The Student Success Centre strongly encourages students and alumni to thoroughly research the companies they are interested in working for, to ensure that they make well-informed employment decisions.
Review our tips below and learn how to protect yourself, and identify potentially problematic job postings.
Understand which questions are valid and which are not: Learn about 8 types of "illegal" interview questions and how to avoid them at this link
Be comfortable with your interview location: If you feel uncomfortable with the interview location (for example: a non-commercial apartment), you can request a mutually convenient location, like a coffee shop.
Understand your rights under the Employment Standards: There are specific laws put in place to protect its workers. Learn more at the Ontario Ministry of Labour's site.
Get your employment contract in writing: Get a copy of the employment contract with the placement firm, and read it carefully. A legitimate company will give you time to read the contract and decide, not pressure you into signing then and there. Make sure any promises — including refund promises — are in writing.
The “employer” is seeking assistance while they’re out of the country. The student is sent a cheque to deposit in their own bank account and is instructed to make purchases and send them to the employer’s location. The cheque amount will be for much more than the purchases so the student is told to return some of the remaining money via money transfer and keep a portion as pay. Later the student will find out that the check is counterfeit and they have lost the money spent on purchases and transferred.
The "employer" asks the student, in order to secure his/her position, he or she must go through a course to be qualified. The student is asked to pay a fee for the course and its materials, and sign a registration form during the job interview. The student will find out later that the employer never sends out any material to him/her, and will not refund the money nor providing a copy of the contract
The "employment agency" contacts the student who may have posted his/her resumes online or with a job search engine. The agency then invites the student for an interview and promises an employment with good salary. The student is pressured to sign a contract and pay an administration fee or a fee that the student will be refunded later when he/she is hired. Later on, the student never hears back from the agency or he/she will be given a list of referral companies that have never heard of the agency before.
The "employer" promises a job in a foreign country and the student is invited for an interview in a hotel suite or rented office. The student is then told that he/she must pay a fee for visas or paperwork up front. In some cases, the employer asks the student to send money for an "information package" to secure the promised foreign job. Later on, when the student receives the package, it only contains a list of company names.