Coronavirus has been creeping into every aspect of our day-to-day life, and job hunting, interviewing, and hiring have not been immune. The future is unknown, which raises a lot of questions on whether it’s a good time to consider changing jobs.
I’ve had plenty of people tell me they want to “wait and see how this all shakes out” before looking or entertaining any new prospects. On the other end of that spectrum however, there are plenty of others who see this as an ideal time to interview since there’s no travel and the processes have becoming much more streamlined, in many cases.
Are you teetering on what to do? I promise you, you’re not alone! To help, here are some of the PROs and CONs of interviewing in the current COVID-19 climate:
-Lack of face-to-face interactions:
Not actually getting to sit down in person with the people you’ll be working with, hiring, or reporting to. For a lot of people, this can be a deal breaker, since there’s so much that can potentially be missed from solely virtual interactions. Something to consider though- a lot of companies are now including video interviews into the earlier stages of an interview, so you’re getting an elevated level of interaction earlier in the process than would typically happen. Although it’s not as good as the real thing-you might have even more opportunity to “meet” someone than before vs. the standard process where you just had several phone calls before one long day of marathon meeting people face-to-face.
-Tech issues and hurdles:
Even the most tech savvy person is bound to encounter a roadblock or 2 along the way as everything has been shifted virtually. You can clearly anticipate and prepare for a number of scenarios to try and avoid any of those mistakes, but you definitely can’t predict when someone might hit a pole and the electricity might go out during an interview. The good news is, much on the tech front CAN be avoided if you plan and prepare accordingly. Don’t hesitate to enlist your trusty PharmaFinders recruiter for a test run or help troubleshooting before your virtual interview day.
-Working from home distractions:
I know many people are working full time jobs in addition to trying to navigate home-life responsibility 24/7. The unexpected Amazon delivery which dominoes into dogs barking, baby crying, and spouse reacting can completely derail an otherwise fruitful discussion. For those who have children being home-schooled, that’s a whole other can of worms to try and manage while working/interviewing online. For every person there are countless ways just being at home can be a distraction. On the Brightside here, most people are MUCH more comfortable in their home and it is a less tense and more relaxed environment which can help your confidence and composure in the interview. (Just make sure you don’t get TOO relaxed, remember- it is still an interview, so make sure you change out of your tattered Metallica t-shirt and put on something professional.)
With the travel restrictions and cautiousness of most companies, there’s the benefit of virtual communication and the flexibility that comes along with that. You don’t currently have to hop on a plane and stay overnight in a hotel just to interview, which for a lot of people the added time back from the interviewing process is priceless.
In a pre-COVID world there were typically longer lag times between stages of interview processes while travel was arranged to corporate home office, and having to navigate multiple travel schedules and agendas made it tricky to get everyone together all at once. Now, it’s much easier for folks to just slap an invite on the calendar to get the ball rolling. Companies and candidates alike can maneuver a bit easier around timelines than they would’ve been able to previously. Processes can move faster and jobs can be filled faster than you might imagine- so make sure you’re mentally prepared for things to potentially move QUICK if you start looking. J
For both clients and candidates, the virtual interviewing offers an opportunity to expand the pool of positions and candidates without a ton of added cost/time. By decreasing the travel and opening up the flexibility on scheduling, you can fit more into the timeframe for comparison to ensure you’re making the BEST decision. Also, although you might not be getting to meet everyone face-to-face, you’ve got the possibility of getting exposed to MORE people. As a client that means a wider and varied selection of candidates to consider. As a candidate you can have additional conversations with folks who may not have been previously available to you because of availability. With a wider panel of people to meet and interview with, you can make sure you’re getting a solid gauge of the company, role, and expectations.
I hope you find some of these points helpful! If you have any PROs or CONs that are missing from this list, I would love to hear your feedback and experiences trying to navigate this tricky environment.
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