As you’re probably aware, the coronavirus is making its way around the world. Schools are moving to online classes and organizations are trying to slow down the spread of the disease by cancelling large events, banning workers from travelling, and asking employees to work from home.
For job seekers this year, there is no doubt that the coronavirus will impact the hiring process. As employers try to mitigate the spread, businesses are taking significant precautions to protect the well-being of both current and prospective employees. As such, companies are moving to telecommunication, both phone and video calls, for interviews.
If you’re currently job searching, it’s time to get familiar with video conferencing. To ensure success, here are a few things to keep in mind for video interviews and things you can do for your job search during the outbreak.
Find a quiet space with no distractions
This means a place where you can conduct an interview without distractions for you or the interviewer. Make sure your phone doesn’t go off, the tv isn’t on, and dogs aren’t barking in the background. Such noises could distract both you and the interviewer.
Ensure your wifi connection is strong
Having your screen freeze or not being able to hear the interviewer will surely increase feelings of nervousness. If you suspect your wifi could be spotty, use an ethernet cable instead.
Be early to the interview
Planning to show up early to an in-person interview leaves room for any unexpected delays (traffic, public transit delays, accidental coffee spill). The same goes for video interviews. There can be technical difficulties too, such as your computer forcing a restart a few minutes prior to the scheduled time. Plan ahead and test out your technology (camera and mic) beforehand to avoid any unexpected technical difficulties.
Practice speaking to a camera
If you’re not used to video conferencing, speaking to a camera can throw you off. Don’t let your interview be the first time you’re answering questions to a camera. Ask a family or friend to conduct a mock interview with you so you’re more comfortable when the actual interview happens.
Ask about the hiring timeline given the outbreak
You’ll likely expect the coronavirus outbreak to impact the hiring process. Companies may continue the process via video, but may wait to bring the actual hire to the office. As such, make sure you are asking about the recruiting timeline so you can set the right expectations as you job search. Businesses should be understanding at this time so they should be transparent about the process.
Leverage LinkedIn & Its Learning Resources
The job search strategy includes building connections with others by networking online and offline. Given that networking events are likely to be cancelled, use LinkedIn as your marketing tool to expand your network and apply for jobs. Update your profile and connect with people at companies that you’re interested in. Instead of taking in-person workshops, use LinkedIn to take courses and earn certifications while applying for jobs indoors. For more tips on how to leverage LinkedIn and its resources for your job search, view our blog post.
And lastly, stay positive!
Job searching during a pandemic might not be easy, but you will get through this. It may feel like a big change, but stay persistent and keep your head high. You will get through this!
Are companies still hiring?
Yes, companies are still hiring. I have spoken with 10+ recruiters who confirmed they are still sourcing and interviewing candidates. Although there are companies who have either halted or delayed hiring, know that there are still companies who are actively recruiting while protecting both prospective and current employees. This means most interviews and onboarding may be remote.
Should I stop searching for jobs now?
No, especially if you are currently unemployed. As mentioned above, companies are still actively hiring candidates with just a few changes to the hiring process. One way to look at it is that given the instability in the market, currently employed professionals may prefer to stay in their current company rather than hop to another company. That means you might have fewer people to compete with as you job search during this time of year.
What if I’m affected by COVID-19 and I lose my job?
If you’re a California employee and you’re sick, quarantined, or caring for an ill family member with the coronavirus, you may be eligible for benefits such as disability insurance, paid sick leave, paid family leave, and unemployment insurance. If you’re outside of California and are affected by the coronavirus, check with your state government's website to see if you are eligible for any benefits.