Interviews may never be the same

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused death and disruption on a global scale, with economic losses to go with the tragic loss of life that we have seen. Millions of people across the world have lost their jobs, with many more having to take pay cuts and lose benefits in order to stay employed. Whole sectors and industries are reeling under the impact of a sudden drop in demand, as well as the lockdown restrictions that were in place for months in various countries. In such a scenario, it is no surprise that most companies have stopped hiring, which has made a bad situation worse for those who are newly unemployed. While the United States government has been trying to help by sending $600/week to people who have been filing unemployment claims, that is also now set to drop after Congress could not agree on a new funding deal. However, there are still some companies which are looking for new people, but given the ongoing need for social distancing and other restrictions, interviews have now gone online.

This is just one example of how businesses have had to adapt to this new environment. Many businesses have gone online in a bid to try and serve their customers, despite not being open at physical locations. This has seen a surge in demand and usage of online shopping and delivery portals, while online forms of entertainment have never been more popular. Casinos, for example, have gone online, with more and more people signing up to play real money slots online in the absence of land-based casinos, which have all been forced to close to comply with government restrictions. Thus, it seems like the internet has been the saviour for many businesses and sectors, and that looks to be the case for the near future as well.

The time when people used to interview in person may be gone forever. This may even be true for celebrity interviews, and given the various health risks that exist right now, it may even have an effect on flying, with people unlikely to take a flight from Europe to America, for example, for a job interview or a meeting or even a celebrity interview for a magazine. Online conferencing apps such as Zoom are all the rage now. Work meetings have been transformed due to Zoom calls, and it is the same case with interviews as well.

As with any professional engagement, there are still some rules and etiquette to follow during a virtual interview. Candidates should ensure that they are in a quiet area where they will not be disturbed, and that their audio is clear and audible. The background should be neutral and not distracting, while you should look as presentable as you would for an actual in-person interview. The area should be well-lit, while you should also make sure that you have a reliable and fast internet connection.

These tips are relevant not just for job interviews, but any interview, even when you may be interviewing a celebrity, for example, as part of your job. It is also important to draw up a schedule and itinerary, and then stick to those times with regard to starting and ending the call. It is not polite if you show up late for your virtual interview, or if you end up extending it more than the agreed time by asking a lot of questions or otherwise taking too much time. The art of interviewing, whether you are the one asking the questions or answering, has not changed, only the medium has, and so people should remember these basic skills and requirements for ensuring that their interviews and meetings go off well.

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By Alicia Atout

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