Times have changed in any number of ways, and your preparations for a modern job interview should reflect those changes. For example, companies have increased their acceptance of casual attire, tattoos, multiple earrings, and bold hair colors at work and, therefore, at job interviews. “Casual” is not a free pass for sloppy clothing or a sloppy attitude—in whatever way you prefer to express yourself, make sure you are still respectful of yourself and others. You may want to check any group photos of employees that are posted online before you assume a company’s fashion sense matches your own.
Another example is the use of masks, with up to 60% of US companies expecting masks to be part of their dress code, according to a one back-to-work survey. Assume that anyone who arranges an in-person interview will expect you to arrive wearing a mask.
However, the likelihood is that your modern job interview will be virtual. If you have yet to experience a Zoom or other videoconference, ask a knowledgeable friend to connect with you ahead of time so that you can practice, fool around with the options for video and sound, and line up your camera properly to focus on you, not the ceiling or the floor.
One of the latest trends is the use of Hireview and other online software using artificial intelligence to interview and assess candidates. These video-based software programs are intended to remove human bias from the interview process and to focus on the skills (hard and soft) that are precisely relevant to the job you are applying for. If you pass the AI program, you will then be interviewed by a representative of the company either in person or virtually.
With virtual interviews, you may not be able to present that incredibly designed resume you meant to hand over in person after your standard resume passed through the company’s application tracking software. Those circumstances may make your online profile or portfolio even more important in giving details and information that might overwhelm your paper resume.
Your resume is an important interview tool. You should read it before any interview to refresh your mind about your accomplishments, experiences, and skills. During virtual job interviews, have your resume within your sight for easy reference when answering questions and to help you keep your focus.
Some companies are insisting on more tests or examples of your work. They may ask for a presentation or a plan. Be prepared for the request but weigh cost/benefit carefully. Any company that asks for weeks of effort without pay may grab your free contribution and reject you. If you are asked to make a presentation or perform another task, study the company online and ask enough questions so that your project is in line with the company’s mission and values—one size does not fit all.
Modern job interviews come with more opportunities for distractions. Turn off your phone and do not play with it during the interview—your attention should be on the interviewer. If your own image distracts you during video conferencing, find out how to cover it or remove it from the screen. Close your door if there is any chance that you will be interrupted by colleagues, family, or pets.
Companies have become more flexible in scheduling interviews, with more of them willing to accommodate your schedule. That can help with minimizing interruptions, allow for better coordination of long-distance interviews, and keep you from having to take off time from your current job.
The job interview process takes longer, often involving multiple interviews with stretches of time between them. While you are interviewing, you should also be evaluating your interviewers to make sure that the company is a fit for you. Keep your job search going in the meanwhile. You will then have options to look forward to if the company chooses someone else.
Robin’s Resumes® keeps on top of the latest trends in job interviews and job searches and then embeds that knowledge in our resume writing and coaching services. Contact us today.