Even as COVID-19 seems to be coming under control, should you still be preparing for job interviews with a COVID-19 safe workplace in mind? Find out more about masks in the summer and what to do with the Hand shakes.
Australia is entering a less pandemic-dominated and much-welcome summer, with Victoria finally getting transmissions down to zero and the rest of the country the same.
However, COVID-19 has not gone away and the concept of the COVID-19 safe workplace is probably here to stay well beyond restrictions finally lifting. We don’t see this kind of caution as a bad thing!
Given the virus can be asymptomatic, there is no reason not to continue some of the fundamentals of a COVID-19 safe workplace, particularly now that many businesses have already invested in safe work environments. But what does this mean for job seekers?
Preparing for an interview in a COVID-normal world
A long hot (COVID-is-still-out-there) summer
In terms of lifestyle more broadly, but particularly for jobseekers, COVID-19 being at its worst during the winter months has made it less onerous in many ways.
Up until now, many interviews, at least initially, have occurred via Zoom, so candidates have been able to put their best maskless-face forward. The caveat has been, of course, to always make sure your tech is all up to scratch so the interview doesn’t drop out...and that you’ve turned off the Hawaiian beach screensaver behind you first!
And then there's wearing a mask.
Some have taken to wearing masks in any high-risk situation, even when not mandated. In terms of job interviews, we encourage it as it proves to a potential employer that you are taking the pandemic seriously, which as medical professionals in the healthcare job search looks good on you as a candidate.
However, coming into the summer months, mask-wearing is going to become more uncomfortable, prompting many to drop it, which could pose a problem. Studies have shown that dry air potentially favours the spread of COVID-19, meaning that rather than dropping mask use in summer, we should be using them just as much, if not more.
With this in mind, we recommend that when it comes to face-to-face interviews, first and foremost dress lightly (but professionally, obviously) so that you don’t overheat either on the way to the interview or during it, especially if you are choosing to wear a mask in public settings such as on public transport or in cabs/Ubers.
Arrive a little early and accustom yourself with the COVID-19 safe workplace set-up of the company or organisation you’re applying to. It’s even worth asking the recruiter prior to the interview if you need to take any special precautions. This way you are well prepared and also avoid any misunderstandings about expectations.
Many employers conducting face-to-face interviews will have the interview room set up to follow COVID-19 safe workplace requirements, but take a mask into the interview and offer to wear it.
And with the heat of summer, and the energy that’s required of a job interview, don’t hesitate to take a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated.
During the interview, conduct yourself just as you would in any interview, and if you need to present as part of it, maybe take some hand-wipes or hand sanitiser.
The handshake - what to do?
And how about the handshake in greeting or goodbye?
Probably less of a problem now as so many have dropped this as a form of greeting, but it’s still a built-in response for many and could cause a slightly uncomfortable moment.
This Harvard Business Review article has some great tips, with the most important takeaway acknowledging that the handshake might end up being awkward but that if you decide in advance what you’re comfortable with, you can get around it.
Our final advice?
As with any interview, the key is being prepared, both for the questions that will come your way but also for interviewing in a sector where being aware of COVID-safe protocols is important and respected.
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!
If you need help looking for your next healthcare role, reach out to us today.