Don’t Fall (Only) for the Perks – 10 Things to Consider Before Applying for Startup Job

For young-spirited Millennials, working at startup seems to be a tantalizing idea. Fun and casual work environment, option to work remotely, and great opportunity for rapid development are among the perks offered by startup to attract top candidates. Chances are, these are also the reasons why you are seeking to work for such newly-built company. Moreover, as a fresh graduate, you want to get hired really soon and many startups are looking for entry-level employees like you. In short, you want a job, and startup opens its door with pretty perks inside.  

On the contrary, Robert Half survey showed that 8 out of 10 professional candidates prefer to work in a structured, stable and established company. More than half (60 percent) respondents are willing to work in midsize firms because it is more structured, stable, and has plenty room to innovation. The career growth and culture in these organisations are also better than startups. Additionally, 5 percent mentioned that it has better earning potential. In the same survey, only 24 percent candidates said they want to apply in large firm while 16 percent others are willing to try startup.

According to Forbes, factors why people try to ‘avoid’ startup is due to its high rate of failure. Nine in ten (90 percent) of startup will likely to fail within the second or third year. This means that if you want to work at a startup, you need to consider few things before signing the deal. Rich Hein as cited in CIO has shared 10 things you should ask yourself before accepting a startup job:

  1. Do you expect standard hiring process?

Unlike other stable company, startup will likely conduct their own hiring process. Each startup might adopt a hiring process that might differ from one to another. Some will be held in formal style such as table conference with 2 or more hiring candidates. Meanwhile, some others will conduct the job interview in a café with informal environment.

  1. Which one you love more, home or office?

The typical startup environment is fast. The work environment requires you to work as best as possible. That’s why startup offers more perks like snacks, free foods, onsite gym, and others to make it enjoyable for employees to work at the office. These perks and benefits are also used to create a good collaboration and innovation within company. Fortunately, you’ll enjoy staying in the office. Unfortunately, you might have to spend less time with family at home. And if you are all about work-life balance, you might find this point challenging.

  1. Can you fit in the corporate culture?

Culture is a key indicator to show you how much you’ll love the job. As mentioned, startup has long hours of work and great sense of community. It is good if you can see past review from the previous employees, or whether you have an insider to tell you about the culture in your targeted startup.

As an advice, “You can schedule your interview after 6 p.m. any day but Friday. Carefully observe the energy, body language, and collaboration happening with the non-executive employees. Do people look happy at work and is there a buzz around the office, or is it really quiet and most people have already left?” Therefore, you should pay better attention about the officevibe.

  1. Watch for red flags

While doing your observation, you should also openly ask yourself: Are you going to take over someone’s role? How long was that person there? How did she/he leave? What is the drastic change in the company? These questions can lead you to an answer whether you should stay or drop out of the hiring process. Moreover, you should look closely at shift or changes in strategic direction of the company rather than personnel. Because oftentimes, investors insist upon changing staff to make companies stronger.

  1. How much compensation you want?

Startup normally does not pay their employees higher than big firm. But still, there are opportunities for you to get bigger payment in the future. Hence, if you are not committed to the product or service that the startup provides, then you might need to reconsider about working at the company. Unless, you have your own motivation other than money.

  1. Have you measured the risks and rewards of joining early-stage startup?

Early-stage startup is typically riskier as you do not know whether the consumer will stay or the investor will invest for longer term. Yet, if you are lucky enough, joining in early-stage startup gives you better opportunity to make big impact with greater rewards. And if you join a little later, you can assume less risk with less compensation.

  1. How is the potential success of the product and service?

Now, to consider number 5, you can conduct a research of the product and service the company offers. Look at the target market that the startup’s product or service is in. For example, if they are developing mobile app, what do you think about the competitor? Do they already have customers or are struggling to get one? At this point, you need to be critical. Ask possible questions regarding the startup’s success rate. Just like if you are building your own company, that’s how you should foresee potential victory in targeted startup.  

  1. Who are the investors?

If you are new to startup environment, you might want to see who the biggest investor for a startup is. Startup funding does not only cover company’s immediate needs, but also long-term funding prospects. If your dream startup gets funding from successful venture capital like Sequoia Capital or Bain Capital, there could be possibility that the startup will survive. As big venture capital will go through long selection and vetting process to strong contender in market.

