Interviewing Culturally Diverse Canadians

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  • 1. Employer & Recruiter Tip
    HOW TO
    INTERVIEW
    CULTURALLYDIVERSE
    CANADIANS
    Mark Swartz,
    Career Coach
  • 2. .
    1
    CULTURALLY DIVERSE
    CANADIANS MAY
    INTERVIEW DIFFERENTLY
  • 3. 1. CULTURALLY DIVERSE CANADIANS MAY
    INTERVIEW DIFFERENTLY
    • Due to cultural and ethnic uniqueness, diverse Canadians may not interview exactly as expected. Some common differences may include…
    • 4. Lack of direct eye contact
    • 5. Reluctance to shake hands
    • 6. Shyness in bragging about themselves, that may be misinterpreted as lack of confidence or having nothing good to say about themselves
    • 7. Wearing of clothing that is unusual (but traditional to their customs)
    • 8. Heavy accent that may not be easy to understand at first
    • 9. You can help make candidates feel welcome…(see next)
  • .
    2
    MAKING
    CULTURALLY DIVERSE
    CANDIDATES FEEL WELCOME
  • 10. 2.1 CREATE A “CULTURAL DIVERSITY-FRIENDLY”
    INTERVIEW ENVIRONMENT
    • Help make culture-differenced candidates feel welcome from the moment they step into your premises. If you have a reception area, displaying some inexpensive art from various nations and ethnicities can be a visible sign of your openness
    • 11. So too can putting up pictures of your employees if they reflect Canada’s mosaic. Little plaques lined up with Employee Of The Month names are also great (so long as at least some of the names are culturally diverse)
  • 2.2 DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
    • You can turn a candidate off by acting surprised when you see them in person for the first time, as if you were expecting someone not so (or more)…ethnic
    • 12.   This can happen when you’ve conducted an initial phone screening. If the interviewee sounded local, and their name didn’t give them away, you might inadvertently marvel that they’re Asian or a person of colour
    • 13. A similar error can occur when the applicant’s name is definitely “foreign sounding.” Could be their features or skin tone are “ethnic” as well. Will you make the error of complimenting them on how well they speak English or French, though they might be 3rd generation Canadian?
  • 2.3 BE PATIENT
    • Language difficulties and quirky, culturally specific behaviours can lead you to false conclusions. Newcomers to our country must only know our official languages well enough to pass basic tests. They may not have their “workplace vocabulary” down pat yet
    • 14. Try not to jump all over the candidate if they mispronounce some words or use the wrong expression here and there. There are English idioms and la joile (slang) in French that can take years to learn
    • 15. Having trouble with their heavy accent? Pay a little more attention to what the person is actually saying. Should they be at a loss for words, offer some optional phrases they can choose from. You could also ask the interviewee to repeat their response, or rephrase it. Conversely, say your questions again if asked to do so
  • .
    3
    DEMONSTRATE YOUR
    COMPANY’S COMMITMENT
    TO CULTURAL EQUALITY
  • 16. 3. Demonstrate Your Company’s Commitment
    To Cultural Equality
    • Would you like to make your culturally diverse interviewees more at home? Then let them know of anything your company does to accommodate their needs
    • 17.   Talk about any multi-cultural events you hold or take part in. Describe how you respect holidays of all ethnicities and religions. And if you donate to related causes, bring this up in conversation
    • 18.   Avoid putting the candidate on the spot by singling them out. If you talk about cultural or ethnic matters, you might want to be general and casual about it. The point is to portray your firm as broad-minded. Tread lightly: if you think telling a South American that you serve chilli and tacos on Fridays will thrill them, you could be sorely mistaken. Do they now feel marginalized, that you don’t just seem them as “one of us”?  
  • more on this topic:
    How Much Does Onboarding New Employees Cost?
    more Employer/Recruiter/HR advice:
    http://hiring.monster.ca/hr/hr-best-practices.aspx
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