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Even though they may not be able to meet with job candidates face-to-face right now, employers are still hiring for positions they need to fill, whether for work-from-home jobs that are currently available or for in-office positions that will start once the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.
One technology that is helping recruiters hire applicants is the video job interview. Instead of meeting with job hopefuls face-to-face in a company's office, employers can set up online chats to determine how well you might fit the position. Initially considered a way to attract talented workers who might not want to go through the full interview process when unemployment was low, video interviews have become more essential as people practice physical distancing to deter the spread of the coronavirus.
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"Just a couple months ago, it was a really tight job market where job seekers were in the driver's seat and could be really choosy about the opportunities that they took,” says Alison Sullivan, career trends expert for the job search portal Glassdoor, which recently launched a hub for companies that are hiring now. “That really put the onus on employers to find ways they could most efficiently hire the right candidate that was going to be a great fit for their company and really help them. Obviously, that landscape looks a whole lot different than it did just a month ago."
Now, with more than 26 million people having filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the last month or so, video interviews have become a lifeline to connect job seekers with positions that would enable them to get back to work. But that doesn't mean every applicant — especially older job candidates — is already comfortable with how to land a job through a video interview.
"We're all used to that one-on-one in-person interaction, making connections with a recruiter or a company, and really feeling like, ‘Oh, yes, I can picture myself physically in this space,’ “Sullivan says. “So how do you replicate that on video when you're still in your respective homes and you're not in the workplace environment? That's a big question that I think both sides are really thinking about."
Following these four steps can help you figure out how to master the technology and land the job you want.
Step 1. Test-drive the video technology
There are many different types of apps used for videoconferencing — Zoom, Webex, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting are just a few. As soon as an employer schedules your video interview, make sure you download and install the appropriate software and get familiar with how to operate it. One effective way to do that is to practice.
"Call up people, friends, family,” Sullivan says. “Have a nice coffee chat, through video. That will help you just feel really comfortable with what the tools are that you need to use. And being comfortable with that process will help you feel more relaxed when it comes time for the actual interview."