How will you know the investor? It is okay to ask directly where startup funding is coming from and how long it will last to the founders. Usually, great leader will gladly share their secret behind success. This conversation will also help reduce your doubt during the selection process.

  1. Who is the founder?

You sure want to know for whom you are working with. By knowing the founder of startup, you can calculate the company’s success in the future. You can rely on Google to track down their previous track records of both success and failure. Look at their social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and see how they think and behave. However, you cannot judge book by its cover. Many startup founders are going through failures before success.  

  1. Why do you want to work for a startup?

This step should be your biggest part of making a decision. Some people said they join startup not to earn a big paycheck. They decided to join the team as they are keen to make changes for the greater good. They are like a big fish in a little pond – big fish that wears a lot of different hats. Because that’s how startup is, fun and casual in a very different level than big firm.

Read also: 7 Top Languages You Should Learn to Face Future Workforce

 

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Peter Drucker once said, “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.”

From what Peter said, it applies that mastering certain skills is essential for survival. Skill is a part of being able to meet challenges of everyday life. For an individual, having skills can help find new ways of thinking and problem solving, recognise failure and take responsibility, analyse option and make decision, as well as develop a greater sense of self-awareness.

Skills are also important when it comes to looking for a job. According to a research by Confederation of British Industry (CBI), students work hard to get good grades but many struggle to gain employment. Employers, on the other hand, are looking not only academic success but also key employability skills such as the ability to self-manage, time and people management, potential to be a leader, and agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environment.

Applied education systems (AES) suggested that skill plays as a vital role especially in the age of transformation and information. The skills you master will also determine your future success or failure. Below, AES has listed 3 categories of essential skills you should have in 21st century. Let’s take a look:

#1    Learning skills (the four C’s)

Known also as four Cs, learning skill helps individual acquire mental process needed to adapt and improve upon modern work environment. The 4 C’s stand for:

Critical thinking - This skill is important in business setting. It improves mechanism that weeds out problems and replaces with fruitful endeavours.  

Creativity – As equally important as other skills, creativity empowers individuals to see concepts from different angle which leads to innovations. Innovations, in this case, is one of keys for overall business success.

Collaboration - This skill is seen as the most difficult to acquire as it needs every person in the team to sacrifice part of their own ideas and adopt others to get the best result for company’s success. But once you master it, you can bring firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. In other words, this skill means getting an individual to work together, achieve compromises, and get the best result.  

and Communication. - Communication skill is always important to learn. It is also a requirement for any company to maintain profitability. It can bring all of your educational qualities together.  

#2    Literacy skills (IMT)

Literacy skill or so called IMT is skill you need to learn which concerns with different element in digital comprehension. IMT stands for:

Information literacy - It is a foundational skill that helps you understand facts, especially data point. Being able to separate fact from fiction is what this skill about. Also, in the age of chronic misinformation, finding truth over online platform has become a new job. Therefore, you should learn how to be information savvy otherwise, you will fall prey to myths, misconceptions, and outright lies.

Media literacy - This literacy skill means to help you practice identifying publishing methods, outlets, and source while distinguishing which one is credible and which one is not. Same as information literacy, media literacy also helps find truth in a world that’s saturated with information.

and Technology literacy - Another step to success, industry 4.0 requires you to be tech savvy. This is where technology literacy lies. You need to be able to use computer, cloud programming, and mobile devices to become part of tech world/industry.

#3    Life skills (FLIPS)

Life skill is the final category of skill you should have. Life skills might pertain to your personal life but also blend with professional settings. FLIPS is an abbreviation from:

Flexibility - This skill plays as a vital role for your long-term success. You should be able to know how to change, when to change, and how to react to change. Some people are struggling learning this skills as they need to adapt into 2 uncomfortable ideas: (1) your way isn’t always the best way and (2) you have to know and admit when you’re wrong.

Leadership – Leadership is needed to help you understand decisions that managers and business leaders make. In real-world experience also, you sometimes need to decide or lead entire team. This is where this skill plays its turn.

