Topic outline

  • General
    Start the discussion with this story of a firm under pressure to find the right hire, and a skilled immigrant in need of a position at his level of education and relevant experience.
    • Scene 1: Essential vs. Non-essential Skills

      In this scene, Henry Sutherland learns his firm has been awarded a significant contract and that his star project manager has been recruited by the competition. Henry’s list of requirements is long and Dana helps him distinguish between the essential and non-essential skills for the position.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Differentiate between essential and non-essential skills requirements for jobs.
    • Scene 2: Attracting Qualified Skilled Immigrant Job Candidates

      In this scene, Henry and Dana discuss the recruitment methods to source qualified candidate. Dana attempts to allay Henry’s concerns by presenting a business case for considering skilled immigrants.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Identify some common strengths that skilled immigrants bring to the Canadian labour market. 
      • Recognize community agencies as a potential source for attracting skilled immigrant job candidates.
    • Scene 3: Accent and Odours – Considerations for Hiring Decisions?

      In this scene, Henry presents his concerns about a newcomer’s ability to “take the ball and run” and stresses the importance of learning the business “from the ground up.” Dana addresses discrimination based on accent.

      The candidate, Tarek Khan, a skilled immigrant, is excited about a job opportunity and preoccupied about how he may present in a job interview.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Gain a deeper understanding of the possible meanings of “fit” and how that translates to the business world. 
      • Understand that discriminating against someone because they have an accent is against the law. 
      • Identify at least two barriers to employment faced by some skilled immigrants.
    • Scene 4/5: Telephone Screening Interview

      In this scene, Dana conducts a telephone interview with Tarek for the project manager position. Tarek wonders whether he should join a club with “Canadian” in the title and include it in his resume so that resume screening software would screen him in.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Identify one or two ways in which hiring managers may address cultural nuances in candidates’ answers to interview questions.
    • Scene 6: Screening Resumes of Skilled Immigrant Job Candidates

      Dana and Henry react to Tarek’s resume that includes extraneous details and follows an atypical format. This leads to a discussion on cultural bias in considering skilled immigrant job candidates for positions above entry-level. Tarek is invited to a face-to-face job interview with Dana and Henry.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Identify and discuss selection bias and the possible impact of cultural bias on the recruitment process. 
      • Explain the business case for considering a skilled immigrant at his or her level of experience and education.
    • Scene 7: Interviewing Skilled Immigrants

      Tarek arrives for his interview. Both he and Henry experience culturally-based misunderstandings as they engage in small talk before the interview begins.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Describe how cultural references and differences in body language may result in miscommunication.
    • Scene 8: Tell Me About Yourself

      Henry tries to determine whether Tarek will “fit in” and strays from the interview guide. Tarek answers the question, “Tell me about yourself” and provides more personal details than expected. Both Henry and Tarek share their reactions with the viewer.

      Learning outcomes: 
      By the end of this scene, viewers will be able to:
      • Gain insight into what is seen as essential detail to describe oneself in other countries 
      • Gain insight into how hiring managers in Canadian workplaces might feel about responses that are atypical 
      • Understand how interviewees may respond differently than expected to open-ended interview questions
    • Scene 9: Social Activities

      Henry continues to try to determine whether Tarek will “fit in” and asks him what he likes to do on weekends. Tarek mentions that on Friday nights he and his family are usually at the mosque and Henry becomes concerned.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Identify how one may or may not be able to assess organizational fit. 
      • Provide an example of how an interviewer may jump to conclusions. 
      • Recognize possible connections between a conversational interviewing style and barriers to skilled immigrants during an interview.
    • Scenes 10: Call of Duty

      Dana asks a question about going “above and beyond the call of duty.” Tarek provides an example from a previous job, even though he is not really sure he has understood the question.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Recognize the impact of using idiomatic expressions during an interview.
    • Scenes 11/12: Assertiveness

      Tarek is uncomfortable answering a question about a time when he disagreed with his boss. Dana shares her views on differing cultural values related to assertiveness at work.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Recognize cultural differences around workplace assertiveness and handling disagreements with individuals in positions of higher authority.
      • Identify how these different cultural values could impede a good hiring decision.
    • Scenes 13/14: Past Accomplishments

      Tarek answers a question about standing up for an unpopular decision at work and reveals how much he values the achievement of the team over the achievement of an individual.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Identify different cultural values regarding group harmony and individual achievements.
    • Scenes 15/16/17: Colloquialisms and Business Idioms

      Both Henry and Tarek struggle with the use of unfamiliar terms but get their points across with some help from Dana. Tarek finds it easier to mention his weaknesses than his strengths.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Recognize the prevalence of idioms, company-specific jargon, and/or slang during job interviews and everyday business language. 
      • Recognize the importance of using plain language in order to communicate more clearly in interview settings.
    • Scenes 18/19: Interview Guides

      Dana and Henry discuss Tarek’s suitability for the job and decide to offer him the position. They agree on the need to coach new hires and reduce systemic barriers to employment for skilled immigrants through the use of an interview guide.

      Learning outcomes:
      • Recognize the value of interview questions that are jargon-free and straight-forward. 
      • Differentiate between the terms “cultural sensitivity” and “cultural competence.”