Tips and tricks from someone who got hired as more companies turn to virtual interviews

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With graduation season in full swing, seniors are learning the hiring process looks a lot different in the middle of pandemic.

Many employers are turning to virtual interviews.

When JT Thomas earned his biology degree from the University of Missouri in December 2019, he had no idea we were months away from a global crisis.

“I had no job lined up,” he said.

Thomas was nervous for several reasons, but his health scared him. He had a kidney transplant.

With no luck securing a job and not wanting to compromise his immune system, Thomas created a virtual resume and posted it on his Facebook page.

“Initially, I had to put myself in a situation mentally to prepare like I was going into an interview,” he said.

He wore a full suit, invested in a small tripod to hold his iPhone, ensuring the camera was at eye-level and he was positioned a comfortable distance from it. He also made sure he had proper lighting.

“I pulled a couple of lamps from a couple of different rooms and had the lighting so it would be focused on myself,” he explained.

They may seem minor, but hiring managers said they make all the difference.

“That will help the employer remember you and also showcase your skills in a more hands-on way,” said Tara Bullock, who specializes in workforce development.

Other things to keep in mind when interviewing virtually include:

  • Test your technology
  • Minimize interruptions
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Be conversational

“I just spoke from my experience,” Thomas said.

It worked for him, too. Thomas got a job at CareDx in April after someone at the company saw his virtual resume.

He said you may not be able to control who’s hiring, but you can control your environment.

“Remember that you’re marketing yourself,” Thomas said.

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