How to Get Hired at a Virtual Career Fair
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Male hand pressing WE'RE HIRING button on virtual screen over black background, creative collage. Panorama

By Neal Morrison – CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com

In June 2020, job growth broke records with almost 4.8 million jobs gained. Moreover, this was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual hiring methods, such as virtual career fairs, have facilitated most of this hiring.

Employers have turned almost exclusively to virtual recruiting events because of the benefits, which include safety, low cost, and convenience. Perhaps you should, too! Success is easy if you are prepared.

Virtual Career Fairs take place online between candidates and employers through laptops/desktops, tablets or mobile phones. There are four different types – Video, Chat/Text, Phone, 3D and any combination. I will update you here on Virtual Video (VV), which has emerged as the favorite of both employers and candidates. It is the closest replication of in-person (face-to-face) interviewing possible.

Candidates and employers find viewing and speaking online to be very private, professional and engaging.

Within the virtual video setting, your basic in-person interviewing skills can be deployed with similar success. However, there are detractors that can mute your greatest efforts and enhancers that will help you stand out.

Here are the most important points to consider for an optimized, successful interview.

1. Test your Camera/Microphone and ensure that your device and Internet connection are operating correctly.
TIP – Most Virtual Video platforms perform best when using Chrome or Firefox. Allow yourself the opportunity to test your device the night before. If there is a problem, you’ll have time to resolve it. Have the event organizer’s tech support contact or help line information available.

2.Register and log in early to confirm when you are scheduled to interview with your desired employers.
TIP – Select an appointment later in the recruiter’s schedule because recruiters have occasional computer issues, too. Also, after interviewing for a few hours, they may get distracted while working from home. Note who you are interviewing with and if other recruiters/interviewers are available. You might not connect with the first recruiter. Review all their profiles on LinkedIn and see if you can find any common interest points to warm up the start of your interview conversation. It will make you memorable to the interviewer.

3.Make sure to upload your resume to the Virtual Video Career Fair platform when you register.
If you procrastinate with this update, you may forget. If a recruiter/ interviewer does not have access to your resume BEFORE the VV Career Fair, your appointment will most likely be canceled. TIP – Have a copy of your uploaded resume on hand to reference when being interviewed. You will not have time to go find it because each interview is between 10 and 15 minutes.

4. Do not be put off by a recruiter / interviewer when they open up the conversation by saying, “We’ve got to keep this brief.”
In addition, they may start the interview with a rapid-fire series of questions. Recruiters will be rushed and cramped for time. Nevertheless, go along because when they concluded their questions and ask, “Can we set up a Zoom meeting in an hour or tomorrow?” – You are in the game! – You may be set for a more extensive interview with the staffing or hiring manager. This is where the hiring decisions are made. TIP – Say “YES!”

5. Think of each first session with an interviewer on the (VV) career fair platform as an introduction to being considered for a more extensive interview to follow. Because you only have a few minutes to answer and ask questions, some compare this to speed table dating. TIP – Have five questions memorized to ask the recruiter / interviewer. Make one of them, “What’s your email address?”

6. Your online visual appearance has to be on the spot and at its best.
There are no re-dos. Preferably, set up your interview space in an area or closed room where only you control light and sound. If you can’t sit facing natural light from a window, place two lamps in front of you on either side of your laptop/desktop/device. This will produce a balanced, smooth lighting to enhance your appearance over Virtual Video. Position your face and upper arms so they are visible within the screen – as if you were setting comfortably across from the recruiter / interviewer at a desk. TIP – When using a mobile phone / device place it upon a stack of books to raise and keep steady your image. Don’t forget to let everyone know your meeting schedule/ Quiet/ No Access time – Post a reminder note outside your space so your interview won’t be accidentally video-bombed.

