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Archives for the 'Interviewing' Category

How to Ace All Types of Video Interviews During COVID-19

Everybody’s doing it.

Even before COVID-19 struck the world, employers have been relying on virtual interviewing to screen out candidates. It’s inexpensive and way less time-consuming. There are several types of video interviews employers use. Make sure you’re savvy in all 4 of these formats.

1:1 Webcam Interview

The most common webcam interview is the one-on-one interview where it’s you and one other person. This is the easiest of interviews in terms of building rapport because you need only concentrate on one person, note their responses, and shape your performance accordingly.

You should look at your camera aperture as much as possible. It’s way more important to appear to be making eye contact with your actual interviewer on the other side of the connection, vs trying to make eye contact with their screen image or (as we’re all guilty of), checking yourself out as you talk.

Virtual Panel Interview

Business People Showing Score Cards

The virtual panel interview is also very common. It’s you and 2-5 people on the employer’s side. This can be a bit nerve-racking and a bit trickier because, while it’s important to note everyone’s reaction to your comments, you also don’t want to have your eyes looking like they’re darting around the whole time you talk.

Realize that these folks are probably not in the same room with each other. They are probably not even in the same zip code. Also, realize they may not work together regularly, they may not know each other, and they probably didn’t coordinate very much at all before the call. As such, things may be awkward.

The virtual format doesn’t make for easy ad-hoc discussions, so don’t expect a flowing conversation amongst colleagues. Instead, they’re likely to each have a few set questions they’re going to ask. For them, the reason to be on the call is not to create a forum, rather to all witness your interview at the same time, which eliminates the possibility of interview bias, ensures they’re all working from the same content, and ultimately saves the company time (and money).

The good news is you will likely only have to concentrate on addressing one person at a time: the person who asked the question. Also, you can pick up on the culture of the company by how this group of people handles things like talking over each other and waiting for their turn to talk.

Group Video Interview

Zoom (Video chat)

The group video interview is the interview that most closely resembles a reality TV show. It’s you, the interviewer (usually an HR rep), and your competition. Sounds like fun, eh? In this type of interview, the other players in the game don’t have very much incentive to make you look or sound good. People will inevitably be vying for air time, much as they do on those reality shows: “You should pick me because….”

And you should try to stand out, but you want to balance this with showing off some interpersonal skills as well.

The reason companies hold group interviews is not merely to save time – though that’s a big part of it. Usually they want to see how you are in a group setting and how you handle stress. The job to which you’re applying most likely will have an element of needing to be in group video chats or working with cohorts of people in some way. So, show off your skills: complement others, use segues that acknowledge other speakers, be silent and attentive as others talk.

Smile, even laugh, but don’t nod your head in agreement, lest you underscore their answer and undermine your own.

And, if you have time, make sure you’re an expert with the video-conferencing technology. It’s probable something will go wrong or an interviewer will be unsure how to do something. Saving the day is an excellent way to stand out.

Recorded Interview

Action adult aperture blur

The ultimate way to save time for the employer is using a recorded interview because then they don’t have to be there at all. A lot of companies are now recording themselves asking questions or just giving candidates a list of questions and inviting candidates to give a video interview. This is more like a monologue than an interview and, as you’ll find, it’s hard to talk to a camera for any length of time with zero reaction from an audience.

Just look at all the talk show hosts doing recordings in their homes while sheltering in place. Even these polished presenters can seem awkward at times because they have no sense of which jokes are working.

The key to acing a recorded interview is to smile while you speak, to look into the camera as if gazing at an old friend, and to show emotion…. to reveal yourself. In order to do this last part, you have to know yourself first, so ask that old friend or a new colleague how you come off in conversations, what they like about talking with you, and bring it to your recorded interview.

Close Strong

As with any interview, end with questions. When you’re listening to the interviewer’s answer, consider looking at the camera an catching their image out of the corner of your eye so you can react appropriately. They are more likely to feel heard if they feel your eyes on them.

