Job hunting during the Covid-19 pandemic could be a roller coaster ride of expectations and disappointments on its own without the added stress of virtual interviews and strenuous screening processes that leaves you wondering where you went wrong. So if you are job hunting during the pandemic, consider this expert advice from recruiters and hiring managers.
Remote interviews are here to stay at least for as long as the pandemic does:
Get comfortable with the remote interview reality. For the foreseeable future, many job interviews will be online. That means you need to ensure that you look professional and engaging on the video call. You also need to strive to create an emotional connection with the interviewer — not as easy to do on video as in person.
- Look directly into the webcam (and not at the image of the interviewer on your screen) to make eye contact
- Dress professionally head to toe in case you need to stand up
- Pick a clean, uncluttered background and avoid virtual backgrounds like baseball parks (in the case of virtual backgrounds, it gets really creepy when parts of your face disappear when you move it)
- Nod and smile more often than you think you need to, (it helps to agree with the man/woman who just might your future boss)
- Using your hands can also help establish a connection and indicate commitment as you only use hand gestures when you are seriously invested in something.
Mind the bots:
A lesser known fact is that most companies use bots for the initial screening of resumes and to short list potential candidates. Stumped? We were too. However, we have just the solution for it.
Understanding how these systems work is just as important as understanding what employers are looking for. The machines that ‘read’ resumes are targeting keywords that are relevant to the job to be filled. For the best chance of moving forward and getting your resume in front of a human, use wording from the job description in your resume — without making it a carbon copy of the job requirements, of course. That means you can’t go with the one size fits all kind of solution. Customize your resume to fit each job you apply to.
Remember, there’s nothing soft about soft skills.
Every hiring manager is emphasizing the essential value of leadership, communication, agility, and the other non-technical competencies. They put more emphasis on them because these are the skills that drive success.
Amid the stress and remote reality of the pandemic, soft skills such as flexibility, listening, and empathy have never been more important. Leaders who don’t like managing change are having a worse year than others. Showing demonstrable soft skills, which you can bring up in the course of discussing challenging projects and/or working relationships, can put you at the top of the candidate list.
Listed below are some skills you should consider demonstrating in your next interview — (think what story can I tell to show these skills?)
- Critical thinking/problem solving
- Social/interpersonal skills
Do your online research to check out a few sample evaluations around the particular skill set. While you’re at it, research typical interview questions for the role. Hope all your research pays off.
However, if you are considering an entrepreneurial journey, having your own website is a really good place to start. If you think so too, click here to talk to us.