By Karley Warden
For the past seven months, companies across the world have faced unimaginable changes to their business operations, including recruiting interns and full-time employees. With these changes come new strategies and platforms for companies to reach prospective employees and jobseekers to follow suit. Sure, you may be used to web conferencing and instant messaging by now, but how has preparation for virtual recruiting and interviews changed? Here’s a list of ways you can still be an exceptional candidate this year for internships and jobs without practicing your perfect handshake or visiting an office.
Dress for Success from Top to Bottom
You may think your outfit may not be as noticeable to an employer through a computer screen, but dressing professionally and appropriately for virtual interviews and informational interviews are still just as important! While it is tempting to wear your most professional top with sweatpants to match, dressing in a full outfit as if you had an in-person interview can have a positive impact on your preparedness, energy, and professionalism for a meeting.
Punctuality is Still Key
Nowadays, interviews are just a click away rather than a bus, taxi, or car ride. The instantaneousness of connecting with people across the world at our fingertips has made connections faster than ever, but you should still show up to virtual meetings on time to keep someone from waiting on the other line. Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to sit down in a well-lit, quiet area and get into interview mode! Whatever puts your mind at ease before an interview, take a few minutes to breathe and focus before clicking that Zoom link.
There is no doubt that we have all faced some technical error during a meeting these past few months. As much as we rely on phones, computers, and devices, technology is extremely imperfect, and it could fail even in the most important interviews. First and foremost, ensure you will have a steady Wifi connection the entire time. If you have concerns that roommates and other users might be on during it or you have had a poor connection in the past, try to connect to a hotspot or more stable connection to avoid the hassle of cutting in and out during your perfectly practiced elevator pitch. Additionally, make sure you silence or turn off any nearby devices or notifications on your computer that could distract you from the interview. You never want an employer to think you are looking at a different screen or preoccupied with something during your conversation.
Act Natural...You’re on Camera!
One of the most difficult transitions to meeting employers online is losing the personal touch of meeting someone to gauge their personality, body language, and overall presence. While you cannot portray all of that virtually, you should still act as if this were an in-person conversation. Show your personality in new ways by explaining to employers what you’re passionate about, carefully articulating your responses to questions, and showing extra gratitude for their time to meet with you.
The most important thing to remember is that employers and recruiters on the other side of the call are adapting to this new landscape just as you are, so be patient with the process, but realize that standing out and preparing for every interview is more important now than ever. Be sure to always follow up with people you meet at every company to express your continued interest, and prepare for unexpected technical problems and awkward video call moments. Happy (virtual) job hunting!