As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the nation earlier this year, design firms everywhere cautiously put their hiring plans on hold. As a result, design school grads entering the workforce this spring found an unsettlingly quiet job market waiting for them. Today, with many firms returning to “recruiting” mode, those candidates still looking for work are finding that the hiring process has changed a bit since May; almost all job interviews are now conducted online. In the span of just six months, reliance on video interviews has completely eclipsed the traditional in-office interview and become the “new normal.”

How can you improve your interview effectiveness and land a job in this new recruiting environment?

  1. Do Your Homework: Video calls can be awkward if you’re not prepared. Before every interview, research the firm and recruiter. Identify areas of common interest with the recruiter that will help you keep the conversation moving along. And, as always, be prepared to give your “elevator pitch.”
  2. Network, Network, Network: With everyone working remotely, savvy networking is more important than ever. Contact the target firm or recruiter directly and request an informational interview, even if they aren’t hiring. Remember: it pays to be persistent.
  3. Know the Software: Who knows…we may never fully return to doing in-office interviews. Learn the video software and practice using it before the interview. Have all necessary interview documents open on your desktop and ready to share.
  4. Create a Professional Setting: Set up in a clean and well-lit interview location, free of background clutter and noise. Don’t forget to adjust your lighting and camera angle before the call.
  5. Act Professionally: Finally, a video interview is still an interview. Dress professionally, dial in early, always address the camera, be polite and attentive, and make your presentation just as you would in an office.