Initiative - This skill is an attribute that earns rewards. Initiative often means working outside your working hours or spending extra 30 minutes at your job before weekend. Regardless of that, it indicates that someone’s character in term of work ethic and professional progress is good.

Productivity - It is an ability where you complete work in an appropriate amount of time. Business leaders often say it as ‘efficiency’.

and Social skills - Networking is crucial in building and maintaining business relationship. This is why you need social skills. Social skills also mean that you should have good etiquette, manners, politeness, and be able to start a talk.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

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Amanda is a fresh graduate who is applying for bunch of jobs, in which some of them are her ‘dream jobs’ and some are just for fad. She’s been waiting for too long and finally got a call for an interview for a job she ‘does not really want’ as she finds that the company has unfavourable reviews on the internet. In the end, she decides to not go and just waits for another interview call. But is that the best move?

Whether you have ever been in Amanda’s position or not, it is true that getting a call for an interview is exciting. Yet, receiving such interview invitation for a job you ‘do not realy like’ can be rather confusing. Should you go? Should you not go?   

Well, instead of feeling confused about uncertain things, you might want to consider these reasons before saying no to an interview invitation.

>> You might learn something

If you receive 3 or 4 interview calls for the same date and time, you should consider the best option and choose one according to your skills or passions. On the other hand, if you only get one job interview, it will be better for you to consider attending it. Rather than sitting around at home and doing nothing, coming to that one interview will not only give you a new experience, but it could also open another door of opportunities as you never know what and who you will meet.

>> The job might turn out to be interesting

This job might not be what you always dream of. But who knows that the job offers thousands of opportunities and employee benefits? The thing is, never judge a book by its cover because you might never find its hidden treasure. Same as applying for a job, never judge the job based only on people’s opinion because a job comfort is rarely alike for each individual.  

>> Interview experience does not hurt

Not all experience is good, but all experience is precious. Attending a dreary interview will never give you a zero lesson. Think about each interview opportunities, listen to their question and pay attention to what hiring managers really want. It can hone your interview skills that would be beneficial for your next interview opportunities. You might do not want the job, but sure you want the experience and lesson. Precious lesson can help you shine your future. Moreover, from the interview, you will know what type of questions and answers you should dig before attending the next ones.

>> The experience can leverage your network

During the interview, you might find someone to connect with. In this case, you can widen your network circle. And if you are lucky enough, you will meet someone who can lead you to your dream job. So, although you do not like to be in that interview session, you should still dress nicely and give positive attitude while keeping a genuine smile. A smile can always be a good start to catch someone’s attention.

Read also: 22 Rare Jobs that Make Good Money

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Finally, you get the opportunity to take one step closer to your dream job: an interview. Coming to the company building with all confidence you could muster, suddenly you find your palms producing excessive sweat while your breathing gets heavier. You get anxious as you study the questions and answers you have prepared last night, over and over again. To calm down, you try to convince yourself by whispering these sentences, I have prepared everything, I know everything about this company, I am qualified for this job, and My resume is good enough.

You finally overcome your anxiety, but is that enough to get you ready for the interview?

Maybe, because the fact that the hiring manager invites you for an interview means that your resume has caught his interest. However, more than good resume and excellent hard skills on paper, you need to demonstrate great soft skills too. In that case, you should get rid of these 9 behaviours in order to get accepted in the job you have always wanted:

 

  • Come late

It goes without saying that arriving late to a job interview can lessen your points in front of your employer’s eyes. Therefore, if you realise that you have a morning interview scheduled in the next day, you should prepare yourself by setting the alarm, waking up early, and getting ready for it.

Also, it is so important to not skip your breakfast. Why? Because, Lisa De Fazio, a healthy-lifestyle expert, said that breakfast is an important meal of the day. When you skip your breakfast, your blood-sugar level will go lower and it will affect your attention span which later will lessen your focus. As consequent, you cannot do your best during the interview.

 

  • Ignore the body language

During a job interview, putting your hands on the table is okay but not recommended; as it is better to put your hands on your lap to look more professionals. You should also mind other body language such as eye contact, heads, facial expressions, body postures, and handshakes. Poor body language can reduce your chance of getting the job as the interviewers pay attention to all your moves.

