Millions of people all over the world are actively looking for jobs right now. The Covid-19 pandemic cost millions of their careers. For months now, many people are facing unemployment and having to look for new avenues.
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Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic results in a massive shift in the way people are looking for their jobs now. Everything is virtual- we are looking for jobs online, conducting interviews online, and even working online.
If you are actively looking for a new job, or just looking to change your old one, looking online can open up great avenues for you.
The main shift in attitude now is that you have to prepare for your interviews online. Virtual job interviews are becoming more and more common, with most companies implementing new tools and enhancing options for employees to work online efficiently.
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However, if we get down to the details, then is a virtual interview any different from a face-to-face interview? And if so, then how can you better prepare for it so that you can nail your virtual interview?
Here is everything you need to know about it:
Brush up Your Cover Letter and Resume
It has always been good practice to update your resume periodically. However, now that you are actively applying for jobs online, this has become more important than ever.
Add all of your recent accomplishments, always remembering to add in a few extra points about how you can manage yourself well in high-pressure situations. At this point in time, hiring managers are primarily looking for employees who can handle such uncertainty and pressures.
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When writing a cover letter, make sure that you don’t blindly follow a template and send the same cover letter to all your hiring managers. They will, undoubtedly, notice whether the message is genuine or not, and judge you based on it.
If possible, mention a mutual acquaintance when writing your cover letter, as this is sure to grab the hiring manager’s attention. You can always take additional tips on how to draft a cover letter and resume by looking at guides online.
Reach out to Your Network
Networking is more important than it ever was now, especially during a crisis like this pandemic period. Don’t feel abashed to reach out to former colleagues, ex-employees, or just friends who can help you out with a job or with leads.
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You can email, call, or only share your LinkedIn profile with them, and even personally explain your unique situation. It is better not to think of this as looking for sympathy; instead, think of it as a way to build a connection and get your message through.
Thankfully, most people will be able to sympathize with your situation, as everyone is facing this crisis at the same time. It is not comfortable sharing bad times and bad experiences, but during this period, it can work in your favour to share these details.
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Convey Emotion and Warmth
Everyone is looking for some emotion, warmth, and understanding during this time. Since you will not personally be face-to-face with your interviewer, you should be emotive via your computer screen. During this time, it is appropriate to follow your interviewer’s lead if they are making small talk.
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You can even ask them how they and their family are coping during this crisis. Of course, be sure to have an appropriate answer ready if they ask you the same. You can mention that you are dealing as well as you can under the circumstances. You don’t need to get into any unnecessary details, of course.
Get Familiar with Technology
It will be helpful if you can ask ahead of time what kind of video calling platform they plan to use. If you are not familiar with it, you should download it and use it for yourself a few times, just so that you are comfortable with the way the platform works.
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This is especially helpful if you need to make use of certain unique features on the app, like link sharing, adding contacts, etc. Test out the video calling platform on your own time and familiarize yourself with it.
You should also ensure that you have another source at hand to get in touch with the interviewer in case of any technical difficulties. Whether it is your Wi-Fi misbehaving, of your device running out of battery, you have to have a Plan B ahead of time.
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Although most people will understand and be sympathetic to any technical glitches you might be facing, you can use this as an opportunity to showcase your competence by working around the difficulties and getting back to the interview efficiently.
Look Your Part
For a face-to-face interview, no doubt, you would dress up in your best professional attire. However, under the current circumstances, it can be slightly odd to dress up in a suit and jacket when sitting for a virtual interview.
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It would be best if you did not appear for your interview in your pyjamas, a sweatshirt, or a casual T-shirt. However, you should still dress professionally in a shirt or blouse.
It is preferable if you can take the interview in a professional-looking set-up in your home, or if that is not possible, then merely against a blank wall. It is better not to use virtual backgrounds or display a messy room, or a bedroom or dining room where you might face interruptions.
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It will be better if you can stand up while giving the interview, as it helps you be more emotive, use gestures, and even loosens up your vocal cords.
Most companies are doing something in response to Covid-19. It is advantageous if you can find out what your interviewing company is doing as a Covid-19 response, just so that you are well aware ahead of time about everything. Make it a point to get all the latest information and be up to date about the company before you sit for the interview.
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Whether it is a virtual or a face-to-face interview, most of the rules will remain the same. It is essential to keep calm and reveal your true self during an interview. Of course, ensure that you are up to date on the technologies you need to give your virtual interview efficiently.