7. Make sure your meeting with the recruiter/interviewer always remains professional and courteous.
Be genuine and authentic without getting personal. TIP – When speaking, look toward the camera and not at the picture of the interviewer on your screen. This will convey you are attentive and engaged with the conversation. No eating, drinking or yawning during the interview regardless of how relaxed you may be.

8. No Negative Thoughts Allowed!
Although the recruiter/interviewer will remain in character and appear momentarily empathetic, you blew it and it will work against you. TIP – As the old saying goes, “Don’t discuss sex, religion, politics or personal tales of woe.”

9. Most of all, keep a positive attitude because mastering the skills of virtual interviewing along with regular participation in Virtual Video Career Fairs will more than ever before exponentially increase your chances of getting hired.
TIP – Even when you are employed, continue to participate in Virtual Video Career Fairs to better your compensation and employment opportunities. As a passive career or job seeker, you will be in greater demand.

10. Always keep learning how to apply and leverage your Virtual Video Interviewing skills to amp up your career and job opportunities.
Virtual Career Fair 102 will update you on How to Find the Best Virtual Video Career Fairs for you among the Employer-Hosted, Job Board-Promoted, Career Fair Organizer-Produced and more. Find more details and send your questions to CareerCoach@CityCareerFair.com.

City Career Fair salutes its over 5,000 satisfied corporate, government, and non-profit clients for ACTIVELY supporting their Diversity Recruitment Initiatives. We invite you to recruit along with most major employers at our upcoming Virtual Video and In Person Diversity Career Fairs for top talent from
the Multicultural, Women, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ, Mature Workers and Veteran communities.

This is how the human heart adapts to space
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Two men are standing looking at each other in front of what appears to be a map.

By Ashley Strickland

When astronaut Scott Kelly spent nearly a year in space, his heart shrank despite the fact that he worked out six days a week over his 340-day stay, according to a new study.

Surprisingly, researchers observed the same change in Benoît Lecomte after he completed his 159-day swim across the Pacific Ocean in 2018.
The findings suggest that long-term weightlessness alters the structure of the heart, causing shrinkage and atrophy, and low-intensity exercise is not enough to keep that from happening. The study published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
Photo : CNN
The gravity we experience on Earth is what helps the heart to maintain both its size and function as it keeps blood pumping through our veins. Even something as simple as standing up and walking around helps pull blood down into our legs.
When the element of gravity is replaced with weightlessness, the heart shrinks in response.
Kelly lived in the absence of gravity aboard the International Space Station from March 27, 2015, to March 1, 2016. He worked out on a stationary bike and treadmill and incorporated resistance activities into his routine six days a week for two hours each day.
Lecomte swam from June 5 to November 11, 2018, covering 1,753 miles and averaging about six hours a day swimming. That sustained activity may sound extreme, but each day of swimming was considered to be low-intensity activity.
Even though Lecomte was on Earth, he was spending hours a day in the water, which offsets the effects of gravity. Long-distance swimmers use the prone technique, a horizontal facedown position, for these endurance swims.
Researchers expected that the activities performed by both men would keep their hearts from experiencing any shrinkage or weakening. Data collected from tests of their hearts before, during and after these extreme events showed otherwise.
Kelly and Lecomte both experienced a loss of mass and initial drop in diameter in the left ventricles of the heart during their experiences.
Both long-duration spaceflight and prolonged water immersion led to a very specific adaptation of the heart, said senior study author Dr. Benjamin Levine, a professor of internal medicine/cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
While the authors point out that they only studied two men who both performed extraordinary things, further study is needed to understand how the human body reacts in extreme situations.
Read the full article at CNN.
13 Practical Ways To Help Employees Adapt To New Technology
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collage Forbes Human Resources Council

Tech continues to play a larger and larger role in businesses and industries of all stripes. As companies bring on more and newer technology to help improve productivity, employees who were initially trained on older systems or who are new to a higher-tech workplace may struggle to keep up or even resist using the new tech at all.

