It’s no secret that over the past few months, competition for every available position across Australia has become fierce, with more professionals out of work, and many looking to make career and life changes. As we face significant disruption in the workplace and the world at large, it’s a great time to consider those opportunities in front of us, focusing on that which we can control.
Working remotely has become the norm during these times, and with safety at the forefront of everybody’s minds, hiring and recruitment has followed suit. Interviewing remotely for a new position brings its own unique set of challenges, especially as it will be the first time for many. Straight from the mouths of our top Woods & Co Recruitment Consultants & clients, here are our top 10 candidate tips for job interviews – pandemic edition!
Above all, present yourself honestly. It pays to remember that when looking for a new position to progress your career, long-term success stories occur when the company and employee are a perfect fit.
Just like regular interviews, you’ll want to allow yourself plenty of time to make sure you’re in front of the camera and ready to go well before your interview time. Log into your meeting 5-10 minutes early to make sure the interviewer isn’t waiting for you to join the call.
It has never been easier to prepare yourself for a job interview than it is today. With a wealth of information at your fingertips, take the time to research the company with which you’re interviewing in depth, understanding their history and mission. Apply the same process to those you expect to engage with during your interview stages. If you’re interviewing with a recruiter, research what other roles they have on, readying yourself for questions and discussions about alternative options.
The ideal candidate is always driven and clear about what they want to achieve. Explore your personal ambitions in the short, mid and long-term before the interview, so when the interviewer asks what your goals are and what you would like to achieve at their company, you are able to articulate these clearly and confidently.
Recruiters, hiring managers & directors are all looking for the right past experience to prove you’re capable of the role. Take some time to reflect on your past experience in light of the role for which you’re currently applying. Consider which skills are transferable, and crucially what value you can add that other applicants with similar experience may not. This leads us nicely into our next tip.
Recruiters and companies alike are looking for a candidate who is sure of themselves and their ability to perform in the role available. Don’t be afraid to highlight your past success, and how that success could be applicable in this new scenario. Identify your strengths before the interview, and make sure you convey this information during your conversation. Confidence is key, but humility is essential.
Particularly as in-person visits are restricted, your interview is your chance to get to know the employer, just as much as it is their chance to get to know you. Take the opportunity to display a genuine interest in the company and person conducting the interview. Make sure to ask how the pandemic has affected their business, and what changes they’ve needed to make. You may find that your skills align nicely with some recent changes to the company you weren’t aware of. Preparing some relevant questions before the interview can go a long way to demonstrating enthusiasm and a desire to succeed.
Well before your interview time, test your device with a video call to a friend or family using the same technology your interview will be conducted with (Zoom, Google Hangout etc). In some cases, companies will book interviews for the same position consecutively, so technical issues will not only demonstrate a lack of preparation, but cost you valuable time to sell yourself.
Dress as if you were attending an interview at the workplace. This will make it easy as possible for the interviewer to imagine you as part of their organisation. There is a time and a place for tracksuits while working from home, but this isn’t it!
When interviewing remotely, we lose the benefit of reading some of each others body language, and it can be harder to pick up on charisma and personality. Make sure to exude personality, inserting humour where applicable and appropriate. Culture fit is a huge aspect of selecting the best candidate, so interviewers will often be considering what it would be like to spend 5 days a week with you in the workplace! Use the interview to build as much of a relationship as possible with the interviewer, avoiding the interaction simply becoming transactional.
After the interview, remember to follow up and thank the interviewer for their time and consideration for you as an applicant. This follow up can be enough to separate you from the pack!
As always, please feel free to contact us here at Woods & Co, whether you’re on the hunt for a new role, or simply want some advice on the job market as we see it. We’re always happy to help in any way we can.