Whilst Covid has taught us all that we can be productive WFH and that business can still be done; first impressions really do still count. An observation I have made recently is that with work being conducted virtually, how people approach the recruitment process has also relaxed.
First impressions count
In this market, no matter whether via video or face to face, it is important to remember that whether you are speaking to a recruiter who is considering you for a role, or a hiring manager directly, both have part to play when considering you for your next step.
Lately, I have heard such things as:
- “What is the purpose of our catch up – do we need to do a video call, or can it just be a phone call?”
- “Feel free to send me to your client and let’s see what they say” … (without interviewing them)
- “I am sitting at my desk (or just on a zoom call but am muted) so can answer your questions now”
- “Oh, I didn’t realise I would be interviewing with you before speaking to your client”
- “I haven’t had much time to prepare but am sure I will be ok”
Whilst these examples are candidate related; I do feel recruiters have a part to play in how this has eventuated. I have had candidates tell me that often a recruiter has just called them to tell them about a role and then put them forward without conducting a robust process and with very little knowledge of the company, role expectations or team. They have failed to provide candidates with the service and process that should be expected.
Preparation is key
For either an interview or a meeting, preparation is key so give yourself the time to prepare.
Don’t feel like you can’t ask for more time to be in a space where you won’t get interrupted and have time to be mentally as well as physically ready.
- Read their website, the JD, write down examples of competencies you might expect to be tested on and have your questions ready to go – this shows you are invested in the role and process and interested.
- For a technical role, expect to be tested on your technical capabilities as well as your competencies.
- If a presentation is required, make sure you don’t rush it and appear unstructured and disorganised – again, ask for a little more time to get you as prepared as possible.
Learn from others’ mistakes!
We have all either experienced a cat walking across the screen, a dog barking or a child or children making a cameo appearance but for an interview, your setup and undivided attention is important.
- Put your pets in another room
- Have someone look after the children (even if it is the dreaded iPad!)
- Tidy your environment or use a sensible background (being a doughnut may be funny but a little distracting!)
And most of all have your setup tested and ready to go on time (make sure to be off mute, ensure the client isn’t talking to your ear and that other distractions such as email notifications are turned off). Some clients will be going from Zoom to Zoom so make sure you are ready to go to make the most of your allocated time.
The market is extremely tight for talent and a lot of recruiters are spending huge amounts of time searching for candidates. Clients are still prepared to wait if candidates are not quite right and you want to be memorable for the right reasons!