Figuring out a paper job application and job interview

A woman holding a baby and looking at a paper job application
IStock photo/fotographics

Filling out a paper job application can be hard if you are new to this country. But it gets better each time. So does the  job interview. 

Getting a job in this country may be challenging, especially if you have immigrated and don’t speak the language. Your education may not be accepted in this country, your job experience may be different, and your language barrier may limit you. But it is worth the struggle. Based on my experience, people who come from different countries get the most positive feedback when come to performing the jobs and duties.

So even if you get turned down, be patient and wait for the right job and position which would fit with you.

I have worked in 4 different places in 10 years in this country. Filling out a paper job application was never easy but it does get better each time. My first time filling out a paper job application was also my very first job . I was a junior in high school at that time and I was told: to shape you in life, you need to start by learning and gaining experiences. I was told job experience was one of the most important things in life and that I needed to start at a young age, and it’s never too early to do anything.

For my first job, I started filling in the paper job application. It seemed like a lot to me.

As far as I remember, the application was about 4 pages long and it took me forever to finish the whole application process. I was asked to attach my resume with it to make it look more professional. It was also so that the employer would have an idea of who I am and my background.  As I filled out the application, I was surprised to see how much information I had to enter and I wasn’t even guaranteed to get the position! I also learned that I needed all of the information at hand – documents such as job experiences, references and their contact information, resume, and certificates.

The hardest part was that I didn’t understand English much at that time, and I worried that I might put too much or too little in the application. As somebody new in the country, I was scared and often hesitated. It felt uncomfortable to ask questions or ask for help.  

So my advice to you is: never hesitate to ask any questions about anything, including job applications!

After I finished my application and waited for a few days, I was called to go in for an interview. I remember, I got up early on that day, was nervous, and prepared myself with a nice-looking outfit for a very first job interview. I remember I was praying on my way and was so excited and nervous at the same time.

During my job interview, I was so scared and afraid that I wouldn’t get the job because I didn’t know whether or not my answers met their expectations. But luckily, I got the position. Before I started officially, I was told that my background check will be run along with a tuberculosis (TB) test. These are just simple steps to follow in order to get hired in this country.

Filling out a job application does get better each time. My second, third, and fourth times taught me many things. I learned that each job application process and job interview can be different.

My advice is that, it is okay for you to feel nervous, scared, and challenged for your first job application. That’s very normal.  And don’t worry even if you get turned down. All you have to know is that different countries have different ways of doing things.

Just remember, be confident, dress up nice, and show up on time. Time is gold in this country and you definitely want to make sure you arrive at a job interview on time, at least 15 minutes early.  If you believe you have got yourself ready and set, there is already an 80% of chance that you will get the job! So just be prepared!

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About Ying Yu