Giving your team the support they need to learn and leverage new tech is a win-win situation for everyone. Below, 13 members of Forbes Human Resources Council share tips for effectively introducing new tech tools to your team members.

Take a multi-pronged approach.

Implement a range of training systems, from written instruction to live video training, to accommodate different work styles and preferences. It’s important that executives lead by example by using the technology themselves and reminding employees of support and resources available on a regular basis. – Neha Mirchandani, BrightPlan

2. Create a sandbox for employees.

The one important strategy in any major wave of change is the willingness to create a sandbox for the employees. For any new tech—or non-tech—strategy to succeed, an appetite for and acceptance of failures and mistakes are required. People learn when they know their mistakes won’t cost them their jobs. They are more open to bigger challenges if there is an allowance for a learning curve. – Ruchi Kulhari, NIIT-Technologies

3. Implement annual skills evaluation.

Annual skills evaluation programs are a great way to keep employees engaged and motivated. Digital transformation requires core competencies for virtually any job to evolve. By evaluating skill levels and skill gaps, your organization can easily identify ways to ensure employees are keeping up with the competition. Employers must constantly update employee skills to match the pace of innovation. – Sameer Penakalapati, CEIPAL Corp.

Read the full article at  Forbes.

Why Big Data Is Failing Women In STEM And How To Fix It
LinkedIn
Black woman leaning against the wall working on the computer wearing black

Big Data dominates our economy. Yet, we don’t have consistent, standardized and real-time data on the jobs driving that 21stcentury-Big Data economy: science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Walmart can tell you how many of anything are in a given store or warehouse at any moment. Apps track your heartrate and your phone tracks your location at any moment. C-suite executives monitor everything in their organizations daily. In the labyrinth of sources, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data seems to be the most detailed, but it’s relative; it’s not even clear exactly which jobs they include.

“Where data comes in is to put greater pressure on educational institutions and on employers to monitor what they’re doing and be held accountable if they lose women, if they keep losing women, or keep not getting women in the first place,” Ariane Hegewisch, Ph.D., Program Director Employment & Earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told me. She added that it’s important to see the racial data as well, because, “it does impact women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds very differently.”

The devil’s in the definitions: “There is no standard definition of a STEM occupation.”

A big part of the problem is defining these jobs. The BLS lists all occupations and you need to mine their breakdown to find what you want. The BLS defines STEM jobs as: “Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations include computer and mathematical, architecture and engineering, and life and physical science occupations, as well as managerial and postsecondary teaching occupations related to these functional areas and sales occupations requiring scientific or technical knowledge at the postsecondary level.”

Read the original article at Forbes.

Tips for Leading a Strong and Diverse Team During a Pandemic
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By Mariano Garcia,
Civil Trial Attorney, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a healthcare and economic crisis across the country and around the globe. It has also posed some difficult questions for businesses and their workers, like law firms and their attorneys and staff.

There has been a wide range of issues stemming from the pandemic. As an employer with offices throughout Florida, we also have first-hand experience with some of the complications caused by the economic downturn. At the same time, we also understand how important it is to maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace. This is an essential part of our identity as a law firm, which we believe helps us better serve the people and businesses we represent.

Businesses, including law firms, must understand that employment-related and other decisions made now in response to the pandemic can have a long-term impact. They should be mindful of how those moves can affect their ability to recruit and retain a diverse and capable workforce.

Below are some essential tips for weathering COVID-19 without jeopardizing your team.

Keep Diversity in Mind When Considering Cutbacks.

Mariano Garcia
Mariano Garcia

The crisis has unfortunately forced some employers to trim their payrolls by cutting the headcount. Still, it is vital to retain a diverse and inclusive workforce during the pandemic and to be able to retain talent when economic conditions improve.

Company leaders can prioritize diversity by keeping it at top-of-mind when deciding whom to lay off and whom to keep on the job. They should ensure that such decisions are based on objective criteria rather than subjective factors that may make diverse employees more susceptible to the termination.