Aside from that, according to Gillett in Business Insider, among the biggest mistake people do during an interview is that they tend to “wishing that the job interview will end soon.” That being said, frequently checking your watch or looking at the clock will make it seem like you are eager to leave the interview room soon.

 

  • Poor word choices

Don’t use foul language! You might be excited because getting a job interview for the position you always want is a rare opportunity and you blurt out saying some foul words. Accidentally saying swearing words can indicate that you are a careless person and unable to calmly and thoughtfully deal with a situation. Therefore, you should be careful when you speak.

 

  • Showing boredom

Waiting for your name to be called and interviewed is boring. Everybody can relate to this. So how will you overcome the boredom while waiting? Checking your phone? Play online game? Or texting?

Most people will do the things mentioned above. Why? Because those activities help them overcome their boredom and pass the time. However, doing those things above will only make you look unprofessional and the recruiter might think that it is a good idea to remove you from their candidates’ list.

What else can you do, then? Show that you are genuinely interested to work for the company by reading the magazine or brochure commonly provided in the waiting room.

 

  • Being too informal

Let’s talk about the dress-code. You should not choose a “too formal” or “too informal” dress because your attire will tell a lot about whether you want to be taken seriously or not.

Dressing too informal will tell the recruiter that you have less interest in the company. On the other hand, wearing too formal clothes tells the employer that you do not research the company’s custom well enough so you might not be a good fit for the job.

 

  • Bringing too much stuffs

Bring only what the recruiter asks you to bring, most will only ask you to carry a copy of your resume and portfolio. Bringing too much stuff in your hands to the room can tell the recruiter that you are an unorganized person. So, leave everything else such as your water bottle or handphone in the car so you can be free to shake hands with potential employers.

 

  • Speaking too much

Stop being over confident! Naturally, people tend to talk more than needed because they want to impress the recruiters that they have certain skills and talent. Well, that is not a good thing to do as the interviewer might see you as long-winded candidate. Owing to which, it is crucial to always think before you speak, just keep it simple, give the interviewer an opportunity to ask you questions and only answer with relevant responses.

 

  • Being too grueling

Asking questions during an interview is important as it will show that you are interested in actually landing the job. However, only ask certain questions that will help you increase your employment opportunity such as, “How do you measure success in this company?” For that reason, you can list questions based on the job position you are applying before attending the interview.

 

  • Being shy

Lastly, you should swipe away your shyness. Being nervous 15 minutes before interview is normal. However, you should not show that shyness during the interview. Shyness can indicate that you are insecure and incompetence. A Harvard Business School professor, Amy Cuddy, suggested that if you are a shy person, you can use that to take your time before answering. She said “slowing down and pausing signals indicate that you feel comfortable, that you are deserve to be there, that you respect this interaction, that you are engaged, and that you are interested.”

Read also: Reality Bites: What to Do When Things Don’t Go as Planned

 

 

 

If you are an artist, photographer, graphic designer, art director, or other professionals in the creative industry, you must have understood the importance of crafting an appealing resume when applying for a job. Chances are, you are not the only candidate who are interested in joining the creative team in your dream company. You will find many rival candidates to get that position. Then what is the key to grab the hiring manager’s attention – even before meeting him in person?

One of the tricks to be noticed by your dream employer is to create a unique resume. You have to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your creativity by designing a distinctive resume. By creating a creative resume, you will show that you can think out-of-the-box and this can be one of the employer’s consideration to hire you. Therefore, sending a creative resume will help you catch your future employer’s eye and beat other applicants.

A collaboration between great content and well-designed resume is the key for an attractive application. Here are some key principles in creating a creative resume :

Write down a great content

First of all, what you need to pay attention in creating a resume is the content itself. This includes how you define yourself, your career goals and what can you offer to the company. Basically, crucial things you need to write down on your resume is your personal profile, job experience, a list of your publication or award, as well as professional skills – both technical or soft skill.

