The Rebound: An expert's tips on job hunting, interviews and more

Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 22:19:28-04

CINCINNATI — With many out of work and college students graduating soon, job hunting will have a new set of challenges during this pandemic. Experts at one of the top talent firms in Cincinnati can offer some potentially career-saving advice.

Angel Beets with executive search firm Gilman Partners helps companies in Cincinnati and across the country find employees. With stay-at-home orders and many local businesses closed, she says while some of her clients in essential businesses still meet prospective employees in person, many are moving the hiring process online.

“We do have some clients in essential businesses who are bringing candidates in for interviews, to see a manufacturing floor,” Beets said. “For the most part, our clients have pretty easily shifted to virtual interviews, even making offers to candidates without meeting them in person."

Beets said she's also seen virtual onboarding as well.

"Companies are sending laptop computers, they’re sending the welcome packages," she said.

Kamilah Williams of Cincinnati is a college senior taking her first steps toward her career during the pandemic.

“I applied for 21 positions total,” she said. “I keep a spreadsheet of all the places I applied so far and I received a callback from one in Texas.”

These days, the hiring process consists of a series of video interviews, which means prospective employees like Williams can’t see what she’s getting into in person.

“I really want to see what I’m looking at before I make a decision to go out there, but I do have Google Maps, and that’s the best I could do is do a satellite view of what it looks like,” she said.

To best prepare for video interviews, Beets recommends:

  • Practicing for video interviews using family members as stand-ins for your recruiter or hiring manager.
  • Making sure children or pets are safe in other rooms before the interview starts.
  • Double-checking your audio and lighting before you start.
  • Looking into the camera lens when speaking, not at the screen.

Most of all, Beets warns against dropping the job search even though the virus has forced some companies to freeze hiring or close temporarily.

“Continue networking. Stay in touch with professors who might have a leg up on some information about what employers are really looking for entry-level employees,” Beets said.

And with the fluid situation we all face, don’t be afraid to check in with companies a few times.

“There are some senior leaders who might be easier to catch at home. So maybe you could do an informational interview and talk to them,” Beets said.

In the meantime, now may be a good time to boost your resume by taking certifications and tests online, so when the market opens up, you’re even more impressive to organizations.