Leaders can also combat potential biases by being mindful of assignment creation, especially as many employees continue to work from home. Providing your diverse workforce with opportunities to work on important projects or tasks can go a long way in helping all to build confidence and experience on the job.

Understand That Everyone Has Different Personal Obligations

The pandemic, school closures, and the shift to telework can be incredibly stressful for working parents and people who are caring for the elderly or other family members.

It is crucial to acknowledge that everyone has different cultural and personal obligations, and it is especially important to show a commitment to working with employees during this time of anxiety and uncertainty. Allowing for flexible time off during the week and alternative scheduling arrangements can play a huge role in easing the burden for many employees.

Supplement In-Person Networking with Resources for Remote Profile Building

Although social distancing means many people are staying home, it does not mean that all career-building and networking opportunities need to be put on pause.

Law firms and other businesses should already be thinking about helping people bolster their online networking efforts. Tutorials on leveraging Linkedin, getting involved in webinars and other events, and participating in professional organizations can ultimately lead to maintaining and/or expanding contacts.

Internal marketing departments can play a crucial role in this training and development. It is also important to implement standards for tracking these efforts to ensure that they pay off in the long run.

Following the above tips can help all business leaders maintain a strong and diverse team of employees.

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA is a Florida-based personal injury law firm that has represented thousands of clients with car accident, medical malpractice, brain injury and numerous other injury claims.

Meet Three Female STEM Leaders Disrupting The Food & Beverage Industry
LinkedIn
three women STEM leaders pictured in collage portrait

The number of female executives in the food and beverage industry is shockingly low, especially when compared to other industries. Only 16 percent of executives in food and beverage manufacturing are female, as opposed to 21 percent across all industries.

SōRSE Technology–the leading cannabis and CBD emulsion supplier for CPGs and other food, beverage, and topical manufacturers–has bucked this unfortunate trend with a strong female leadership presence.

Three of these powerful and innovative female STEM leaders who are disrupting the food and beverage industry are:

Donna Wamsley, pictured bottom, Director of Research and Analytics and expert flavorist. Ever wonder who designs food and drink flavors to hit those taste cells in just the right way? None other than one of only a few hundred flavorists in the world. Donna brings over 12 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. She can discuss what it’s like being one of the world’s few hundred flavorists, the qualities she looks for when analyzing ingredients, and 2020’s most popular flavor trends.

Michelle Sundquist, pictured right, Director of Innovation Product Design. At SōRSE, Michelle uses cutting-edge ingredient emulsification to develop products never thought possible. With over 20 years of expertise in the psychology behind food and beverage marketing, Michelle can give an in-depth look at launching high-quality foods and beverages, along with the techniques that bars, restaurants, and stores can use to make their drinks stand out in a crowded market.

Maribeth O’Connor, pictured left, VP of Medical Application, Business and Product Development. Maribeth brings over 30 years of experience to SōRSE and has experience working in business development and marketing for the University of Washington School of Medicine. She has also worked as a federal healthcare lobbyist for Group Health Cooperative. Maribeth is currently working in partnership with Pascal Biosciences and UW Sports Medicine in conducting research studies to validate proven cannabinoid therapies in cancer and osteoarthritis. She is also pursuing other research opportunities around the globe.

Donna, Michelle, and Maribeth are three of the amazing and hardworking women in their industry. They draw on their unique skillsets and experience from their colleagues at SōRSE and are breaking new ground in a nascent industry. They have, and continue to, contribute immensely to making the cannabis and CBD industry the success story that it is today and in the future. Finally, they are an inspiration to the women that will continue to populate the executive ranks.

Ways to Organize Your Job Search
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Focused young African female college student working on a laptop on some stairs on campus preparing for an exam

 By Catherine Burns

When on the hunt for a job, it’s not uncommon to be applying for multiple opportunities at once. This is especially true for those of us just starting out in our careers. But multiple applications mean different resume versions, various cover letters and many, many different deadlines to keep track of. With so many moving parts at once, it’s easy to become disorganized.