However, a great content is not enough, as you have to remember that your creative resume should represent your real work ethics as well. If you state that you are an innovative individual on your resume, then you have to able to demonstrate and implement it when you get the job. Therefore, before writing a creative resume you have to keep in mind that you have to use your creativity for the sake of achieving the final goal, which is to help the company succeed.

Dig your creative inspiration

Everyone owns different method to gain inspiration, including in crafting a creative resume. If you have no idea where to start, you can look for an inspiration by digging various creative resumes available on the internet. For example, you might want to look at Jeanne Hwang resume on Pinterest and follow her example to land your dream job.

Make an attractive template

Your choice of fonts and colors used for your resume will definitely show your sense of art. For creative company, it becomes one of crucial considerations in hiring new employees, especially if you are applying for an art director or graphic designer position. When making the layout, you should keep the design simple, readable, and catchy by maximizing the space on your resume.

A unique presentation

Your creative skill can also be seen from how you print out your resume. Instead of handing out a boring piece of resume paper, you can create a unique resume presentation. For example, you can make it in 3D model or with kirigami method. The key is to make it distinctive from other resumes and this will value-add your creative resume.

 

 

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However, you have to know when to keep it simple, as it has to fit with the company’s nature. For example, you can let your imagination free and create a really unique resume for young-spirited startup, but you cannot do that much with more established formal enterprise.

Attach your portfolio

Proof your skills and capability by attaching your portfolio on your application. You might want to add it on some data storage devices such as DVD or CD’s and include it on your resume. Portfolio showcases your career summary, list of accomplishments, samples of your work, or some award that you have achieved.

Besides the traditional portfolio, you can also develop online web-based portfolio. You can choose an online platform that can  be used for your portfolio database, such as Squarespace, Viewbook, Fabrik, Format, and many more.

Next read :How to Tell: Are You in the Wrong Career, or Just Lazy?

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After sending your job application to your dream company and waiting for days, finally a recruiter calls to invite you for an interview. With mixed feelings of both enthusiasm and anticipation, you are preparing yourself physically and mentally to face the interview session. Most interview tips found on the internet merely talking about how you should demonstrate eagerness  to join the company, the reasons why you apply for the jobs, as well as what makes you the best fit candidate for the position.

However, it is duly noted that while the hiring managers want to see your passion and potentials for the future job role, they might want to dig up your past employment, too.

There is no doubt that having a good track record in your employment history is beneficial for candidates. Recruiters often throw several questions regarding the candidate’s previous career to assess their suitability with the job offered. From the candidate’s answers, hiring managers can learn about their past behaviour and commitment towards the job, as well as predict their attitude and response towards particular circumstances if accepted.

Some people leave their jobs peacefully as they are simply encouraged to seek for better opportunity in other company. Some others might leave in less good smooth process due to a conflict or issue with their previous employer. Meanwhile, an interview is the time where you should emit positive energy instead of the negative ones. No matter how much you resent your previous job, you should not let such negativity stay on your mind. Telling bad things about your past employer will not make you look any better. Instead, your future managers will think that you are being disrespectful to your old boss. And thus, this will affect how they see your candidacy.

To prepare the right answer when asked about your past experiences, check the following list of most common questions related to previous job:

Why do you leave your job?

This question is meant to gauge your commitment at work. While the truth might say that you leave your job because you hate your demanding boss or toxic environment or even that you are fired for some reasons, you should not express it bluntly. Avoid using negative tones and choose more neutral words to share your reasons. For example, you can say that while actually you love the job, you believe that you will have better opportunity to make use your knowledge and skills in this company. You can say that all you expect to find better career path which you might not get in the previous job.

What do you learn from your previous job?

Recruiters want to see how candidates grab the opportunity to achieve personal development as well as their willingness to learn through this question. By knowing the interviewee’s capabilities, this question will help hiring managers see the candidates’ future potentials when offered the job at the company. To tackle this query, you can mention about both technical and soft skills you have gained from the previous job, while emphasising how those experiences have shaped your character.

Tell me the challenge and conflict you have faced in the previous job

This question aims to reveal your ‘survival’ skills at work, such as your attitude towards challenge, your mentality when dealing with problems and challenges, as well as how you handle pressure in a job. At this point, you do not need to exaggerate the answer to make it sound great or dramatic. The most important thing is that you just have to explain the actual problem, how it affects you, then how you solve and learn from it to do better.

