Module 03: Job Search

3.10 Challenging Interview Scenarios


In this section, we will debunk several interview myths and help you navigate challenging situations that may occur during an interview. When you’re invited for an interview, it’s safe to assume that the employer has read your resume and believes that you meet the required qualifications. You’ve passed the first big hurdle, so feel confident and believe in yourself!  Visualize yourself doing the job. Share your unique stories of accomplishment. You may feel like you’re not good enough or qualified enough to get the job or that there are others more qualified than you are. Reframe your doubts and struggles and turn them into strengths.

Myth: Employers will not hire me because I don’t have enough experience.

Myth: I have to speak perfect English to be successful in an interview.

Myth: The interview has to be a structured question-and-answer process.

Myth: I have to disclose everything to the interviewer.

Myth: The interviewer told me I was overqualified, which means they won’t hire me.

Illegal Interview Questions

Everyone is entitled to freedom from discrimination in employment under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The prohibited grounds are: race, age, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion and beliefs, gender identity and gender expression, record of offence, marital status, family status and disability. Read over the following illegal questions and some suggestions on how you could answer them.

Q: “Are you a Canadian citizen?”

A: “I am authorized to work in Canada.”

Q: “When were you born?” or “How old are you?”

A: Young Worker – “I may be young but this works to my advantage. Having recently graduated means that I am on the cutting edge of new technological innovations in the field. I am also very enthusiastic, eager to learn and willing to work hard.”

A: Older Worker – “My age will be an advantage in this role because of my maturity, dedication and experience in the field. I can also be a positive mentor to younger team members in the department.”

Q: “Do you have any Canadian experience?”

A: “I have my MSc. and BSc of Biotechnology  with 8 years experience working in a leading testing laboratory for consumer goods testing. Currently, I am in the Food Science Technology Program at Centennial College where I have undertaken team-based assignments with students from diverse backgrounds. These experiences demonstrate my ability to work in a respectful manner with people from diverse backgrounds as well as my excellent communication skills. I also have strong knowledge of Canadian food safety and quality control regulations and am confident that I can contribute to the success of your company.”

Q: “Do you have a disability”?

A: “If you’re concerned about my ability to meet the requirements of this position, I can tell you that I am capable of performing all the essential functions of this position.”

Q: “Who is going to take care of your child(ren) while you work?”

A: “I can meet the travel and work schedule that this job requires. I take pride in my punctuality and am always on time”

Q: “Are you planning on having children or getting married?

 A: “I’m dedicated to my job, and commitment isn’t an issue.” or “Regardless of my family situation, I am a dedicated worker. I am flexible to work overtime and travel as required.”

Q: “Are you married or do you have children?”

A: “If you are concerned my household responsibilities might interfere with my being on time or being here regularly, I can assure you that I am extremely organized and that I take pride in my work. I also have my family’s full support. I am pleased to say that in any previous work not once was my excellent attendance record affected. I can work overtime and travel as the work requires.”



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