But a disorderly job search process can lead to embarrassing mistakes, such as lost phone numbers, confused deadlines, and missed interviews. To help you avoid these downfalls, we’ve put together a few tips to help you keep your job search organized.

Step 1: Start with Your Career Goals

It’s easy to want to jump right in and begin filling out job applications. But before you do, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Your career journey should start with a look at the direction in which you’re headed.

Though it may seem trivial to set aside time to organize your thoughts to clearly think through the career path you’d like to pursue, this is one of the most important steps to take. How are you supposed to start going anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go?

Reflect on what you’d like to do and why you feel that’s the right path for you. You might feel a little lost and be unsure about where you’re going, but at this stage in your life, that’s ok. Start by thinking about your long-term goals, as those don’t need to be overly specific. Where do you want to be ten years from now?

Then work backward from there down to five years, one year, and six months from now. Think through your personal goals in addition to your career and finances. Take your family, education, and anything else you value into consideration.

Step 2: Create a Schedule

After you’ve spent some time finding your direction and clearly thinking through your goals, it’s time to start building out a schedule. After all, to achieve the goals you now have in mind, you’ll need to set aside time to go after them.

The first step in this stage is to identify time you can set aside that’s dedicated to job searching. Find blocks of time within your schedule between classes, work, and any other responsibilities. Job searching is a time-consuming process and requires regular attention. So, aim to set aside at least two hours every day to fully focus on it.

Next, start building a schedule to complete certain tasks you know you need to get done. For instance, devote one hour to cleaning up your professional online profiles like LinkedIn. Devote another hour or two to preparing your resume. You should be able to fill up at least the first few days of your schedule, if not your first week, with tasks to complete.

Perhaps even more important than actually setting up this schedule is sticking to it. Let’s be honest here—activities like resume building and email sending are less than thrilling tasks. It can be easy to let these fall by the wayside and choose something a little more exciting to occupy your time. However, this will only put you behind and lead you down a path of disorganized job searching. Make sure you leave the time you set aside for job hunting devoid of any other activities.

Step 3: Minimize Your Job Applications

Looking for a job is more often than not a high-pressure situation, so you might be tempted to begin aimlessly applying for any open position you find. But even though applying for more jobs can make it feel like you’re increasing your chances, this is actually just a waste of your time—not to mention an easy way to become disorganized.

Remember that time you dedicated at the beginning of this process to think through your short-term and long-term goals? Here’s where that comes in handy. Start off by narrowing your search to only the jobs that align with those goals. Look out for the opportunities that will help you get to where you want to be.

Next, narrow your search down to only the openings that match the level of skill you have. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your qualifications need to match up with those listed on the job description exactly. In fact, this will likely never be the case. Job descriptions should be more of a directional tool for whether or not you’re a potential fit for a role, so look for those where you match around 80 percent of the qualifications listed.

Step 4: Track Each Position You Apply For

Here’s where things can get especially messy. Applying for multiple positions at once leaves you with a lot of different things to manage. Make sure you’re keeping track of all of the different details as you go along.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a spreadsheet. This is an easy and effective way to help you keep track. Don’t worry about making anything too fancy. Just include basic information, such as:

  • Company name
  • Contact details: include the name, email, and phone number of your contact at the company. In most cases, this will be a hiring manager.
  • Date applied
  • Deadlines and interviews: deadlines for upcoming information the company asks for and scheduled interviews
  • Date followed up: date you followed up after an application submission or interview
  • Status of application: whether you’ve been rejected, are waiting to hear back, or have an interview scheduled

JibberJobber is an online job search organization tool that helps you keep track of what you’re working on. If you prefer working off of your phone or tablet, then there are tons of great apps available. Keep in mind, though, that setting up a system for tracking alone is not enough. You need to be diligent in updating your system each time you take a new action or receive an update from a potential employer.

