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5 lifehacks for your job interview – Recruiting in times of COVID-19

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Ready for your next interview? Even if it is virtually? From the many interviews we have conducted virtually in the past months, we can say: there are many traps to fall into. These 5 lifehacks will help you to master your next virtual interview.

Within a few months, COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we engage with our customers as well as the way we collaborate internally. Even though operating in the Telecom industry, we are lucky to be at the core of keeping people connected throughout this crisis. Nevertheless, we had to adapt our internal processes, too. One part was the change to virtual recruiting. From the many interviews we have now conducted virtually, we would like to share five lifehacks that help you master your next interview.

1. Test your set-up beforehand:

 Woman is sitting in front of the laptop and is taking part in a video conference

Familiarize yourself with the conferencing tools at hand.

It sounds so easy but will often be ignored. We highly recommend you test the functionalities of your laptop (e.g. microphone/headset) with the collaboration tool you will use during the interview (at CSP, we use Cisco Webex). If you are not familiar with the tool at hand, ask a friend or colleague to send you a test invitation and avoid additional stress due to technical issues. We also advise you to have a backup device that is quickly able to connect in case your Laptop crashes.

2. Ensure proper internet connection: 

an important prerequisite for your interview is a good internet connection. We have all experienced those technical hick ups in video conferences and know how annoying it can be to frequently ask twice or just express half of your message. So, choose your internet service provider and your bandwidth wisely. Cable internet for example is a shared technology and can lead to congestion during peak-times. Next to that, make sure your router is placed and configured properly – often, a good old ethernet cable helps with a stable connection.

3. Wear an appropriate outfit: 

Man in a suit is sitting in front of the laptop and talking on the phone.

Let your outfit strengthen your self-perception

clothes make the man (and the woman). A fact that is generally known at least since Gottfried Keller's novel about the poor tailor journeyman Wenzel Strapinski. Besides, studies have shown an additional effect on your self-perception due to your outfit1 . If you are convinced of yourself, chances are good that you will also be able to convince us. Therefore, a business outfit only for the upper body is probably not the perfect choice. Especially, when applying for consulting roles, your professional appearance plays a crucial role in your evaluation (yes, the Halo effect is real). To top it up, a good lighting (e.g. via an LED ring-light) as well as a camera on eye-level can strengthen your presence substantially.

4. Prepare your room: 

even if it is more difficult to get to know each other virtually, your surroundings often reveal a few details about you. Believe us, during a conversation there is a lot of time to look at your bookshelves, pictures on the wall, flowers etc. Therefore, think about your surroundings, avoid confusion and perhaps even deliberately place a few things in the room that might make your conversation partner curious.

5. Use digital tools: 

and here's a lifehack that really lets you stand out. The general logic of our application process has not changed due to the switch to a virtual format, and case studies are still an integral part of the process. What has changed, however, are the possibilities for visualizing your results. Depending on the length of the case study and your preparation time, the easiest way is to write down the key figures on a sheet of paper and show it into the camera. If you have more equipment, you can use for example a whiteboard and guide your interview partner through your findings. And if you really stand out, use virtual tools such as Miro or Conceptboards or the well-known powerpoint presentation and demonstrate your digital affinity. But attention: Content first still applies here. 
 
Concluding, mastering virtual interviews takes some preparation and practice. Hopefully, considering our lifehacks will help you to use your home turf to your advantage.

P.S. If you feel ready -> here you’ll find our latest job offers.

Footnote
1 Adam, Galinsky, 2012