The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created some uncertainty for job seekers. It’s business, but not as we know it.
Organisations are still hiring (and some industries are even booming), but with more and more people encouraged to work from home, we are seeing a rise in alternatives to the traditional face-to-face interview, with video interviews being a popular alternative.
So what can you do to best position yourself during your job search, take advantage of the opportunities new technologies present us with, and put your career on the front foot in these uncertain times? Check out our tips below.
What to focus on
Now, more than ever, your resume is an important tool for helping you to stand out from the crowd.
Delays in the employment process can be frustrating, but it’s important to remain patient and upbeat. Use extra time to work on your career plan or fine-tuning your personal brand.
With social isolation top of mind, many people are spending more time inside and in front of their computers. This means it’s a good time for job seekers to work on deepening digital connections. Start by updating your LinkedIn profile. Online is a great place to network and make the most of mutual connections.
The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is also limiting the desire for social contact. This is leading to an increase in video interviews.
Tips for a successful video interview
Give your technology a ‘trial run’
Test that you have a stable internet connection and that the webcam and audio are working well. Make sure you have any necessary video-conferencing software installed and/or an account set-up. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are popular tools for digital meetings, but your interviewer will guide you on what to use. Do a ‘trial run’ to make sure you know how it all works. Avoid any big downloads or software updates that may slow your computer or change the way things work.
Turn off anything that’s likely to ‘ding’ or ‘ping’ during the interview. This means closing all email and other applications and turning your phone onto silent. Make arrangements to prevent being disrupted by family and even pets. Put a sign-up outside the door to stop others from entering and making noise.
Set the ‘stage’
It’s surprising how much good light and sound can improve the video interview experience. Make sure your face is well-lit and framed within the centre of the camera. A window or desk lamp can improve lighting, while books can be used to raise your computer to a good angle. Sit against a plain background, dress professionally and avoid overly complicated patterns as these can look busy on screen.
Preparation is key to any good interview. Make sure you research the organisation and the person (or people) who will be interviewing you. Have a glass of water, tissues, a pen to take notes and a copy of your resume all close by. It’s also good to get a phone number for your interviewer so you have a back-up in place in case technology turns sour. It’s also worth preparing yourself for behavioural competency based interview questions.
Create a connection
You want to come across as personable and memorable in your video interview. Posture is important – sit-up straight and project confidence. Most of your body will be hidden from camera so pay particular attention to facial gestures. Nod, smile and give plenty of cues to show that you are engaged and listening. Address the web cam when speaking to make it appear as if you are maintaining eye-contact.
Tips for face-to-face interviews during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you do make it through to a face-to-face interview (or are about to start a new role) please follow all recommended hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease, including:
- Avoid shaking hands – this is new territory but in general an elbow bump, a wave or a small bow are accepted alternatives
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and especially
- Cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue and dispose of tissues properly
- Keep a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people whenever possible
- Isolate yourself and seek medical help if you are sick, have symptoms of COVID-19, or if your come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
At Moir Group we care about your health, wellbeing and job satisfaction. You can search our jobs online and we will also be available for meetings and preliminary interviews via video conferencing. Contact us to speak to our friendly Moir staff.