We’re coming up on a year of living and planning our lives during Covid. There are signs that the economy is improving. Many organizations have moved out of uncertainty and have put firmer plans in place for the year ahead. My clients are finding several roles that interest them and better yet—they’re breaking through to secure interviews.
To my surprise, I’m hearing a common refrain among them. “I like a Zoom interview!” I’ve added this to my running list of unexpected Covid silver linings. Along with my daughter’s upcoming Zoom Bat Mitzvah. That’s between us, of course.
If you’ve been flummoxed by the idea of job searching and interviewing during Covid, here’s your glass half full perspective.
Travel challenges are no longer a variable. There’s no mapping out your route, wondering if there will be traffic or train trouble. That element and level of planning is completely removed, so you can spend more time actually prepping for the interview.
Seeing yourself helps you avoid bad habits. Goodbye slouching, touching your face, fixing your hair or whatever your body does when nervous. While I wouldn’t look at yourself the entire interview, I would check in on your video to see how you’re presenting yourself a few times throughout your meeting.
You can stand. If you have a standing desk or high counter where you can take the call, it can be a game-changer for you. When you are standing, you are more likely to keep your energy high. I always recommend standing for interviews that are on the phone and if you are doing many interviews for a search, you may want to look into one of the trays that can create a standing option for your everyday desk.
Video peek into the lives of potential colleagues. You should do your best to guard your time and space for the interview. Ideally you want to create a calm and clutter free setting. That said, I’m hearing stories about interviewers with quirky and fun backgrounds or a child who comes in for a hug. This time in which the walls of perfection have come down some can give you a sense of the personality, culture and priorities of the organization.
Your notes are off camera. I often tell my clients to write the word “pause” on a post-it that hangs above their laptops during the interview. Our tendency to go on and on can prove challenging when we are nervous. So, this simple off-camera reminder can keep you on-track. Sometimes, it is accompanied by an intention set for the interview like, “Be curious.” Or “Learn more about the company.” Or even, “Practice interview skills!”
Whether you’re grateful for this shift in the job hunt or you’re dreading it, remember with practice you can nail a zoom interview just as you would have the in-person version. Speaking of practice, you can do this on a zoom meeting by yourself so you get a sense of how you look saying your elevator pitch and answering certain questions that may be tricky for you. Like it or not, this practice may be here to stay in some form—so building your skills during your search right now will be critical in your career in the longer term.