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If COVID-19 Moved Your Job Interview to Video, Here’s How to Prepare

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With the number of companies around the globe asking their employees to stay safe and work from home increasingly every day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person interviews are being replaced with video interviews via platforms such as Hinterview, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc.  For some this is a new experience so here are our top 5 tips to help you get prepared. 
 
 

1. Check Your Tech

As mentioned, there are a variety of video interview platforms, many of which you may be familiar with such as Google Hangouts or Skype. While you might think you are adept at using such platforms, don’t rest on your laurels. When you receive the link for the platform from your potential employer - test it out! Familiarise yourself with the platform and do a test call with a family member or friend in advance. Make sure you have a strong internet connection so there are no delays and that your camera and microphone are working perfectly.  Finally make sure you are plugged into a power source; interviews can overrun so don’t be relying on the battery to see you through.  
 
 

2. Set the Scene

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again but finding a suitable environment is so important in preparing for your video interview. Find a quiet, private space to do the interview, somewhere you can control the noise pollution and keep it to a minimum. 
 
After that choose, your backdrop wisely. You don’t want potential employers to see your cluttered bedroom and dirty washing in the background, especially after listing ‘organisational skills’ as one of your top skills on your CV. 
 
Lighting is key and is often forgotten about until the time of the interview. For the best lighting, sit facing an open window, similar to how you would face the light source or sun for photgraphs. If there is no natural light available to you at the time, use floor and desk lamps to brighten up your environment and ensure your interviewer can see you clearly. 
 
 

3. Dress to Impress

Although your employer won’t see you face to face, it is still important to dress appropriately. It is always a good idea to investigate the company’s dress code and go from there. You should wear professional, interview-appropriate clothes that you feel comfortable in.  If you are comfortable in what you are wearing, it will help you stay relaxed and at ease during your interview. Avoid plaids and stripes as these can cause distractions on the camera and make sure you avoid wearing the same colour as your chosen background.
 
 

4. Body Language Speaks A Thousand Words

It’s important to have good eye-contact in any interview you attend, this is no different for a video interview. To maintain good eye contact during your interview, place your laptop, webcam or device at eye level. If your camera is too low or too high, it can appear to your employer that you are looking down or away. 
 
It is also important to look into the camera when speaking. Putting a coloured sticker or something noticeable beside the camera might help remind you to speak into the camera instead of the screen. Some gestures that often go unnoticed in face to face interviews, can be more eye-catching through video, for example twirling hair, touching your face or fidgeting with your fingers. 
 
Practicing interviews and video calls with friends or family will help you identify any nervous habits you may have. During the interview, it is important to sit upright with your back straight. Although the interviewer cannot see your lower body, it’s important to have two feet flat on the floor in order to maintain an upright position. Crossing your legs can lead to slouching and can mess with your on-camera framing. 
 
 

5. Prepare to Win

You want to make a great first impression, leaving the interviewer with the desire to move you to the next round or hire you and the key to achieving this is to be prepared. From software to attire, eye contact to setting, it’s essential to prepare in every aspect for your interview. Have a copy of your CV nearby, but do not get caught reading off it during your interview, keep it nearby as a reference for yourself. Have a pen and paper at your desk should you need it to avoid any disruptions during the interview. And don’t forget to nod, smile and engage with your interviewer - you might not be sitting across from each other, but they can still see you!
 
Finally, be patient with the recruitment process. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, recruitment processes may take longer than normal. You may find there will be more rounds in a process and/or it may take longer to receive feedback. 
 
If you would like to discuss anything in this article, or have a confidential career chat,  please get in touch on 01 4744600 or email info@sigmar.ie 
 

Posted by Julia Purcell on 23 March 2020

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If COVID-19 Moved Your Job Interview to Video, Here’s How to Prepare