When closing out, know your software! If possible, push the End Call button without taking your eyes off the camera. Let the last thing they see be your warm, gracious smile, not the top of your head or a puzzled, serious, relieved look on your face while you search for a way to end the call.

Don’t send a thank-you note immediately. Let the interview sink in a bit so you can reflect on what you did well, what you didn’t do so well, and what you may have forgotten to say. Then follow-up, reiterate your interest, and fill in the gaps.

top COVID-19, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Uncategorized |

5 Stand-out Strategies for Answering the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question

Most interviews start with the same question (which, actually, isn’t even a question):

“Tell me about yourself.”


Because open-ended questions are the best way to get to know someone. And, they’re the easiest way to allow someone to reveal themselves.

The question is simple enough, yet most people answer it incorrectly. Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Executives, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Recent Graduates |

How to Keep Your Career Alive Through Coronavirus

Is anyone hiring?

Not really. There are, indeed, industries and companies that are going strong, but they’re not necessarily adding to their headcount right now. Everyone’s in waiting. HR departments are in an Arctic freeze. People with jobs are clinging to them like driftwood in the cold open sea. Unemployment numbers are rising, which means the competition for life rafts is growing.

It’s hard to be cooped up in your house, knowing all of this is going, feeling like you should be “out there” looking for work.

Still, it’s always better to take action during a crisis. Action delivers a sense of progress. It fans the flame of hope in the night while we pray for the sun to come back over the horizon.

Here are some ways to stay productive and generate your own warmth in this time of uncertainty: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Networking, Resumes |

A Gargantuan List of Interview Do’s and Don’ts

People always ask for a list like this so here is some age-old advice to help you prepare for your interview. These are extremely basic tenets that apply to almost everyone looking for work. Continue reading this entry »

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Are Job Gaps A Good Thing?

Recently, a resume client of mine forwarded a newsletter article from a job board discussing ways to overcome “job gaps” of 3-6 months.

Here’s a snippet from the article, and my subsequent retort as to why we should redefine the criteria for a job gap: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Resumes |

Let the Government Pay For Your Career Development

One of the best kept secrets in job-hunting: The government has offered to pay part of your expenses!

You read correctly: Career expenses, including fees incurred for career counseling, professional resume writing, and job-search coaching, are tax-deductible for everyone with only a few exceptions: Continue reading this entry »

top Career Transition, Interviewing, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Mature Workers, Resumes |

How to Get Hired After Age 50

I’m getting tons of clients coming to me with this question.

First off, it’s unfair.

Now that that’s out of the way, how can you overcome the stigma?

The key is recognizing and remembering that your work experience Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Mature Workers, Resumes |

Do I Have to Say When I Graduated?

Is a Graduation Date Necessary on a Resume?

Hiring managers love the math of graduation dates. It’s an easy way to figure out your age.

To be clear, you should never list your graduation date, unless Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, LinkedIn's Best Answers, Mature Workers, Resumes |

Safe Answers to the Salary Question

Your negotiating power stems from your ability to demonstrate how your contributions will increase revenue and productivity and/or decrease costs and stress for your employer.

Therefore, the earlier you talk about salary (without having first addressed the employers’ concerns), the worse your negotiating position. Here are some winning answers Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Salary |

How To Choose & Use Your References

Ultimately, the choice is yours as far as who should speak on your behalf. However, here are some guidelines to help you figure out who are the best people to approach when searching for references. Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Networking |

Giving Your Resume a Soul

There’s a widespread frustration held by people that their resumes’ cannot adequately describe “the real me”. I’ve challenged this notion with the following comments and suggestions: Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Mature Workers, Recent Graduates, Resumes |

Should I Answer Interview Questions In My Online Profile?

Online profiles (posted on networking sites, your own job-search site, and social spaces) are an excellent complement to your resume. Just be sure to leave at least a few questions unanswered. Continue reading this entry »

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