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Job interviews during the Coronavirus pandemic


We are living in strange times and people are having to adapt, temporarily albeit, to a new way of living. One thing that hasn’t changed is that there is still an appetite from law firms to recruit and bring the right people in. We have been in a candidate short market in most areas of law for quite some time and law firms don’t want to miss the opportunity to secure the best people.  The early signs are that some areas of law are actually thriving. The biggest change in relation to recruitment from the Coronavirus pandemic is how interviews are taking place. 

As the days progress, more and more firms are adapting to use modern technology and are switching from face to face interviews to video interviews. Whilst the substance of these interviews is ultimately the same, there is naturally a difference in these two interview styles and for video interviews to be successful, there has to be an element of adaption from both interviewer and interviewee. 

Interviews usually cause apprehension and nerves amongst candidates. However, as an interviewee, a video can understandably be a little extra nerve-wracking as it is typically out of the ordinary and not something which we are used to. Below is a guide, driven by the four P’s, which is designed to help you during this process.

Preparation:

As touched upon earlier, the substance and aim of interviews is very much the same whether it takes place via video call or face to face. This means that the bulk of your preparation is very similar to how you would prepare if you were meeting a firm face to face. This includes researching the firm, the role and the people you will be meeting, as well as going in armed with questions. 

Don’t be afraid to use notes and keep referring back to them during your interview. The benefit of a video interview in this instance is that you can have these notes which you can refer to, without the interviewer really noticing.

The team at Sacco Mann can help you with all of this and we will be able to prepare you as best we can. This can include anything from giving you a detailed overview of the firm, to providing an insight into the people you are meeting or letting you know what the interviewers will be looking out for. 

Personality:

A big part of a potential employer determining how well you would fit into the team is based on your personality. In a video interview, it can often be a bit more difficult for your personality to shine through the lens of a camera as opposed to a face to face interview. 

With that in mind, you may have to make more of an effort to showcase yourself and build a relationship with the interviewer. To break the ice, find conversation points after researching your interviewer, make small talk, talk about current affairs which are relevant to you both.


Position:

Whether we like it or not, people are always making unconscious judgments about others and more often than not, these judgments stick. With a video interview, not only is it important to dress as you would for a face to face interview, it’s important that the rest of the space in the frame is well-presented too. 

If there is any mess or clutter in the background, it would probably be best to tidy this up as best you can. It’s also important there is no external interruption. If you can, get someone to take the dog for a walk or make sure other family members avoid the room you are in. 


Practice:

Some of this advice will require a little more practice than others. One example is that it can be very tempting to stare at yourself on the screen during a video interview but looking directly at your camera is the only way to keep eye contact with your interviewer. To prepare as best possible, it might help to have a ‘mock video interview’ to incorporate everything you feel you may struggle with. That way, when the real thing happens, you will be ready to blow the interviewer away. 

If you would like to discuss anything in this article, or have a confidential career chat, please get in touch with Jonny Weare at Sacco Mann on 0113 245 3338.

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