Job-hunting in the brave new world

Recruitment continues apace and we’ve filled several technical, scarce, specialist and executive level positions with ease over the past month. It’s a case of adapting to the new way of doing things which is, of course, mostly via video conference.

Employers are becoming adept at conducting even large panel interviews via tools such as Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Employees need to ensure that they are equally capable and comfortable using these tools. But of course, for both parties, there is more at stake now.

In times past, when a company was recruiting for a C-suite position their personal meetings with the candidate were as important as their professional meetings. They would routinely play a round of golf and/or set up dinner which included the candidate’s spouse. It was about looking at the whole candidate, not just the person who showed up for the interview. As the world became more corporate, employers stopped this practice but now those days are back, as we routinely get glimpses of candidate’s homes and meet their spouse and kids, even unwittingly.

People are still figuring out the rules of recruiting via video conference but we have already learnt a bit about what works and what doesn’t, so here is some advice for candidates.

  • Get your technology sorted.
    – Ask the recruiter which video conferencing tool they’ll be using and make sure you have the latest version downloaded.
    – Learn how to use it before the interview. All of these tools come with tutorials so watch what is available and, if you still have questions, search for answers online until you’ve figured it out. Pay particular attention to picture and sound.
    – Do a dry run with someone else before the interview.
    – If you’re using your phone, make sure its fully charged.
    – If you’ll be sharing a presentation during the interview, test the screen sharing facility so that you can get in and out of sharing mode easily.
  • Don’t use a gimmicky or curated background. The recruiter actually wants to see you in your home and it’s best just to present yourself as you are. Yes it’s a much more intimate setting than we are used to but it is our new reality.
  • Now that home and work have become one and we have children, spouses, parents and pets around us while we work, they’ve all become part of our meeting backgrounds. How you handle interruptions when you’re interviewing – and how interviewers handle them – tells us all a great deal about each other, not least how adaptable we are. Get comfortable being authentic.
  • We know that not everyone has access to wifi and data, and not everyone is able to find a quiet place for an interview, especially if it’s a long panel process. Talk to your recruiter about your constraints – they will happily help you overcome the things that wouldn’t normally affect the recruitment process. Rest assured, one of the best things about our new world is that we all have to be honest with each other.
  • Even though you’re meeting from home, dress and present yourself just as you would if the interview were being conducted in the employer’s office.

Lorna Mangel is the Business Development Manager at Mindworx Consulting.

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