Associate stories: cracking the interview code as an immigrant

This is the second in a three-part series of associate stories where we chat with our associates on their experience working with us to land a job.

Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.

The story of Russell Eustachius, Indian-born-and-raised Finance Operations Manager, is like that of Laura Canupp—with a twist.

Shortly after arriving in Canada as an immigrant, the whole country went into a lockdown three days later.  In Russell’s words, “It was really hard. People were losing jobs. There were no jobs in the market. And for a newcomer, that can be quite scary.”

“Because that’s the last thing you expect. You prepare to struggle to get a job while you try to settle into your new environment. What you don’t prepare for is a market crash,” he continues.

We sat down with Russell to learn about starting his career in Canada, and above all, how newcomers can prep for their first interview.

Immigrating in chaos

Moving to a new country amid all the uncertainty that preceded the global lockdown takes some guts. But that’s just what Russell Eustachius did.

“I was one of the lucky ones that came in before the world shutdown. But I can’t say if I was lucky or unlucky because it was a huge trying period for me,” he says.

Russell had spent eight years working for one of the big consulting firms in Hyderabad, India. So, what followed when he started applying for jobs left him flustered.

“I applied for a lot of jobs, but nothing came through,” Russell explains.

“But with that many rejections, it was getting scary for me. My finances were already getting depleted,” he continues.

But as they say, fortune favors the bold (and persistent).

When preparation meets opportunity

“Finally, one of my friends told me about an opening,” Russell says. After doing his own research to understand what they were all about, something special really won him over.

My first point of contact was with Diana Worthington. Her professionalism and confidence were crucial in assuring me that I wasn’t talking to some shady recruitment organization,” he continues.

The rest, they say, is history.

Cracking the interview code

Russell wasn’t about to blow his first shot at getting a job. And Diana made sure of that.

“She prepared me for the interview. She told me what the interview was about, what the employer expected, and what to emphasize from my resume. And if I wanted to get this job, I had to present myself that way,” Russell says.

And that is key to cracking interviews here. Because if you don’t know what the employer is looking for, you can be the best of the best, and you still won’t get the job,” he continues.

Between the first round of interviews and the second round, Russell thinks he must have asked Diana hundreds of questions at different times.

“One thing I appreciated with Diana was her patience. She listened to every single question. If she didn’t have answers, she would ask me to hold on and find the answers for me. She once took a call by 8:00 PM,” says Russell.

After that, the remaining interviews were a breeze. And Russell had finally gotten a job.

For Russell, his biggest takeaway from the interview process was once you understand what the employer wants and the nuances of your environment, you go into the interview better prepared and relaxed.

Settling in after the chaos

Aside from the usual heart-racing period (happens to all of us) while waiting for his offer letter, it’s been a fantastic experience.

“All these set me up properly. And even though it’s my first job in Canada, they didn’t treat me like someone desperate for a job. They were always encouraging and helpful,” says Russell.

“Diana then introduced me to Susy Garcia, Staffing Manager. And Susy was also amazing. She took me through the organization and how it works, the team makeup, who I am reporting to, and who I’m supposed to support. And these are such essential details,” Russell continues.

This is Russell’s first contract job. And in his words,

I have never been in an environment where I was the immigrant. So, I didn’t realize the pressure that comes with it. But it’s been great with how things have turned out. Knowing that my agency has my back is significant. Throughout the process, I never felt out of place. They made me feel welcome.  Not like I need to prove myself every time. They didn’t make me feel like an immigrant,” he continues.”

So, what’s next for Russell?

“From the feedback I’ve been given, I have performed well, and I’m valued in the company,” Russell says with an effusive smile.

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