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Getting the Job - Interviewing Process - SpeedometerThe Canadian job market is very competitive, so be prepared and understand each of the steps needed to gain employment.  As well, finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country.

You must look for jobs in the region where you will settle. Therefore, take your time to research job requirements in that region and develop a plan for finding work.

There are many ways through which you can search for jobs in the education sector.

  • Broaden your search and include alternative careers and sectors.
  • Seek out a mentor in the administrative sector – for example, a retired executive secretary – who would give you valuable insight and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
  • Join business related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
  • Attend industry job fairs and regularly check the employment sections of your local newspapers.
  • Some colleges or associations may maintain a job bank or suggest a commercial job site.

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Immigrant settlement agencies

Most settlement agencies and other immigrant-serving organizations offer help with finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.

Click the link to find immigrant services in your area.

Resume writing

Administrative job is a broad category that encompasses a huge spectrum of duties and responsibilities. So when you write your resume for a specific position, the specialization and the relevant abilities should be in accordance to the requirement of that position.

Businesses highly value effective administrative assistants, and that makes the job screening process tough. Developing a strong resume will help you avoid being weeded out by. Here is a list of essential tips for writing a winning administrative assistant resume:

Job Description

A generic resume formed for general administrative assistant jobs will not work. If the job description emphasizes phone skills, then your resume should include specific bullet points describing past successful responsibilities handling multiple phone lines. If it emphasizes interacting with the public then you have to highlight your experience greeting and assisting clients.

Technical Skills

Employers want to know at a glance which technical skills their administrative assistant candidates possess. Having said that, you don’t need to spend a lot of time elaborating your experience with computer programs or machines, but rather include a line that says “Experienced with” and then list all applicable software programs and equipment. If you reach to the interview stage, you will have opportunity to delve into this more deeply, if needed.


Most probably, one of the company’s current administrative assistants will be among the first to read through applicant resumes. Browse the company website to find out what training or previous experience current assistants hold, they may have information there.

You can use your network as well to find the names of current administrative assistants; you may check their LinkedIn profile or any other presence they may have on professional websites or in directories to know about their skills and previous experience. This way you can compare your capabilities with those of current employees.

As a newcomer, you can bring your international experience to the table, especially if the company you are applying to has all its employees with only domestic experience. As well, include some examples of volunteer work you have done after your arrival in Canada; it can also prove to be beneficial.

Interview techniques

When interviewing for an administrative assistant position, be sure to ask specifically what the job entails. Admin jobs range from answering phones, scheduling appointments and setting up virtual meeting rooms to charting budgets, purchasing merchandise and trouble-shooting software problems. Your pay, roles and duties as an administrative assistant vary greatly depending on the industry and location.


Communication is your primary role as an administrative assistant. Be it on the phone, in person or through e-mail, you must be well-mannered and articulate. That’s why your best self must be presented during the interview.


While some companies have receptionists, others rely on the administrative assistant to answer phones and greet clients. Because the company’s administrative assistant may be the first point of contact, it’s crucial to dress professionally to show respect to the company and its clients.

Computer Skills

Talk about your spread sheet, data management and electronic filing system expertise. For example, if the job you have applied to is for an advertising company, talk about the ways social media helps clients, and your role as an administrative assistant in helping the company’s online presence. If you are being interviewed for a school administrative job, discuss the role of email communication with parents, posting online grades and notices, and electronic bill paying.

Questions you might be asked during an administrative assistant or office position job interview, suggested answers, and advice for acing an interview.

  • Are you comfortable using a phone with multiple lines and handling a high volume of telephone calls?
  • How would you feel supervising two or three other employees?
  • What do you expect from a supervisor?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork.

Remember that the job interview is a two-way street. Do as much research about the company as possible prior to the interview and try to prepare a few questions ahead of time. If your questions are not answered during the interview, ask them at the end of the interview.

Informational interviews

An informational interview is a brief (20–30-minute) meeting that you schedule with a person who is currently working in your target field and geographic location to learn more about that particular sector.

You should not try to get a job during an informational interview but rather find out whether or not a particular position or industry might be a good fit for your interests and your personality. An informational interview with a contact from your network can be an excellent source of career information because, in addition to basic information about a particular type of industry (such as you might find on an organization’s website), it also offers you the benefit of a professional’s first-hand experiences and impressions.


Networking is an essential tool that may give you job leads, offer you advice and information about a particular firm or industry, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network. As many job vacancies are not advertised, you must make connections with practicing physiotherapists and others in your field.

Good places to network are gatherings such as conferences, association luncheons, and industry get-togethers for the convenience in meeting people, building relationships, and sharing information.
LinkedIn is another important professional tool for networking. It is great for reconnecting with your ex-colleagues and employers, search by company or jobs, and get introductions and recommendations.You can also join some related professional groups.

But remember, that you have to allow time to cultivate and grow the ties you establish through networking. Nothing will happen overnight and you need to be patient.