COVID-19 has impacted many lives in many ways. For example, you may have lost your job due to this health crisis and have struggled to find another. Now that vaccinations are becoming more common, we’re turning the corner — and you may find you can return to your traditional lifestyle. That said, you need to be fully prepared for your first interview to ensure you nail it.
Always Test Your Interview Technology
The reality is that many job interviews will still happen online. The pandemic continues on and more people need to become vaccinated. For example, in early March 2021, just 15.3% of the U.S. population had received the vaccine. Though these numbers have grown heavily in recent months, they’re still low enough that most companies are likely to focus mainly on video-based interviews (especially for remote work opportunities).
Don’t worry, though! You’ll ace the interview as long as you take the time to make sure your tech works appropriately. Do a video test run with a friend who can see how well you stream and if there is any lag. Run diagnostic tests on your programs to see if there are any problems and run your best anti-virus programs to spot any other concerns. Be sure to test your camera and microphone, as well, and download any programs that you know the company will use (like Zoom). Doing so will ensure you don’t run into embarrassing failure during your interview.
Know About COVID and Your Status
Have you gotten COVID-19 and recovered with no difficulties? Or have you had some struggles even after the disease left your system? And did you get vaccinated or are you still unprotected from the virus? You may need to be prepared to share this information with your employer. While we don’t suggest volunteering it on your own, you’ll need to let them know if they ask about COVID and your current lifestyle.
No, they cannot refuse to hire you if you have had COVID and recovered just fine. But many companies may question hiring you if you refuse to get vaccinated. They may also wonder about your safety and healthy if you’ve caught this disease several times. These facts shouldn’t influence your interview in a better world, but we live in a COVID world, so expect them to come up. At the very least, expect some of your interview questions to relate to the pandemic in some way. Be ready to talk about the difficulties, the triumphs, and what you’ve learned.
Practice Your Interview With a Friend
Your current situation may not make it easy for you to practice your interview with a friend in person. Even though the fiber-optic cable manufacturing industry has grown by 11.8%, you may still feel a little unnatural interviewing for a position via teleconference. A practice interview will help make it easier for you to get a feel for what you need to do during the real thing.
Ask your friend to look for things like awkward speech patterns, struggles to look into the camera, or strange body language. This latter fact is particularly critical because body language accounts for 93% of how people perceive you. These problems can include slouching, looking away when talking, sighing loudly, scratching your head, or other embarrassing interview faux pas.
Research the Company Before the Interview
Before you ever take a call from a company, you need to research them to ensure that they’re aligned with your goals. Their culture or values could differ wildly from your own and cause a conflict that is quite difficult to overcome. Having some basic knowledge of their company culture, their ethics, and their overall vibe will help tremendously during your interview. While you should always be true to yourself, you’ll want to tailor your approach based on what you know about the company.
You must know what clothing they expect you to wear, understand their underlying culture, get an idea of what kinds of amenities they provide, and grasp their friendliness towards millennials, BIPOC employees, the LGBTQ+ community, women, and other marginalized groups. Try to ensure that you find a company that suits you and aligns with your beliefs.
Take Control of Your Career Destiny
In reality, a pandemic job interview isn’t all that different from an interview during ordinary times. But you’ll still need to prepare properly. Once you master these simple steps, you’ll have no trouble acing the first (or second) interview and securing a job offer.