Your First Interview Since COVID Started – What’s Different?

 As the job market lurches back into action following the COVID-19 outbreak, you’ll have to get your interview game back into shape. But landing new opportunities will involve more than just shaking off some rust. As you get ready for your first interview since COVID started, you’ll have to prepare for a different landscape. 

What differences should you expect? Well, handshakes are definitely out. But other changes will be less superficial. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready for your first interview since COVID started: 

Be Ready for Remote Interviews 

Many companies aren’t ready to return to in-person interviews. Even if infection rates in your area are relatively low, some firms have made a permanent shift towards remote meetings. You need to get comfortable with this long-term change in strategy. 

Not that in-person discussions are completely dead. It’s just that employers have learned that remote interviews carry some inherent benefits. As a result, you should be prepared to make virtual conversations part of your ongoing job-seeking skill set. 

Here are a few steps you should consider: 

Upgrade Your Technology 

Technology makes remote interviews possible, but it also complicates the process of communication. You don’t want to lose your big chance because of tech glitches and garbled conversation. Instead, improve your ability to shine during virtual meetings. Secure the appropriate internet speeds and upgrade your microphone. That way, you always sound clear on the other end. 

Set Aside a Quiet Space 

In-person interviews typically take place in a location conducive to business, like a conference room or a person’s office. For virtual interviews, creating a professional atmosphere can be more challenging. Do the best you can. Set aside a quiet part of your house and warn your family or roommates not to bother you during the interview time. 

Returning to In-Person Meetings 

Yes, remote interviews have become a cornerstone of the post-COVID recruitment process. Still, you should still be prepared for in-person encounters. Many employers will also value face-to-face discussion before making crucial hiring decisions. 

Eventually, the pandemic will pass and interviews will go back to something resembling the pre-COVID routine. However, that might take some time. In-person interviews will remain complex events as long as any risk of infection remains. As such, there are some steps you should take as you prepare for your first post-COVID meetings. 

Schedule Extra Time 

Remember: you might have to jump through extra hoops just to get to the interview. You may have to wait through a remote checkin process. At the same time, some companies have installed additional precautions, like temperature checks. Make sure you leave time for these complications. 

Wear Appropriate PPE 

Whatever your opinion of using a mask, it’s important to have one on as you arrive at the interview. You can always remove it if your interviewers indicate that continuing to wear it is unnecessary. But, as an initial impression, you want to show concern for people’s safety and indicate that you have the greater good in mind. 

Follow Company Procedures  

Each company will respond to the COVID threat differently. Before your interview, ask about the specifics. The firm should provide you the details without much prompting, but you should ensure that you understand the procedures and expectations. This will avoid any awkward encounters early in the interview. 

COVID has made dramatic changes to the job-hunting landscape. Expert guidance is more valuable than ever. By teaming with a top staffing agency, like SmartTalent, you ensure that you’re ready for whatever the future brings. Contact SmartTalent today to learn more. 


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