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.