Finding a good job is a daunting task for any person, but for a new immigrant this can be even more challenging. In many instances their work experience or education credentials are not recognized. But there is even something more lurking underneath which many new immigrants fail to understand.

After the interview, many qualified applicants are often informed that they do not have the Canadian work experience. What the employer could be telling them indirectly is that they are lacking in “soft skills”.

These are simple, but critical skills which consist of carrying on a conversation in the lunch room or around the water-cooler. These simple conversations usually consist of talking about the latest in sports, upcoming public events, etc.

The interviewer asks her/himself will this new person get along in their company’s work environment. The employer is basically seeking two main qualities in the applicants: First, does this person have the skills to do the job? Second, will this person fit in and become a team player?

One of the main reasons many new immigrants lack soft skills is because they are unfamiliar with the western culture’s day to day happenings. One way to attain these crucial skills is by integrating into the larger mainstream society. And make it a rule that you speak every day to three people who are from a different ethnic background than you.

When it comes to soft skills stay away from politics and religion: two categories that could get one into trouble in uncharted waters.