Job Interviews Have Changed – Be Prepared

Anyone laid off due to the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus may be concerned about their employment prospects. Similarly, if you aren’t happy in your current position, you may fear that you are now stuck.  While the job market is still tight, certain fields are beginning to open up as organizations are prepared to move forward and hire for critical positions. 

Anyone looking for a new job should expect the process to have changed.  

The hiring process (like so much else) has gone virtual.  Unfortunately, this means you miss out on the in-person interaction that is so important in determining the perfect match. If you are being interviewed via video conference, remember to convey your enthusiasm.  

Be familiar with the technology.   If you are scheduled to be interviewed via Zoom (or similar web conferencing systems) , make sure you know how to use it and that your microphone and camera work well. Will the lighting in the room make you appear natural or a ghost?  Place yourself in front a window if possible.

You are demonstrating your skills as a communicator.  Because your online interview keeps you in isolation, you will be judged on your adaptability and how you make online presentations. Practice. Be comfortable.  

Make plans to be alone.   A job interview is not the time for your child to wander in and start to demand your attention. If you have small children at home, consider hiring a babysitter, or find a friend who will take them off-site for an hour.  

Maintain good eye contact.  While you may want to see how you look, direct attention to the camera so that you maintain good eye contact with those interviewing you. Unfortunately, you won’t get as much non-verbal feedback online. You need to demonstrate your warmth.   

Dress for the Occasion  You may be used to spending most of your days in sweats or PJs, but make sure that you look professional. Even if the company has a casual dress code, you want to look your best. Make sure the color you are wearing doesn’t clash with your background.  

You can use notes.  Although you want to have good eye contact, you might want to put a few Post-it notes on your computer with key points you want to make. This is one advantage of online interviews.  

Don’t ignore the current circumstances.   As an applicant, it is ok to ask your prospective employer about their Covid-19 safety protocols, what is their reopening plan and about job security. You won’t be the only one curious about the answers.  

Looking for a new job is never easy. The challenges we face today make the process different but not impossible. Be prepared to be flexible and put forward your very best. Success awaits. 

I have reviewed thousands of applications in my career, so I know what will make yours stand out.  I’ve put all of my tips together in an online course called “Getting The Job You Want” Check it out.  I know it will help you be successful in your job search. Or see the preview below.

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