How did your previous boss and your coworkers describe you?

The recruiter needs to know how you manage good relationship at work and adapt with the working environment. While actually you might not know exactly how your previous boss and coworkers see you as an individual, you can try to deter this question by praising your colleagues instead. For example, you can tell the hiring manager that they have solid teamwork and you are able to form good relationship with them. In the end you can say how you appreciate them and you believe that they appreciate you the same way.

Read also: Competing with a Friend: What to Do When You and Coworker Aim for the Same Promotion

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At some point in a career journey, there are times when an employee feel exhausted with overload tasks given to them and start to think that they deserve better jobs. Some others find a bitter fact that they do not have any chance to achieve career growth and personal development in their current company. If you find yourself trapped in similar situation, this could be the early sign that you should move on and pursue a new career.

Seeking new job while you are still employed is just like gambling. If you are lucky enough, you can find new employer within a short time. However, sometimes reality bites and the job search could take a really long time. People say that the best time to change job is when you already find a new one. Therefore, rather than letting go your job whereas you have not land a new one, it is better to hold onto your current job on until you are accepted elsewhere.

Then the question remains: how to do job search while you still has contract with your current employer? When your boss knows that you intend to leave the company, there are chances that he would feel betrayed and disappointed about your plan. This will ruin the well-built relationship between you and him even before you really move on to the new job. So, you need to do the job search silently to avoid negative comments people around you.

You should know what to do and what not in conducting the job search while you are still employed. Follow the tips below:

Dos:

Let the prospective employer knows you are still employed

Some people believe that letting prospective company know that you already have a job is important, as being employed means that you have certain proven qualities and skills. While such belief is not necessarily true, putting your current employment status on your application and resume is crucial, such that hiring managers can manage the right time to arrange an interview and tests for you.

Schedule the interview around lunch hour

Despite conducting active job search, you should remember that you are still employed. It means that you still have the responsibility to perform well and get your tasks done at your current job. When prospective recruiter invites you for an interview, you should find the best time to do it. For example, you can ask to schedule an interview during lunch hour, such that it will not disturb your main job.

Mind your outfit

Your current office culture might let you dress casually, but in order to come for an interview, you often have to wear formal dress. It will seem suspicious when you suddenly dress formally while you used to wear casual one in the office. To avoid such suspicion, you have to make a plan. For example, you can come to the office wearing T-shirt as usual, but keep the formal shirt in your bag and wear it once you get outside before coming to the interview.

Don’ts:

Don’t tell your coworker

You cannot simply believe that your coworkers are going to keep silence when they know about your job search plan and leaving the team. Even it is someone whom you trust so much, you cannot risk the possibility of him telling about your plan to the others. If rumours spread out, it will be uncomfortable for you to stay. Until you seal the deal and sign an employment contract with new employer, you should consider the job search as a kind of secret mission that no one in your office should know.

Don’t do the search during work hours

This could be obvious, but it will be awkward when you are opening a job portal with your PC at work then suddenly your boss walks by and sees it. Even when no one knows about your job search activity, you should keep in mind that your employer might track your browsing history if you use office facility during work hours. Therefore, do the job search in the evening at home. You should also ensure that the email address you use to send job application is your private email and not the one you use to exchange emails with clients. Additionally, you need to be careful with incoming calls from recruiters. Given that they usually call during work hours, make sure that you talk with him away from the place where your coworkers can hear the conversation.

Don’t ask for recommendation from your current employer

When applying for particular job, you should ensure that the prospective company does not have any cooperation or close relationship with your current company. As you need to do it in silence, it will be a problem if your future employer asks for recommendation about your performance to your current employer. Therefore, you can ask for reference or recommendation from anyone but those who work at your company.

Read also: Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired: Jobseeker Tips for Attending Career Fairs

Getting your first interview can be a daunting experience, let alone when you have to do it online. Yes, the internet has been much of a game changer in employee recruitment, including in how hiring managers conducting a job interview.