If COVID-19 Moved Your Job Interview to Video, Here’s How to Prepare

With the number of companies around the globe asking their employees to stay safe and work from home increasingly every day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person interviews are being replaced with video interviews via platforms such as Hinterview, Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc. For some this is a new experience so here are our top 5 tips to help you get prepared. 1. Check Your Tech As mentioned, there are a variety of video interview platforms, many of which you may be familiar with such as Google Hangouts or Skype. While you might think you are adept at using such platforms, don’t rest on your laurels. When you receive the link for the platform from your potential employer - test it out! Familiarise yourself with the platform and do a test call with a family member or friend in advance. Make sure you have a strong internet connection so there are no delays and that your camera and microphone are working perfectly. Finally make sure you are plugged into a power source; interviews can overrun so don’t be relying on the battery to see you through. 2. Set the Scene You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again but finding a suitable environment is so important in preparing for your video interview. Find a quiet, private space to do the interview, somewhere you can control the noise pollution and keep it to a minimum. After that choose, your backdrop wisely. You don’t want potential employers to see your cluttered bedroom and dirty washing in the background, especially after listing ‘organisational skills’ as one of your top skills on your CV. Lighting is key and is often forgotten about until the time of the interview. For the best lighting, sit facing an open window, similar to how you would face the light source or sun for photgraphs. If there is no natural light available to you at the time, use floor and desk lamps to brighten up your environment and ensure your interviewer can see you clearly. 3. Dress to Impress Although your employer won’t see you face to face, it is still important to dress appropriately. It is always a good idea to investigate the company’s dress code and go from there. You should wear professional, interview-appropriate clothes that you feel comfortable in. If you are comfortable in what you are wearing, it will help you stay relaxed and at ease during your interview. Avoid plaids and stripes as these can cause distractions on the camera and make sure you avoid wearing the same colour as your chosen background. 4. Body Language Speaks A Thousand Words It’s important to have good eye-contact in any interview you attend, this is no different for a video interview. To maintain good eye contact during your interview, place your laptop, webcam or device at eye level. If your camera is too low or too high, it can appear to your employer that you are looking down or away. It is also important to look into the camera when speaking. Putting a coloured sticker or something noticeable beside the camera might help remind you to speak into the camera instead of the screen. Some gestures that often go unnoticed in face to face interviews, can be more eye-catching through video, for example twirling hair, touching your face or fidgeting with your fingers. Practicing interviews and video calls with friends or family will help you identify any nervous habits you may have. During the interview, it is important to sit upright with your back straight. Although the interviewer cannot see your lower body, it’s important to have two feet flat on the floor in order to maintain an upright position. Crossing your legs can lead to slouching and can mess with your on-camera framing. 5. Prepare to Win You want to make a great first impression, leaving the interviewer with the desire to move you to the next round or hire you and the key to achieving this is to be prepared. From software to attire, eye contact to setting, it’s essential to prepare in every aspect for your interview. Have a copy of your CV nearby, but do not get caught reading off it during your interview, keep it nearby as a reference for yourself. Have a pen and paper at your desk should you need it to avoid any disruptions during the interview. And don’t forget to nod, smile and engage with your interviewer - you might not be sitting across from each other, but they can still see you! Finally, be patient with the recruitment process. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, recruitment processes may take longer than normal. You may find there will be more rounds in a process and/or it may take longer to receive feedback. If you would like to discuss anything in this article, or have a confidential career chat, please get in touch on 01 4744600 or email info@sigmar.ie

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What You Need To Know Before Meeting A Recruitment Consultant

What You Need To Know Before Meeting A Recruitment Consultant

Recruitment agencies see hundreds of people pass through their doors on a weekly basis. However not all candidates show up prepared. Truth is you will get a lot more out of meeting with a recruiter if you spend some time preparing and thinking about what your next ideal career move is. At the same time, you also want to impress a recruitment consultant, as a consultant is only going to want to put forward the best candidates to their clients. So, with that in mind, here are some tips to keep in mind when meeting your consultant; Meeting a Recruitment Consultant is not an interview, but it kind of is… Meeting your recruitment consultant will be informal compared to a real interview. The recruitment consultant wants to meet face to face to chat about your experience and what you’re looking for and discuss any opportunities they have available. However, even though your recruitment consultant isn’t the person who is going to hire you, they have relationships with people who could. You should treat your meeting like it’s an interview. Act professional and do your best to impress this person who has the power to get you the job you want. Dress Formally… For minimal effort, dressing to impress is important. Even if your office attire isn’t formal usually, dress smart (ideally formal but smart casual as a minimum) when meeting your consultant. This says to your consultant that you are taking your job hunt seriously and it also reassures the consultant you will present yourself well to their clients in interview. Be on Time for the Meeting… Again, consultants are assessing you to see if you are suitable to present to their clients. Being late screams unreliable and they will question whether you would do the same for a client interview. On time suits recruiters best because they usually have back to back meetings and being too early or late will put their entire schedule under pressure. Be Prepared… Even though it’s an informal chat, you should still be prepared and be confident speaking about your experience. Checking over your CV to be sure or saying you don’t remember won’t make your recruitment consultant confident that you can present yourself well in an interview with their client. Don’t be Afraid to be Honest… The more information you give your recruitment consultant, the better understanding they will have of your career aspirations and goals and in turn they will be able to provide you with positions you are interested in applying for. Inform them of your priorities (salary, benefits, location, title, culture etc.) and what you are and are not flexible on. Knowing this information will prevent you being presented with opportunities you are not interested in. Follow Up… At the end of your meeting with a recruitment consultant, they will present you with open positions for you to consider applying for. Ideally, they’ll all be perfect for you but if not, don’t be afraid to let your recruiter know. Give them feedback and stay in touch with them, in some cases a recruiter can become a lifelong career advocate. If you want to get the most out of your meeting with your recruitment consultant, always come prepared. Not only with it impress the recruiter, but it will get you one step closer to finding your perfect job.