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Face-to-Face Meeting: Come Prepared

Your membership with BC Talents allows you to benefit from a Face-to-Face meeting with one of our volunteers. You will be able to discuss your specific situation and the challenges you're facing to develop your career in Canada. It's also an opportunity for newcomers to unlock their potential when looking for their dream job.

To get the most out of it, we will ask you what you're expecting from this meeting and you'll be matched with one of our volunteers with similar path, background or skillset and depending on the volunteers' availability.

We have been there too and we know that it can raise many questions, so here is a short guideline to come prepared to your Face-to-Face meeting.

Be specific about your goal

As you can not cover all the topics during one hour of Face-to-Face, you might want to write down the main reasons why you asked for this meeting. It will clear up your mind in order to stay focused during the conversation with the volunteer.

Our tip, to define your goal, is to spend some time and reflect on the following questions before your Face-to-Face meeting. Your answer has to be condensed in 2 sentences maximum for each. Doing the exercise of boiling down your ideas will help you to express them clearly to others:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What is the career path that you are looking for?
  • How could this Face-to-Face meeting help you change your career path?
  • What are the challenges that you are facing now?
  • Are you using the right strategy?

You probably read a lot on the internet and checked BC Talents' blog to know all about job hunting in Canada. If you have questions on specific tasks such as formatting a Canadian resume or building an elevator pitch, you're welcome to ask them during the Face-to-Face.

Get to know the person you’ll be meeting with

You might want to do some research on the person who will be meeting with you; it's also a good way of practicing your networking skills. The volunteer's LinkedIn profile could spark some good questions about their professional career in Canada, and their contacts can also be a good source of inspiration when searching for companies to apply to.

You will feel more confident if you have relevant questions to ask during the conversation. You can start with some easy ones regarding their current position, their current projects, and maybe their educational background before getting into the specifics.

It is essential that both of you feel comfortable. Remember, it is a conversation, and you are both human beings who want to help each other.

Reach out before

Try to be specific when you fill out the online form and request a Face-to-Face meeting. When you fill out that form, remember to share as much information as possible as it is useful for us to get to know you and your needs better. The volunteer will arrange with you a time and place to meet that works best for you both.

When you are in touch with the volunteer, reach out directly to them before your session if you need to. It is the best way to introduce yourself and ask questions. We already have access to the answers from the online form but feel free to add anything you find relevant, from your background to what motivated you to move to Vancouver.

Come prepared

Keep in mind that the Face-to-Face is an informal, casual meeting: don’t dress up for an interview. It will run like a coffee interview, in a public space.

It’s better to arrive early so you can choose a quiet table. You might want to take notes during the meeting, especially if the volunteer gives you some information you want to follow up on. Feel free to use your notebook or your phone.

One hour goes fast so you’ll want to make the most out of it. Here are some key points you may want to think about before the meeting:

  • Identify precisely the points you have been struggling with, and ask for advice
  • Identify your professional sub-industry in Canada to ask for clarification or contacts
  • Make sure your title position is relevant
  • Prepare your elevator pitch and ask for feedback
  • Think about the strategy you've been using so far

Think about asking if you can offer the volunteer a drink when they arrive, as it is customary in Canada and the volunteer is spending time for you.

To be successful, you need to be on the same page as someone who is already thinking with a Canadian mindset. To fully understand the cultural gap when it comes to hiring processes, job search, skills requirement, culture fit and so on, you may want to watch Lionel Laroche’s video before your Face-to-Face. It could also be a good topic to start the conversation, as an icebreaker.

Follow up after

Just like after any job interview in Canada, don’t forget to follow up after the meeting. It's another opportunity to practice! Wait a couple of days and send a “thank you” email to the volunteer you met. A typical follow-up email will include the following:

  • Thank the person for their time: we remind you that the volunteer does the Face-to-Face on their free time
  • Point out the critical information that you took away from the meeting
  • Don’t hesitate to share the steps that you have already taken
  • If you are not sure about something that was said during the meeting, it is the opportunity to ask for clarification

You can also take some time to reply to the testimony email you will receive in the future as we are interested in following your career.


Final tip

If you want to get the most out of it, do your homework and be ready for it but keep it casual. The volunteer will more likely be able to help you if you are true to yourself, instead of only asking job-related questions, especially if you want to follow up.

You can be very clear about your professional goals with the volunteer but do not expect them to always come with the perfect answer right away. This Face-to-Face could be a key step in your career as long as you see it as a springboard for your future.

Come prepared, be honest, and stay cool!

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BC Talents uses decades of experience from our team, volunteers and network to create curated content for the francophone community. We are focused on helping you to understand the cultural gap in order for you to thrive in your career in Canada.