Nowadays, conducting virtual interview becomes increasingly popular among employers. Embracing video and web-based technologies for screening interview with prospective candidates has been an alternative besides the traditional in-person meeting. Not only time-saving and cost-effective, conducting video job interview allows employers to widen the talent scope across the world.

However, the problem is quite classical. Not everyone is ready for video job interview. While many people are perfectly comfortable with the idea of talking in front of webcam, there are others who are totally webcam-phobic. The later type, webcam-shy person, usually displays symptoms such as being overly-nervous, stiff, and awkward when talking to the interviewers thorugh their laptops.

If you belong to the second type and need some advices for your next meeting, here are seven ways to ace in video job interview.

Prepare your devices

It might be quite obvious, but you have to make sure that you have everything you need for video job interview. Before the interview takes place, you have to ensure that all functions you need are running smoothly.

Turn on the computer at least 15 minutes before the scheduled, such you can check once again that all is well. It will include testing out your webcam, turning on the audio recorder, charging the battery, as well as checking the internet connection. If you are required to use certain video call software, make sure that you have installed and tried it out before the day.

Set the scene

You want the interviewers to keep their eyes only on you, not your surroundings. To help you get their full attention, you have to set proper background for video job interview.

Make sure that the lighting is good so it will not cast undesirable black shadow of your face. As for the room, make sure that it is quiet enough to do a conversation. If needed, you can put on ‘do not disturb’ or some notes about the interview on your door to prevent any unwanted visitor. People get distracted easily. Hence, ensure that nothing bizarre fills your background. Conservative white and plain background is the best option for it. You want the interviewers to assess your qualifications, not wondering who the funky singer poster on your wall is.

Pick up the right attire

While it is true that most video job interview do not require you to show full body, do not risk your employment opportunity by wearing casual bottom. Wear something dense and professional from head to toe, not only for the waist-up. You don’t want the interviewers to accidentally sneak peek your worn-out pajamas, right?

Avoid wearing clothes with busy prints, as it does not look good on screen. Instead, pick something plain in light colours. If you want, you can choose colours that you think you look good in it. Not only the attire, you also need to pay attention to your hair and face as well. Make sure that you have the look of their next hire.

Maintain eye contact

Most common mistake done in video job interview is that candidates tend to look out at the screen. However, you should stop doing so. Eye contact is not only applicable in face-to-face interview, but also in video job interview as well. Just pretend that the webcam is the interviewer sitting in front you. Hence, looking at it is like looking directly at the interviewer.

Stay calm all the time

Human makes mistakes, so do you. Don’t be thrown off by small errors you might make along the interview. When you realise providing wrong answers and would like to correct it, admit the mistake and re-state the answer calmly.

Be honest. If you think you cannot find a proper answer to particular question, just say so. Rather than rambling about something else, interviewers will appreciate your honesty. Focus on your answer, state it clearly and confidently, such that will make the interviewers nod their heads and thinks, ‘This is the talent I have been looking for’.

Start practicing

Just like the old mantra saying, ‘practice makes perfect’. To prepare for tackling questions, take advantage of various interview practice hacks scattered on the internet. Make sure to do your research about the company and everything related to the job you are applying.

Video job interview is an effective medium to demonstrate your proficiencies to the hiring managers. Although you might do it at your home, bear in mind that video job interview is no different from usual interview. So keep smile and be confident!

Next read: Should You Announce that You’re Seeking New Opportunities on LinkedIn?

When it comes to using social media for professional purposes, most people would agree that LinkedIn is a good place for jobseekers to connect with potential employers and find a job. If you are on the position of actively seeking for new employment, you can take advantage of the network you have built and get in touch with recruiters who search for talents in your field of expertise.

Among other features, the headline is probably the most crucial element of your LinkedIn profile. Headline is a 120-character descriptive column that will appear in search results along with your name, photo, and location. This section is the key if you want potential employers to visit your profile and find out more detailed information about you. To spark their interest to click on your profile, you should create a memorable and appealing headline by describing what you do and what you have to offer.

