Candidate Experience: Cinthia Conti - From Brazil to Canada
June 23, 2020
Cinthia is a Software Engineer from Brazil.
For various reasons, she was looking to relocate to another country. After looking at multiple options, she decided that Canada would be the country where she could feel safe and where she could see herself settle.
Not long after that, she received an email from us and immediately started the process (this was back in October 2018). Her process went pretty smooth and fast! A week after her profile was ready, she had her first interview.
However, the first company she interviewed wasn’t the one she is part of today...
These are the summary notes from the chat we had with Cinthia. In this video, you can find out more details about her experience.
The Interviewing Process
Even though the first interview didn’t go well, she didn’t have time to feel upset about it as the interview with TWG was already booked.
Knowing TWG and loving what they do, Cinthia was really excited to interview. Besides that, Cinthia knew what she was looking for in a company. When she realized TWG has what she’s looking for, her motivation level boosted and it helped her in passing all the interviews. Through the process, her main concern was about not being able to speak proper English, being afraid she couldn’t make herself understood to the employer or even not understanding what the employer asked her - but it turned out it wasn’t an issue.
TWG’s process contained 5 steps: some of the steps being really easy from her point of view.
The most difficult for her was the live workshop, where she had to address technical issues and talk with TWG’s developers in English.
She also had a coding challenge but not being live, it felt easier.
The last interview was with the CTO and when she realized that, she felt really nervous and shared this feeling with it. What made her relax was the CTO’s response “I am nervous too”.
She believes that even though she might have done some mistakes during the interviews, people were tolerant and forgive the mistakes she did, as they know the candidates are anxious in interviews.
Even though the interview experience felt intense and nerve-wracking, she admits she had a great interview experience.
"The companies here aren’t looking only for technical skills but also personality. Show who you are, not what you think people want to see. You’ll be in a good place, as they’re looking for different people with different backgrounds and experiences.
Be yourself and try to make the people see the potential that you have!"
Landing in Canada
The moment when she was ready to leave Rio, she felt extremely anxious. She had been imagining a new life and a new beginning for the past two months. Before leaving her hometown, she had already built a network through friends who knew people that live in Canada. So much so that on the day she arrived, she stayed at a friend’s place instead of having to rent an Airbnb.
Upon her arrival, Cheryl from the GSH team and Erica from TWG were waiting for her at the airport. Cinthia said “she felt cared for”. As she arrived in the coldest week of the year, the Canadian weather was what surprised Cinthia the most, but in a good way: She thought the Canadian weather is tougher, and she states that if that’s the coldest it can get, she can handle it.
Her second day in Canada was spent visiting apartments with the realtor we introduced her to, and on that day she visited 6 apartments.
Another thing that surprised her was the fact that she adapted and felt safe instantly.
Working in Canada
Cinthia starts work at 9:30 AM, finishes at 5:30 PM, and she sees that TWG cares a lot about their people’s work-life balance. She feels this really helps her keep focused during work hours.
If you have worked with the Agile methodology before, at TWG you won’t feel like it’s hard to adapt to their way of working. Also, the environment is really calm and people are concerned if you are happy or not.
Renting an apartment in Canada
You need to have the money for the first and the last month in order to pay the rent right away.
A one-bedroom apartment’s rent is around 2,000$.
On her plane ticket, she paid around 800$.
You need to pay the life insurance for the first 3 months, as you’re not yet covered by the public health.
Her expenses (2 persons, 2 dogs) were between 8,000-10,000$, including buying her furniture from IKEA (which is cheaper).
Cinthia said that she got used to living and working in Canada really fast and that it’s better than she could’ve ever imagined. To her, it quickly started to feel like home. Especially after finding Brazilian spices and food in Canada.
As far as future plans go, Cinthia told us that she wants to travel around Canada when her mom visits her. And the next step is, of course, preparing documents for her and her partner’s Permanent Residency applications.
It seems, it really is home.
Advice from Cinthia
Make yourself understood by others and make sure you understand the questions
By making yourself understood, the employer can make an idea of what kind of developer you are
To improve your English watch videos for technical preparation, in English, not in your mother tongue
A good thing to do is to talk with people who are in Canada, or got in Canada through GSH