HOUSTON – Many of us have faced a lot of unique challenges lately due to circumstances caused by COVID-19. One thing that has definitely become more difficult to do during the pandemic is find a new job. With the large number of layoffs and furloughs occurring this year due to the virus' effect on the economy, many are seeking employment and finding this task harder to accomplish because of the pandemic. Impact Interview CEO Lewis Lin shares his expert tips for navigating today’s job market.
“A lot of these interviews have moved online, and the biggest component is Zoom,” said Lin. “When it comes to making sure that you come across well in that Zoom interview, there’s a couple things to keep in mind.”
Virtual interviews, though not a new concept, have become a necessary tool for companies and job seekers alike in the age of social-distancing. Whether using Zoom, Skype or some other program to meet with prospective employers, there are some keys factors to keep in mind to ensure your virtual first impression is memorable.
MASTERING YOUR VIRTUAL INTERVIEW
- Have a reliable internet connection. There are few things more awkward in a virtual interview than having your video freeze on an unflattering angle or having to repeat yourself several times due to a bad connection. Additionally, not having a reliable internet connection can potentially reflect negatively on your planning skills.
- Choose the right setting. While meeting at a public space like a cafe might work for in-person interviews, it’s not advisable to just plop down with your laptop at a Starbucks for a virtual interview. Choose a place indoors that has good lighting, little clutter or other distractions and minimal background noise.
- Good eye contact is the new firm handshake. Post-pandemic, handshakes might be the way of the past anyway, but especially in a video interview, maintaining eye contact is key. Try to look straight into the camera as much as possible throughout the conversation.
- Wear pants! Though you may be conducting the interview from the comfort of your home, you should still dress and style yourself professionally as if you were meeting in-person. This includes below the waist! You never know what may happen during an interview, so it’s best to not be caught off guard in sweatpants.
While virtual interviews are one of the main new things job seekers need to account for today, Lin says there are other factors to be considered as well, including being flexible with your job search.
“I know everyone’s got their dream job, but if you need to pay the bills you need to pay the bills,” said Lin. “So, be open to other jobs, other disciplines.”
OTHER TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS
- Be creative and flexible in your job search. Though looking for a job may seem impossible in this market, there are a good number of companies that are booming and in need of employees to handle the influx of business. Think of companies with delivery components, retail stores that provide essential goods and technology-based businesses. Keep in mind it may just be a temporary position to help get you through the hump.
- Networking is still important. The age-old adage of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still carries weight, even in a socially-distant world. Luckily, there are many ways to stay connected with colleagues, past and prospective, through technology. LinkedIn is a great resource for networking with people in your industry. Also, be on the lookout for virtual events like happy hours to help you network as well.
- Walk the walk. While making a good impression in your video interview is important, it’s also necessary to back up what you say. Don’t just say you work well under pressure, give an example of a time where you exemplified it too. If possible, it’s also good to demonstrate your work with a portfolio of past accomplishments.
- Practice makes perfect. Circling back to the video interview, it’s never a bad idea to get some extra help. Set up a video call with a friend or family member, go through a mock interview and ask them for pointers.
To see the full interview, watch the video above. For more expert advice or to connect with Lin, visit the Impact Interview website.