There are so many different things to keep track of when job searching, that you can easily become overwhelmed and confused. But by following these few simple tips, you’ll be ready for a more organized and effective job hunt.

Source: Glassdoor

Laid off? Make the Most of This Time Professionally
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man working on online networkimg with tablet in his hands

Have you been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic? While your employment circumstances may feel ambiguous at this time, a number of sectors are adding jobs and anticipate continuing to expand hiring.

And although a layoff is a challenge and a setback, you can find ways to grow professionally during this time.

Whether you will return to your prior workplace with new knowledge, or impress at your next job interview, consider using some of this time to prepare for what’s next in your career.

Try some of these ideas:

  • Stay in touch with your employer. Many businesses only planned temporary layoffs and plan to re-open, or to re-open with adjusted business operations.
  • Refresh your resume and social media profiles. If you don’t have a profile on any social media source, create one—but take care to optimize for maximum effect. If you already have a profile, increase your visibility by sharing links, along with your comments, to relevant articles in your field or other sources.
  • Connect with people who lead in your field. Find a professional or industry association that leads in your sector. Reach out to join, attend virtual events, and qualify to access their job leads, if available. You can also establish connections through social media.
  • Get local help. Find resources and check out the online job search and other skill-building workshops and virtual job clubs sponsored by your local American Job Center.
  • Join job search meetups. Sponsored by an individual or organization, meetups often offer online or virtual opportunities to connect, network with other professionals, and learn about a topic. Find meetups in your area by entering the search term “Job search meetup” in your browser.
  • Develop personal marketing tools. Create an online portfolio or website that speaks to your competence and achievement in your field. This could include writing samples, presentations, curriculum, case studies, project plans, drawings, or other items that help tell your story.
  • Learn what’s new in your field. Read blogs and books in your field to build current knowledge, terminology, new techniques or skills, etc.
  • Write an article. If you have a topic you have some expertise in, now may be the perfect opportunity to take the time to write a blog or article for publication. You can try publishing on social media (for instance, learn how to publish articles on LinkedIn), in professional association publications, or in community newsletters, local media, or blogs.
  • Take online training. There is an abundance of free online training resources available, covering a wide variety of topics from basic math and software skills to foreign languages and philosophy.

If you need help finding the right training for you, or need assistance in paying for training, reach out to an American Job Center. They can help you figure out whether your training is eligible for a Pell grant or whether you are eligible for training assistance through a training and employment program like WIOA or another grant.

Source: blog.careeronestop.org

Miss the camaraderie of the office? Try one of these clever remote team-building ideas
LinkedIn
Woman on her laptop in a suit smiling

By Gwen Moran

It’s unlikely that your Thursday happy hour will return anytime soon, but these team-building activities have helped companies build stronger workplace relationships and strengthen culture.

Like many service companies, East End Yovth’s (the v is for “visionary”) team is working from home. The digital marketing agency prides itself on having created a diverse and inclusive team. Cofounder Kevin Poirier says that its multicultural environment improves everything from creativity and innovation to employee engagement and decision-making.

“Ultimately, we have had great success because we established a strong virtual company culture. Because of these platforms, we have seen a significant amount of camaraderie and unity in our team that has helped everyone cope in such an uncertain time,” Poirier says. Platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack have become integral to his company’s operations.

Let’s face it: Many people who work from home miss the camaraderie of the workplace. And companies that recognize how important workplace relationships are have been experimenting with team-building tactics for far-flung workers—some of whom are moving even farther away from the office. East End Yovth and other organizations large and small have found some clever, effective ways to keep teams bonded and effective as they work remotely. Here are some of their ideas.

Recreate watercoolers

For East End Yovth, Slack has become a place for employees to share information about clients and projects, but also a place to communicate in real time. They like the Giphy function to share GIFs, which allows them to keep up the banter and “jib-jabs” of in-person office interactions. The team also uses Google Hangouts to connect and share work.