To let recruiters know that they are on job hunting, some people might put phrases such as ‘seeking new opportunities’, ‘looking for new challenges,’ ‘open for new roles’, or ‘considering new employment’ on their LinkedIn headline. By using such phrases, your profile will show up on the search results when recruiters type these keywords on LinkedIn search. The aim is to directly tell them that you are keen to explore new opportunities.

While it is obvious that you should make the most of your headline to entice recruiters and land a job, do you really need to state and indicate that you are seeking new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile?

On the positive note, advertise your availability on your headline could be a direct signal for recruiters that you are open for new employment. This will help them to find the right candidates who are really looking for job, instead of just guessing and meeting those who are not really interested in moving on from their current companies. Not mention, some recruiters do source for active and available candidates by typing related keywords on LinkedIn search.

However, announcing on LinkedIn headline that you are seeking new opportunities could also mean that you are currently unemployed. Some recruiters and hiring managers could interpret such statement as someone being too desperate about getting employed. Some other might tend to avoid candidates who put similar phrases on their profile, because they might not be interested in hiring someone who have been laid off from their job.

Additionally, using such phrases on your headline will not help your profile stand out from the crowd as it does not communicate specifically about your skills, work experience, career goals, or even the industry itself. Oftentimes, recruiters end up wasting their time for nothing when finding that candidate’s resume is not relevant with the roles they are seeking.

If you are currently employed, announcing that you are open to new opportunities is not a wise move, too. When your employer knows about this, they might wonder why, how, and when you want to intend to leave the company. Such presumption could create awkward relationship between you and your boss, even when you are still working there.

Towards the end, either you are currently employed or unemployed, it will be better to avoid putting such phrase on your LinkedIn headline. Instead, you can activate LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature to let recruiters know your availability for job offerings. If you are on incognito search, your current employer will not find out this because LinkedIn will hide such information from your boss and only premium recruiters can see this availability.

Read also: 5 Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Office Life

Radical advances of science and technology have become the game changers in almost every aspect of today’s modern life. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to talk to chatting bots instead of real customer service officer, or see robots employed as factory worker in manufacturing company. With the automated machine, robotics, and artificial intelligence have grown to be more sophisticated than ever, how would their existence affect the world of work and change the future of jobs?

Slowly but surely, robots are taking over human’s positions in the workforce. For some industries, machines are employed to improve productivity such as in manufacturing and automotive companies, while some others are used to take care of dull administrative tasks. Additionally, robotic machines are also increasingly used to accomplish particular missions that are highly dangerous in nature, such as investigating and exploring the outer space.  However, on top of helping make our life easier, experts are grappling with the question over how robots might affect the workforce.

Some jobs are more vulnerable to be replaced by robots than the others. According to a recent report from consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), automated machine could take nearly four in ten (38 percent) jobs in the U.S by 2030. Across the globe, it is predicted to take 30 percent of jobs in the United Kingdom, 35 percent in Germany, and 21 percent in Japan. The study found that among the jobs at the greater risk of replaced by robots include those in the transportation and storage (56 percent) sectors, as well as manufacturing (46 percent) and retail (44 percent).

Given how the rise of robots could be a threat for taking over human employment in the workforce, how should talents do to survive and thrive in the automated age? Take a look at the following tips on how you should deal with this matter:

1. Learn essential skills

While Millennials are known to be the most educated generation throughout history, they might not be learning the right skills to succeed in the future. Too many people are leaving school or college without learning basic skills to compete in the automated workforce. If talents want to stay relevant with current job trends, they need to stay abreast of new technology while committing themselves to learn essential skills.

2. Make yourself unique

You can choose either be the first, or be different. Amidst today’s changing job market, creativity is a crucial element that helps you stand out from the crowd. Unleash your imagination and bring something out of the box. The ability to create something unique is something that robots cannot do. Machines only have ability to do or produce something that is uniform, monotonous, and lack of authenticity. Meanwhile, you can do more than just that, by showing your uniqueness.

3. Be open to change

Most employers would agree that hiring for attitude and aptitude is way more important than hiring for skills. Rather than hiring experienced talents with rigid character, employers would be more interested in bringing in someone who demonstrates willingness to learn and is open to change. That being said, it is time for you to keep your mind open and embrace what life might bring.

Article first appeared at Talentvis.