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Getting the Job - Interviewing Process - Speedometer

The Canadian job market is very competitive and jobs are not easy to find. There are many ways by which you can search for jobs in the Human Resources sector.

  • Broaden your search and include alternative careers.
  • Seek out a mentor in the Human Resources sector – for example, a retired HR professional – who would give you valuable insight and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
  • Join HR related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
  • Attend HR related job fairs and conferences and regularly check the Business section of your local newspaper.
  • Have a strong and active presence on social media channels such as LinkedIn. Join HR related LinkedIn groups, where you can contribute content, ask questions, build connections and also study how human resources professionals are doing in Canada.

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.

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Resume writing

Ideally, an HR resume should introduce you as a caring and sensitive professional who is always ready to help. It should reflect your role as responsible for hiring good people, acting as a counselor and provide assistance to employees, imparting training, drawing up policies, dealing with employee problems and relations, resolving disputes, etc.
An HR resume should also be more expressive and include some jargon. What works best in HR is a functional resume, definitely indicating the years of experience you’ve had in executing employer’s new systems/procedures, etc.

Consider these tips when writing your resume:

Highlight your achievements:

  • Any new HR policy or procedure initiated or developed by you that had a positive outcome
  • Your role in retaining employees and their satisfaction levels
  • How many people you’ve trained/inducted
  • Your involvement in any organizational development initiatives
  • Any new cost-cutting scheme introduced by you
  • Your participation in any leadership initiatives

Power verbs in your HR Resume:

Include power verbs like advocated, addressed, demonstrated, hired, assigned, interacted, interfaced, litigated, terminated, recruited, screened, guided, scheduled, etc. These portray your active involvement along with describing job functions you carried out.

Key designations held:

Use terms like HR, HR assistant, HR Manager, HR Specialist, Staffing manager, Recruiter, Personnel representative, Personnel supervisor, HRIS analyst, etc. and put the designation clearly. Mention also if you were responsible for any HR activities where you provided follow-up on company policies, procedures and documentation, procedural problems and inquiries.

Make your HR resume stand out:

Your resume must reflect your understanding of how HR policies impact the company’s overall business mission and goals. To make it stand out, go beyond job functions and state how your services made a difference to the organization(s) where you were working. Also mention numbers: hires done, trainings taken, level of people trained, timelines in closing a hire etc. Showcase your achievements against the background of the job requirement at hand.

Be conservative:

Be sure to use conservative formats and fonts for your HR resume. Also definitely do not exceed the 2-page limit.

Business interview

Interview techniques

Once you have been invited for an interview, you will need to focus on preparing for the interview. Use your self-inventory and your research about the employer to write out and think about how you are a perfect fit.

You need to be confident and calm in the interview as you give your answers, so practicing your answers is very important!

Below are sample questions that you may be asked during Human Resources (HR), Training and Personnel jobs and for positions such as HR Administrator, HR Advisor, HR Assistant, Training Coordinator right up to Personnel Manager and Head of HR and Personnel.:

Within the HR sector, Competency Based Interviewing is standard so expect both Competency Based and Behavioral Questions in your interview. These will typically explore the core competencies regarded as essential in this sector.

  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Work
  • Good working knowledge of HR policies and legislation

For Senior HR and Personnel positions, questions can deal with:

  • Your skills with managing a large team
  • Your ability to create HR policies
  • Your ability to design and deliver change
  • Strong commercial and sector awareness
  • Your ability to manage a large department
  • Your experience with developing effective strategies

Below are sample questions that you may be asked during job interviews:

  • It is important that you are up to date with all legislation, what do you know about the Employment Standards?
  • What is the reason for grievance procedures and tell us about your experience in handling grievances?
  • Describe for me a situation where you were required to gather a large amount of data, to analyze it objectively and to make a decision or a recommendation based on the results.

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Informational interviews

An informational interview is a brief meeting that you schedule with a person who is currently working in the Human Resources industry or a related sector. The purpose of the interview is to gather information and learn more about the industry here. You should not try to get a job during an information interview.Also, don’t bait and switch, asking for an information interview and then push to have your résumé circulated among hiring managers. Another thing to remember is not to ask superficial questions to elicit answers that you could have easily found through a basic Internet search (the annual sales of a publicly-held company, for example).

An information interview is also beneficial to get a professional’s first-hand experiences and impressions. The information interview typically should last no more than 30 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Networking

Networking is an essential tool that may give you job leads, offer advice and information about a particular company or a specific area of your industry you are interested in, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network.

Good places to network are gatherings such as conferences, association luncheons, and chamber mixers for their convenience in meeting people, building relationships, and sharing information.
LinkedIn.com is an important online professional tool for networking. It is great for reconnecting with your ex-colleagues and employers, search by company, search for jobs, and get introductions and recommendations.
You can also mingle with people in the HR sector and join some related professional groups and forums.

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