Another digital marketing agency, Amit Digital Marketing, created a separate Slack channel for colleagues to interact and share more personal information and photos. “[Team members] share the view from their window, pictures of their pets, or just talk about other random stuff,” says founder Amit Raj. Slack’s voice note feature “helps add that extra edge in terms of making everyone feel they have more human connection and interaction with others,” he says.

Have some fun

It may be tougher to go out for happy hour after work, but teams are still finding ways to have a few laughs together. East End Yovth has created “Whacky Wine Wednesdays,” where the team members grab their adult beverage of choice and hop on a Zoom call to play games that engage the creative side of their brains. Coworkers play interactive games such as Trivia Murder Party.

At multimedia company Mattress Battle, the team logs on to Skype to play “Storyline Building.” The team decides who will start and finish a storyline. The first person starts the story with an incomplete sentence. For example, “On my first day of work, I felt so nervous but excited at the same time. I was looking forward to . . .” The next person adds another incomplete sentence, and so on. “They develop a comprehensive and fascinating story in the end, which makes my team be more creative and be cooperative in collaborating,” says founder and CEO Mason Culligan. “It’s the oldest but most fun activity ever.”

Eat, drink, and get creative

Forget in-person “sip and paint” get-togethers. The team at Whiterock Locators, an online apartment location service, bought and shipped Bob Ross watercolor painting kits to employees, named for the late PBS painting star. The kits have a corresponding YouTube video, which the team streamed on Zoom during a virtual happy hour. “We all followed along painting, chatting, and sipping on our favorite adult beverage,” says chief operating officer Suzanne Pope. The team has also hosted “show and tell” sessions via Zoom, which lets employees share something meaningful or interesting about themselves.

Companies such as Delicious Experiences create interactive team-building activities around food and drink. “Rather than the same-old virtual happy hour, it lifts the team spirits to receive a fun package and engage in something that feels like our old life, or at least like our new life of virtual experiences,” says cofounder Inbal Baum. Events can be centered around cooking, baking, mixing special cocktails, or participating in wine, sake, whiskey, or other tastings. The company will customize the mix. Tea purveyor Mansa Tea hosts virtual tea tastings, shipping tea in advance of the event and then walking participants through brewing and appreciating the teas.

Meet their needs

Employees working from home have different challenges, experiences, and priorities. Tax compliance software company Avalara has developed a range of virtual activities that meet these needs. To help support parents, the company launched AvaKids Online, a series of fun, educational 30-minute virtual classes for kids. The company also partnered with the KrowdFit app and gave every employee a credit in the Fitbit store to purchase a Fitbit Inspire. The company has a virtual wellness community, and participants can earn rewards for participating. Avalara has also organized events for members of employee resource groups recognizing Juneteenth and Pride month.

For those who are more concerned about the company overall, the company hosts monthly executive “Ask Me Anything” sessions with C-suite executives.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

8 Proven Video Interview Tips to Help You Succeed
LinkedIn
woman on virtual job interview looking confident

If you landed yourself a video interview, congratulations! You’re almost there. Now it’s time to prepare for success and brush up on video interview tips so you can get closer to landing the job.

More companies are conducting online interviews these days. That’s because it can be really efficient, for both the candidate and the company.

Although it’s easy to write off an online interview as the same as an in-person interview, there are subtle differences in which to prepare.

Tips for a Successful Video Interview

Preparation

Having a video interview does not mean you shouldn’t take it seriously. Treat it as if you were interviewing in person. You should thoroughly research the company, its industry, its products, and its achievements so you’re prepared to discuss them during your interview. Additionally, the Internet has made it incredibly simple to familiarize yourself with your interviewer before you meet them virtually—HR professionals are generally very active on LinkedIn, and a quick Google search will shed some light on who you’re meeting. Also remember to prepare some questions to ask of the interviewer yourself when the time comes.

