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That’s how much time you have to make a first impression in a job interview.
So you better make the most of it.
And now, as if the whole process wasn’t nerve racking enough, interviews are happening remotely, which brings additional levels of complexity: tech issues, unexpected cameos (my three-year-old is convinced every video call is for him) and missed social cues.
I’ll be the first to admit I am still a bit clumsy when it comes to video chats: the perfect angle remains elusive, I don’t always know where to look and for some reason my attention span seems to be getting shorter and shorter.
But this is our new reality.
To help us all become better pros, I spoke with experts on what job seekers need to know to ace a virtual job interview.
The good news is that the preparation for the interview doesn’t change: you still need to research the company, the interviewer and industry to help tailor your answers, as well as form questions that will give you helpful insight into what it’s like to work for the company.
Lights. Camera. Smile! Sit in an area where there is good lighting, but try to avoid having the light source behind you. And when you turn your camera on, have a smile on your face (remember that first impression rule).
By smiling, it will “trigger the right response from the interviewer,” the CEO of ZipRecruiter told me.
Be (overly) excited (!) The smile shows you’re enthusiastic, but you should also tell them why.
Start the interview by saying you are excited about the opportunity because ____ (fill in the blank with something specific).
Taking notes can also show you’re interested in learning more – particularly when it’s an answer to one of your questions.
Where to look. It can feel weird to talk into a screen and it’s hard not to be self-conscious seeing yourself talk. But eye contact is still important in a remote interview, so try to look at the camera when answering your questions.
Embrace the unexpected. So your dog starts barking or your kid starts singing a rousing rendition of “Baby Shark” while you’re explaining why you are the best fit for the job. That’s OK. That’s life right now.
It’s no secret workers are juggling multiple demands. Use this moment to show how you perform under stress – something that every employer wants to see.
Most of all, remain calm. You’ve got this.
Will you ever go back to the office?
Once you land that job, you might not be headed into the office on your first day. Or ever.
Some companies have announced that workers can continue to work from home permanently. This is particularly the case in the tech world.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that as many as 50% of its employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. Earlier this month, Twitter said some employees can work from home “forever” if they want to.
That could mean some big changes for these companies, which are known for their over-the-top office perks.
I spent a day at Google’s New York City office last year and marveled at all the various nooks and crannies people worked in, the game room employees used to decompress and the fully-stocked kitchens.
These offerings are a major perk when it comes to recruitment. So what happens if more employees start working remotely? Well, a lot, as CNN’s Brain Fung found out.
Compensation could be affected, along with commercial rents if mega-buildings are no longer in demand.
Click here to read the full story.
Returning to work: Easier said than done
But there are some jobs that can’t be done remotely. And going back to work will be complicated.
Just ask Ford.
The company opened its US-based factories last week, only to have to temporarily close two separate plants a few days later after employees tested positive for Covid-19.
I am afraid we are going to see this happen a lot as companies bring workers back.
Restarting operations isn’t like flipping a switch, many pieces have to fall into place, reports CNN’s Chris Isidore.
Ford began taking employees’ temperatures when it reopened its plants and requires a medical test for workers with Covid-19 symptoms.
Click here to read more about the challenge of getting the automakers back online.
Will a four-day work week finally become a reality?
I’ve written a lot about four-day work weeks.
I’ve spoken to employees with the abbreviated schedule who say they have a better work-life balance and executives who say their workers are more productive, efficient and maybe most importantly: happy.
The need for less crowding in offices to allow for social distancing could mean that more companies adopt the four-day work week. Last week, the idea got a boost from New Zealand’s prime minister who encouraged employers to be more flexible with their work setup.
Work flexibility isn’t a new concept to New Zealand’s government: many of its agencies offer workers more freedom with their work schedules.
Click here to read more about the advantages of a four-day work week
Learning to pivot from ‘old school cool’ to face masks
Some companies will change how their employees work. Others are going to have to change what they sell to meet changing demand in this new economy.
Things were going well for Blade + Blue, a San Francisco menswear company, at the start of the year. Sales were up 30% through the first half of March.
Then the pandemic hit. And the company’s sales dropped.
“When everything went down, it was traumatizing,” founder Peter Papas told CNN’s Alicia Wallace. “It’s more than a financial component; it’s an emotional component as well.”
He didn’t know if the business he launched from his basement would survive.
But in April, he started getting emails from customers looking for face masks.
So the company pivoted, and started using Blade + Blue materials to make masks. Now, more than 1,200 are being produced daily.
For Papas, the shift not only saved his business, but it also brought in new customers.
Click here to read more about the company’s plight.
Getting out of bed can be quite the event these days.
Turns out, months of working from our sofa, kitchen stools and everywhere in between isn’t so great for our backs.
Luckily, my colleagues over at Underscored have got, well, our backs.
They found items to help correct posture, relieve pain, help create a more ergonomic workspace and to get moving more.
Check out the guide here.