Updated: May 23
Are you stuck at home for awhile and trying to figure out your new normal? Well, the good news is that anytime is a GREAT time to prep for your next job interview, pay raise ask, or job promotion! Seriously, take some time each day to focus on writing, updating, or practicing for your next job or career move. This article focused on 3 things you can do to improve your job progress while at home:
1. Prepare for video interviews
2. Practice interviewing
3. Review and update your career resources.
Let's get started!
1. Prepare for Video Interviews
Many companies offer phone interviews as an option instead of only having in-person job interviews. Additionally, many more companies offer video interviews during the job hiring process. Adding a video component can help make the situation feel more comfortable as you can more easily connect with the others on the call. That said, adding video to an interview call also means you need to prepare differently and take in more considerations ahead of time! Here are four key tips for preparing for video interviews:
Seriously. You should dress appropriately for the video interview as if you were meeting in person. From your shoes and all the way up to your hair style, put in the effort into how you look for this interview. The interviewers might only see the top half of you but dressing up also can improve your overall confidence level.
Test the Technology
If you know the technology you will use for the video interview, test it ahead of time. Understand how to join the video call, how to mute/unmute yourself, and what options are available in the call such as messaging or an option to blur your background. Test your laptop/computer camera angle to figure out what works best and is the most flattering for you. If you have a separate video camera, test the angle and placement and then mark or tape the location where it should be placed for the video call so it's all ready to go.
Prior to your video interview, remove all distractions from the area! That means that pets and kids should go in another room if possible. Better yet, if you can take the video call from a separate (quiet) location that would be great. A calm and quiet environment will be best for this call to help you stay focused and confident.
Check Your Background
Because you will be on camera for the video interview, also make sure to check what can be seen in the background. Depending on your camera angle, will the interviewers see your messy kitchen or living room? As mentioned above, some video conferencing technologies include an option to blur or change your background image. Make sure to test this option ahead of time but it can be a great way to promote a professional view of yourself and removing the distractions from anything behind you during a video interview.
2. Practice Interviewing
Meet up over the phone or video call with one or more members from your Career Team and practice interview questions! For more information on getting started with a Career Team, check out this blog post. Any time is a great time to review common interview questions and how you would handle answering them. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel during an actual interview! Here are three common types of questions that you can practice.
Questions intended to verify the information you listed on your job application, resume, etc.
*When did you start your last job?
*Where are you currently working?
*What are some of your main duties in your current job?
Intended to elicit a more in depth and thoughtful response from the interviewee (you).
*Tell me about a time when...
*Can you give me an example of when you provided leadership on a project?
Intended to get the applicant to think on their feet and can also be a way to make people feel more comfortable and relax during an interview.
*If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
*If you could have lunch with any famous person, who would you have lunch with and why?
3. Review and Update Your Career Resources
When I say 'career resources', I mean resources including your resume, cover letter, Career Team list, and list of references. All of these are important documents to prepare and utilize during your job hunt. If you have spare time now, make sure you review all of these to ensure they are up to date and accurately reflect your current experience and job goals!
Notice this section is called 'resumes', not the singular 'resume'. It's important that you create a separate resume for each job application. Yes, it takes more work from you up front but it can make a difference! By crafting a specific resume for each job application, you can change the experience and skills that you're highlighting to ensure they match what is being asked for in the job description.
When you're ready to start creating your actual resume, Sign up with the Member Community to access FREE templates for resumes, cover letters and more!
If you've already written your resume but you would like some professional review and feedback, head to That Purple Book and check out the Resume Review services! Resume Review services include review of your written resume for spelling, grammar and other errors. A written summary will be provided following the review that includes tips and recommendations. Additionally, a revised version of your resume will be provided as part of this service!
Similar to your resumes, you should also create a separate cover letter for each job application. For more details on getting started with cover letters, check out this blog post. Again, this will take more effort from you in the beginning but it is worth it. Hiring professionals can easily spot a general resume and cover letter. And while a generic cover letter may not get you axed from consideration, why take the chance? Instead, put in the work now to create and provide the BEST resources highlighting your BEST experience and reasons why you should get hired!
Career Team List
Your Career Team is made up of people who are willing to help you during your career journey. They can help you find job openings, review and provide feedback on your resumes and cover letters, and help you practice interviews. For more details on getting started with your Career Team, check out this blog post. Once you have your Career Team in place, make sure you have an updated contact list for each member along with notes about the focus area they are willing to help with.
Don't underestimate the power of your references! References provide information to your prospective employer about you such as your past experience, work ethic, and how you work with other people. References can play an even more vital role if you have little or no formal job experience yet. Read more about getting started with references in this blog article.
In summary, if you find yourself at home a lot more right now, use some of that downtime to be productive and to make progress with your career goals! When things pick up again and you can get back to your job search, you will be better prepared to SUCCEED!
* Set aside 60min TODAY to focus on your job and career needs
* Schedule another 60min each day this week to focus on your job and career needs
* Consider a Resume Review service for your to make sure it is polished and highlights your BEST skills and experience.
Stay tuned for more advice and tips from That Purple Book! Connect with That Purple Book across social media @ThatPurpleBook
Connect with me at Sarah@ThatPurpleBook.com with questions.