Punctuality

For an in-person interview, it’s courteous to show up approximately ten minutes early. This tip also applies to video interviews, except it’s for more than just showing that you’re a punctual person. You want to be early to your online interview because it may take you a while to log on. For example, if the company uses a video conferencing software you’ve never used, it might take some time to download the application. You’ll want to make sure you do all this beforehand so that you’re ready to go at your interview time. Being late for the interview, no matter what the reason, is not a good way to start a successful online interview.

Technology

It would be a letdown if you found out that your microphone or webcam didn’t work right before your interview. When preparing for your video interview, there are three main components to test:

  • Audio settings: Do your speakers and microphone work? Make sure you are coming across clear and loud with no static.
  • Camera settings: Is it too dark? Too light? Too distracting in the background? It’s best to sit in front of solid colored wall with plenty of light. This way, the interviewer will focus on you and not the decor behind you.
  • Internet connection: This is often overlooked, but it may be wise to ensure you’re plugged in with an Ethernet cable for a hard connection. Video conferencing may take up a lot of bandwidth and a spotty Wi-Fi connection may cause an overly lagged session.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the software being used for the interview. Zoom, HireVue, GoToMeeting, Skype, and Google Hangouts are some common platforms. Consider signing up for a free trial, watch tutorial videos, or do whatever you have to do to familiarize yourself with the tool.

Environment/Setting

Choose your location very carefully. Be wary of places like coffee shops or coworking spaces, because you’ll want to avoid the sounds of coffee grinders and other people in the background. You also don’t want to interview in a place where there’s a lot of visual distractions, either. Try to find an area with a plain wall to use as your backdrop, and make sure that your lighting isn’t creating a glare or shadow.

The ideal setting for a video interview is a secluded room in which you can shut out any distractions. Avoid being near windows against busy streets, and make sure children and pets are out of the house or being supervised to be sure you’ll have a distraction-free environment.

Speak Slowly and Clearly

When using technology for a video interview, there can be delays or the microphone may not pick up your voice well. To prevent this from happening, take your time when speaking and enunciate your words. This will make sure that your interviewer can hear and understand you

Listen Carefully

Keep your mind from drifting off and focus on listening when the interviewer speaks. Pay close attention to what the interviewer is saying. Sometimes when you’re on a video job interview, it’s easy to accidentally cut someone off due to audio delays or from not paying attention to nonverbal cues. To avoid this, listen carefully to the interviewer and wait a few seconds before speaking to avoid cutting in.

Attire

Attire is one of the most frequently overlooked video interview tips. Even though an online interview usually means the interviewer won’t see anything from the waist down, it doesn’t mean you should only dress up the upper half of your body.

You may need to stand up to grab something in the middle of the interview, which would reveal your mismatched bottoms. Avoid this risk and wear interview clothes from head to toe. View yourself through your webcam to make sure your outfit looks professional on camera as well.

Body Language

Your body language in a video interview can convey a lot of things about who you are as a person. You can present a positive image by ensuring you’re sitting up straight with good posture. Place both feet on the ground, and avoid doing things like slouching or holding your head up with your hand. And always try to keep your hands in your lap to avoid distracting gesturing or fiddling.

It’s also important to pay attention to where you’re looking. Looking at the interviewer’s face on your computer screen means you’re not actually looking into the camera and making eye contact. Instead, look into the camera as often as possible, especially when you’re speaking. This will give your interviewer the sense that you’re engaged and not distracted by what’s happening on your screen.

While it may seem like a lot to remember, these video interview tips can help you adjust to the intricacies of interacting with a remote team. By following these tips for video interviewing, you can help ensure that you’re fully prepared and able to make the best impression possible.

This article was provided by FlexJobs, a job searching and career service that connects job seekers to flexible and remote work opportunities.

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  1. Commercial UAV Expo Americas, Las Vegas
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  3. Wonder Women Tech
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