04/26/2020 by Carney Sandoe Staff |

Virtual Hiring Forum Best Practices: For Candidates

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We're excited to host our first ever two-day national Virtual Hiring Forum on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. Going fully virtual for a hiring event is unprecedented for us, but in these uncertain times it's important to us that we continue to support our valued job seekers and provide opportunities to connect with schools.

Check out our tips below to help you make the most of the event.

Set up your schedule.

First thing’s first: when you log into the Conference Module, one of your most important tasks is blocking off your availability on your online schedule. This way, hiring schools know when they can or can't schedule an interview with you. The event runs from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST on both days, so adjust your schedule based on your time zone and what works best for you.

Refine your profile.

Check that all of the documents in your CandidateConnect profile are up to date, then check again. Pay close attention to your geographic preferences: when schools browse candidate profiles as they are building their interview schedules, they are not only looking for candidates with the right experience and qualifications, they're also looking for candidates who want to work where their school is located.

For teaching candidates, if you have any new or recent recordings of you teaching virtually, add those to your profile (just make sure you have the proper permissions from your school to do so).

Check your messages and be responsive.

Check the Message Center in the Conference Module (by clicking on the Messages tab) often — schools use it to send you messages and request interviews up through and during the event. Schools' interview schedules can be quite fluid, with new interviews being scheduled with little notice. It's important you check your messages frequently and that you're quick to respond to any school that contacts you.

(Bonus tip: You can also use the Message Center to send messages to hiring contacts indicating your interest in their school. We recommend doing this a few days before the event. Keep your messages brief and clear. Read more about the Message Center here.)

Communicate and plan ahead.

Communication is key between candidates and schools. Make sure you know each school's plan for the interview. What tool are they using (Zoom, WebEx, Skype, phone, etc.)? Who is going to initiate the interview, you or the school? Schools have been instructed to contact candidates through the Message Center to indicate their plan, but if you don't hear from a school before your interview, feel free to send them a message. Most schools will also have their interview tool of choice listed next to their name in the Module. Finally, add your cell number to your profile in the event a tech issue comes up and you need to switch to a phone interview.

Check your expectations.

We understand candidates are eager to interview, but it's important to also be realistic. Given the time of year and the uncertainty around what the 2020-21 school year will look like, we don't predict this will be a wildly busy event for most candidates. There are also a lot of factors that affect how many interviews candidates will have. For example, if your geographic preferences are limited to one city and you don’t see any schools from that city registered for the event, don't expect a full interview schedule. Schools want to use both their time and yours wisely and respectfully.

Keep us posted.

If you decide you no longer want to participate in the Virtual Hiring Forum, it's crucial that you let your Placement Associate know so we can take the appropriate actions on our end. We'll need to make sure that schools don't continue to add you to their schedule. If schools have already scheduled interviews with you, we'll want to notify them so they can fill that slot with another candidate.

Test the technology.

Test your electronic device prior to your first interview. Make sure your device is charged and alerts are silenced. Familiarize yourself with the various interview tools you’ll be using in advance so you’re ready to go at the time of your interview. These other tips on virtual interviewing are also important to read.

Be prepared.

Just like with any other interview, make sure you are well-prepared. A virtual interview is just as serious and important as an in-person one. Research who you’re speaking with, browse the school's website, and explore how your values relate to the school's mission. Think about how you will contribute to the school community.

Be flexible.

Between working from home, childcare, online learning, and a slew of distractions, life can be unpredictable. Understand the times we’re in and remain flexible with changes and adjustments to your schedule. Take comfort knowing that schools are doing the same. If your child or pet accidentally interrupts your interview, it won't reflect poorly on you.

Use the CS&A team as a resource.

Just like at an in-person conference, your Placement Associate will be available throughout both days for recommendations, advice, and questions. Don't hesitate to contact yours — we're here to make the experience as smooth as possible for you!

Take care of yourself.

Interviewing can be stressful — especially with everything else you are juggling. Practice self care by stretching between interviews and taking a break from your screen when you can. Have snacks and water nearby. Don't forget to build a lunch break into your online schedule.

Follow up.

Send an email or message in the Conference Module to the person or people you interviewed with. Whether you're reinforcing your enthusiasm about the position or you're letting the school know it's not a good fit for you, take the time to reach out and follow up.

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1 Comment

Maia Pappas Newton 4/27/2020 at 5:38pm

These brief tips and outlines were very clear and helpful! Thank you for all that you do!

Maia Newton