National News

After pandemic, virtual interview skills can set job seekers apart

Posted May 5, 2021 6:08 a.m. EDT
Updated May 5, 2021 6:34 a.m. EDT

Graduates in the Class of 2021 face an unprecedented challenge: Landing a job that reflects their academic focus and career goals in the middle of a pandemic.

Executive coach and author David Nour presents the positive side of that pursuit.

"The economy seems to be booming. Unemployment numbers are coming down. So there’s a lot of appetite for companies in the post pandemic world to add, not just mediocre, but really great talent to their talent pool," he said.

The other side of that two-edged sword, says Nour, is, "There are a lot of candidates that are competing for the same position."

He says individuals need to set themselves apart from other applicants and get an online interview. "More and more companies are going to more video-based, online interviews before they decide to potentially bring you in," explained Nour.

He says that’s the opportunity to promote a personal story, including educational background and life experiences. "Maybe your internships, your co-ops, any experience you have that is most relevant to that industry, company and job," said Nour.

He also recommends doing research about the industry and specifically the job you are interested in before you engage in an interview.

Resumes are important but, Nour says, including a link to a five-minute personal video can help set a candidate stand out. He recommends a quality camera with complimentary lighting. "Look through the camera like you are engaging the person on the other end," said Nour.

Finally, understand that potential employers often check social media posts of applicants. "So it’s OK that you went to spring break. I’m glad you had fun. You may want to go back and double-check some of those posts and just make sure they are appropriate," he said.

"The good news about many of them is you can delete them," added Nour.

Nour also recommends looking for job postings that read "remote optional."

"One of the lessons we learned from this global pandemic? This experiment of sending a hundred million workers to work from home is that we have actually been fairly productive," said Nour.

It also allows employers to cast a wider net to get the best possible candidates, he explained.

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