Job search and interview in the virtual world

Ambition is the path to Success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. (Bill Bradley)

15 years ago I had my first video interview and it was a lot total disaster, I was touching my hair , looking at the camera, was nervous and didn’t pay attention to the questions. I wasn’t surprised I didn’t get the job, because I wasn’t able to connect with the interviewer and also show my excitement, expertise, skill and ability to do the job.
This was years ago when virtual interviews were rear, but now days virtual interviews, networking are common and in the last few months a vital tools for recruiters.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve companies are creating new ways to stay connected virtually with their job candidates. I won’t be surprised even after the pandemic is over most recruiting events to continue to be hosted virtually.
We celebrate birthdays virtually, date virtually, go to church virtually. Virtual life it become a part of our lives. This brings some challenges since we have people from all kind of background and age. Some feel comfortable on front of camera, others are shy and this can’t hurt they chance to get the job they are more than qualify. Poor connection, old laptop or smart phone can raise a lot of technical barriers.
What do you need to know to be able to adjust and make sure your job search and interview are successful. Let me try to share some basic stuff.


Networking
Continue to Network, don’t stop using LinkedIn and other social sites. Share good content, be genuine and don’t miss opportunity to volunteer and help others. Now is the time we all raise to an occasion and show our human side.
Since we can’t attend in person events there are many virtual networking events. Conferences, workshops, power talks and team events. Even they virtual the etiquette is the same. If you are joining a chat conversation, be proactive and have your intro ready ahead of time. Prepare in advance and plan a few key questions to show you’ve done your research. There are different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, value your time and Join groups specific to your industry to gain additional insights that might help with your conversations. Learn to be positive, everyone like bright people with positive attitude. Sometimes is hard to follow up the chat , don’t forget to ask questions.
One problem with virtual events is connectivity and reliability. I am sure you have experienced this in the past when you mom said something on the chat but it was delayed and you talk over what she was saying.
Learn to be patient because since a lot of people work from home sometimes the connection will lag and can lead to talking over one another/delay. There are online courses on how to use different virtual platforms. The most common are WebEx and Zoom, but there are many others. Make sure they are secure and the invite and the company hosting the event is reliable. Most of these platforms have a “raise hand” function to indicate you’d like to ask a question. Make sure you mute your microphone, if the host is not managing this for everyone. Even this is virtual world it is part of your online brand, make sure you have an appropriate user name, not a nickname – being thoughtful about these small things, just like you would at an in-person event, goes a long way.
We use iPad and other devices to take notes, but don’t forget the old paper notepad. Ensure you have one and pen handy to write down useful information and notes. Be on time and if you are on video chat don’t forget to show your purples, smile and be positive. It is distracting to have noise on the background, if you can try to join the event from a quiet room or space where you won’t have any distraction. Explain to your kids that this is important event and they end to help. Give them an assignment and keep them occupied.


Interviews
Even virtual the goal of the interview is the same. It is a game, and you need to prereleases for a video interview in the same way they would a live interview – be prepared to tell your story, showcase your personal brand and think about questions to ask. While the medium may be different, the objectives of the interview are the same.
I remembered years ago I had important presentations for one of my final exams, at the time when I needed to do my presentation on front of the calls there was a problem with my email and I wasn’t able to assess and download my presentation. It was technical issue, but impacted my grade. I learned my lesson and now I always have a plan B and you should do. Before your interview make sure to your software, all platforms offer ways to run short test. Make sure you’re familiar with the settings and menus in case you need to make adjustments during the interview. There are a lot short videos on YouTube or the platform website. Ask your brother to stop playing games or stream videos. This will help to limit internet traffic at home during your interview to avoid lag disruptions. If technical disaster occurs and you can’t connect you should have the recruiter contact details handy and call them or send them a note, so they are aware that you didn’t show up due to a technical issue and you can reschedule.
After the review is done, don’t forget to send a thank you note, it sounds like an old fashion but is something that can make you a winner.
Even if you are not searching for job, given the current situation and so many unknown it is important to stay in tours he and keep doors open and don’t burn bridges. Check in with recruiters on a frequent but reasonable basis with a quick note. Let them know how what is your interest and keep your name on front of them. Help friends and colleagues and refer them to recruiters, this is an excellent way to keep the network and help you to keep the connection alive and a mutually beneficial relationship.

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