Thanks to social distancing practices in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19, more and more companies are looking at ways to limit face-to-face contact – both in the workplace and in the hiring process. This means more recruiters and HR managers are moving their job searches online. This means your online presence will be even more important.
You’ll likely see more phone or video interviews. You’ll need to prepare for these the same as you would in person interviews – focusing on your company research and interview techniques. People tend to get lazy when they know they won’t be face-to-face with an interviewer. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you prepare just as diligently.
How to prepare for video interviews
Some people aren’t comfortable being on camera. If that’s you, practice with friends before your actual interview. You don’t want the discomfort to make you appear as less than the top choice. Here’s a trick so you can make sure you’re always making good eye contact when using a web camera. Take a small Post It note and draw a smiley face on it. Stick it right beside the web camera on your computer. Not only will your eyes be drawn to it, but the smile will remind you to smile too.
These interviews tend to be quicker and involve less chit chat as well. So, it’s vital you work to connect with the interviewer from the beginning. You also have the advantage of being able to keep notes I front of you in a video interview.
You’ll also need to prepare your space for a video interview. Make sure the area that appears on camera is neat and tidy and free of distractions. If you have children or pets, make sure someone is looking after them or you are in an area they can’t access while you are conducting the interview. Make sure there is good lighting.
Use the time wisely
If your current employer allows you to work remotely during this time, that can work in your benefit as well. You won’t have to schedule interviews during your lunch hours or use vacation time to go to interviews.
As in any interview, it’s always good to have questions prepared. However, in this situation, you may want to ask about the hiring timeline. Some companies have slowed the filling of positions or are turning to remote or video on boarding processes while the virus is contained. Follow-up will be key too. You’ll need to be politely persistent. Send emails and check in on the process at regular intervals.
If you do find yourself quarantined, either by choice or due to exposure in your area, use this time to reach out to your online contacts and research potential employers. Before you fill out another online application and hit submit, you can also use the time to update your personal marketing material and make sure it’s written to impress. Now’s the perfect time to check out the Successfully Ever After 30-day online course if a job change is in your near future.
Most importantly, remember people get hired in all times of economic uncertainty. Sure, some industries are looking at layoff, but others are receiving a boost. You can’t time the market. It’s important you get started or keep looking even as the world deals with the virus. The only way you won’t find a job is if you stop looking. Remember – virus or not, you’re in control of your search activities and preparation.