For over a year now, the pandemic has confronted jobseekers to many challenges in their search for work. Indeed, the Covid-19 has had a great emotional, psychological, social and economic impact on our society, presenting job seekers with a precarious job market that offers fewer opportunities in certain sectors of activity.
In ordinary times, the job interview was the ideal place to make a difference in real life. However, the current constraints make it now almost impossible to meet the potential employerin person, and it has become a necessity to adapt to interviews from a distance. Today’s remote interviews remain a crucial and decisive step in the choice of the employer, and it is important to make the most of it.
As part of our Womenpreneur Initiative’s mission to support women to enter the labour market, we aim at providing job seekers the resilience and capacity to adapt in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this article, you’ll find some tips and advice to help you prepare yourself and succeed in your future job interviews!
Create a comfort zone
First, it is essential to create a comfort zone, both at home and during calls or meetings. This was also stressed by Véa Waroux, an occupational psychologist, at one of our events: choosing the right setting for your remote interview will put you in a positive mindset and help you concentrate. Before the interview, check that your microphone, camera, internet connection and sound are working properly and that your battery is fully charged. Technical problems should not disrupt your exchange with the recruiter. Also, make sure you eliminate any distraction and move away from noise. By making the setting as little like a home environment as possible, the aim is to maintain a professional attitude, while making a good impression on your potential employer. Dress for success and you will be in a very good frame of mind for your interview
Prepare just like for a physical interview
As for a physical interview, it is necessary to highlight your motivation and willingness to work for the company you’re applying for. However, this can sometimes be difficult via video conference and it is necessary to re-learn how to communicate and feel comfortable in an online working environment. To achieve this, preparation is key. Indeed, in addition to creating your comfort zone at home, make sure you prepare your answers in the same way as you would for a physical interview: research information about the company, prepare an introductory pitch and reflect upon your ability to bounce back and adapt to the Covid-19 crisis. Moreover, just like for a physical interview, be punctual and ready, in front of your computer, at least 15 minutes before the appointment. Even if the interview is done remotely, punctuality is a sign of professionalism and this will help you prepare mentally too.
Focus on your “mad skills”
While we have always heard about soft skills, such as adaptability and curiosity, you should also mention your mad skills. Mad skills, also referred to as leisure skills, are those skills that can be derived from the practice of a sport or a hobby, and which can have a high added value in the context of work. Indeed, these types of skills have been introduced in Silicon Valley and they are the real game-changer: they focus on personality, originality and singularity, i.e. on competencies traditionally perceived as atypical to pitch. However, when combined to soft skills, these mad skills are crucial to create a multipotential profile, necessary in the 2021 society. Valérie-Anne also shared a website on where job seekers can upload for free their CV to be assessed by HR experts, with a specific focus on soft skills. When in front of the recruiter, make sure you are yourself - don't forget your sense of humour and leave time for lighter moments. In this way, you could relieve the pressure that characterises remote interviews.
Value the 2020 confinements
Rising unemployment and precarious mental health conditions have put a lot of pressure on job seekers. Yet, in the midst of the confinement, free training, courses and workshops are within everyone’s reach. It is necessary to seize these opportunities. Before the Covid-19 era, we always had to adapt to the society we lived in and to its relentless rhythms. However, the pandemic has made us realise that we can change the paradigm on which society is based and choose our priorities, what is more important for us and our personal and professional development. Take the time to reflect upon what to do, and act, without waiting too long. In this way, you will regain control of your plans and projects and avoid discouragement. Our advice during the interview? Stay positive with the recruiter. The Covid-19 pandemic is like a test, especially regarding your personal and professional situation. Make sure you show that you have used this time to develop your skills and prepare yourself for the job market of tomorrow.
Additional tips and advice
- Do not forget to smile! Non-verbal communication is very important. Interviews may take place in real life with a mask and this can be an additional challenge but your smile will convey the positive attitude you have, whether with a mask or behind a screen. Looking at the recruiter’s eyes is a very good way to ensure this.
- Be flexible and autonomous. The new conditions and constraints in which the job market evolves for the last year have forced workers to increase their ability to work from home and their autonomy. During the interview, show how teleworking would be suitable and advantageous for you: better organisation of your working time, saving time on the journey etc.
- As for a physical interview, always ask some questions during or at the end of the interview. When answering the recruiter’s questions, try to deliver clear, precise, coherent and concise answers. Make sure you have properly understood the messages and do not hesitate to ask for clarifications and take notes. Recruiters appreciate candidates who are active listeners and who are very interested in what they are offering.
In conclusion, even if the interview is conducted over the phone or on a laptop, your energy and enthusiasm will be felt by the interviewer. While the Covid-19 pandemic forces us to adapt to the restrictions it brings, we need to transform ourselves into heroines of resilience and look forward. By being humble but confident, we can continue to learn and become game-changers in our own lives.
Keep in touch with the Womenpreneur Initiative!
If you like our article, don’t forget to share it with your network!
Share this article on your favorite social networks.