Resources
- Information and communication technology, and more.
If you plan to settle in Toronto, Vancouver, or Edmonton, you can contact these groups for more information:
- Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC)
As well, PINs work with many different partners including employers, recruiters, volunteer agencies, and other groups. And by working with other groups, you’ll get the support you need to start your job search and enter the job market.
Why Networking in Canada is Important
Networking in Canada is about connecting with people who have similar interests. And a key element of your network is to provide mutual help and support. Strong networking skills can help you to find a job in Canada. As well, these skills will also help you to achieve success in the workplace after you land a job! So building and nurturing your network contacts is an essential part of career success in Canada!
An important benefit of networking in Canada is that it can help you learn about jobs that are not yet advertised, also called the “hidden job market”.
To understand the hidden job market think of it as an iceberg. The top of the iceberg represents the visible job market or jobs that are widely advertised. The bottom part of the iceberg represents the hidden job market. This is where you can learn about jobs that are currently only posted internally.
When a company advertises a job externally, it’s common for employers to receive hundreds of applications for one position. And that means more competition for you. So networking is a helpful way to access the internal hiring process.
Networking in Canada Helps You Access the Hidden Job Market
Building a wide network of contacts is key to access the hidden job market. A helpful activity for job seekers is to make a list of people who can help you network in Canada. This can include:
- Friends and family
- Former managers, colleagues, customers, and clients
- Contacts from professional associations
- Teachers, professors, and classmates.
You can also identify contacts from:
- Volunteer activities
- Professional events
- Online networking groups (LinkedIn)
- Outside activities (social groups, sports activities, athletic clubs).
When networking in Canada, it’s good to start with who you know. However, that can be hard if you recently arrived and know very few people. So finding a PIN can help you to build your network and meet new people!
If you’re not used to networking for business purposes, it can feel uncomfortable. But, remember the primary purpose of PINs is to help other newcomers to succeed in Canada. And one day, you’ll be in the same position when you can help others arriving in Canada.
You’ll become more comfortable when you ask the right networking interview questions. These are networking questions that are thoughtful and lead to useful information to conduct your job search. And by asking thoughtful questions you’ll leave people with a good and lasting impression.
How to Ask Good Networking Interview Questions
- Ask open-ended instead of closed-ended questions (require a yes or no reply). Open-ended questions encourage more discussion. For example: “How did you get started in this field when you arrived in Canada? Or, ” What job search activities did you find most helpful?”
- Ask questions that will make people think and share their opinion.
- Lead with a question about an article your read or other industry news. This shows that you are current and like to stay informed.
- Listen actively and show that you have a keen interest in what your contact has to say.
Sample Networking Interview Questions
You’ll likely have your own questions that you would like to ask. And here are some other questions that you can add:
- What skills were most valuable to help you achieve success in this field?
- Where do you see this industry/sector going in the future?
- What are some of the key changes affecting the industry in Canada?
- Who are some of the most important leaders in the industry in Canada? Who should I follow?
- Are there opportunities for self-employment in the field?
- What changes are happening in the field that will affect future job opportunities?
- What further training would help me to stay current in this field?
Listen actively to their responses and probe for more information with related networking interview questions.
Tips for Networking in Canada
Networking in Canada with professional immigrant networks is a great way to propel your job search. But it’s also important to maintain and nurture your relationship. A strong relationship based on mutual support will go a long way to advance your career in Canada. These tips can develop and enhance your networking skills.
- Share articles that would be of interest to others in your network.
- Send a short note to congratulate your contacts when they changes roles, are promoted, or move to a new company.
- Become known for helping others.
- Offer to introduce your contacts to other professionals that you know.
- Follow up with new contacts and thank them for helping you or sharing their ideas and time.
- Invite your contacts to lunch or even tea or coffee to practice your networking skills and build your relationship.
Building relationships with other professionals is important when networking in Canada. And asking thoughtful networking interview questions can help you build rapport. Professional Immigrant Networks are helpful groups to grow your network and help you reach your career goals.