How to Shine Online
8th April by Anton Packheiser
With Charities having to make hard decisions to keep services open during our current crisis, Executive Teams and Boards of Trustees are naturally cautious about pushing forward with planned recruitment campaigns, particularly if they are having to trim teams and furlough staff.
However, organisations still need to fill key, business critical roles, particularly in Income Generation. It is a fine balance for everyone at the moment between the urgent and the important. And as the weeks pass, Leadership Teams will start to focus again towards the important as organisations feel their way through the chaos and longer-term plans emerge. Strategic priorities will rise to the top of in trays again and the need for top talent to help lead the recovery will be key.
If you are a Leader currently seeking a new role or exploring your next move, inevitably you will see less roles advertised but there will still be interesting opportunities. Indeed, you may already be in the middle of a recruitment campaign.
Over the past 3 weeks, AAW have supported 5 leadership campaigns with naturally each stage of the process being virtual, including the final appointment. Feedback from clients on the process has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, one client swears that they will always use a virtual element in all campaigns going forward.
So, one thing is for sure, the role of your video calling service in your job search will remain centre stage for a while and perhaps we will see a seismic long term change where virtual trumps real enabling both clients and candidates an increased level of flexibility and nimbleness in all campaigns.
Dear candidate, now is the time to become not just virtual savvy, but a virtual master!
I have had the pleasure of coaching and preparing many candidates for online interviews and whilst the format of the hour or so you spend in front of your future employer is basically the same, you do need to adapt to a different experience that without preparation, can often be plagued with gremlins which will not show you at your best.
Here are some tips:
- It sounds obvious but treat the virtual interview as you would an in person interview. Dress appropriately and in something that makes you feel your most professional.
- Know the platform you are using – make sure you know how it works and how to navigate around the system. You may be required to do a presentation so therefore knowing how to screen share etc, etc is absolutely vital.
- Check the tech works – don’t wait until five minutes before the call to try and work it out, if you are not familiar with the relevant platform.
- If it’s a video, not just an audio call, check your background is appropriate – what can the camera pick up behind you? Ensure the background is tidy.
- Make sure there is good lighting and that you can be seen clearly with your face fully in the camera view, not just half a head at the bottom of the screen.
- Consider putting your mic on mute when not talking to avoid ambient noise such as coughing or shuffling papers. Although don’t forget to unmute when it’s your turn to speak! If there are multiple people on the call, consider asking everyone to mute when not speaking.
- Always focus on the person interviewing you and don’t get distracted. Virtual interviews have a bad reputation as people are tempted to multi-task – not everyone is 100% involved in a face to face meeting all of the time, but they wouldn’t be checking their emails, WhatsApp or any other distractions.
- Ask your children, dog, family to stay out of the room/shot during the call. We’ve all seen the BBC clip when the broadcaster’s children gate-crash his interview live on air.
- Always try to do a call in a place where there is a decent internet connection. However, if you do have any technical issues or bad internet connections, if the call is not working, ask everyone to redial in as opposed to struggling through.
- Try to keep your answers to questions concise – it’s harder to read body language on a video to call to see how people are responding to what you are saying. It can also help to say something to indicate you have finished speaking, to account for a slight time delay on many video calls.
- Before you do the interview, think about your own public online profile. Of course, this is something that we’ve all had to be aware of for a long time now, but social media has become even more important over the last few days with engagement levels being at a peak. It is very likely that your future employer will check you out. What have you been tweeting about? What did that Instagram post say about you?
Finally, ensure you do a practice run before your interview. I offer interview preparation and coaching for AAW friends and would be delighted to assist you during this period. If you would like to use this free service, drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The rest is up to you… good luck.