Pf asked industry leading recruiters for their top tips for job seeking during COVID-19.
Tips for virtual interviewing
- Consider what you wear – look professional.
- Pick the best location, what’s your background?
- Check the camera angle.
- Make sure you won’t be interrupted.
- Sit up straight.
- Power up and check your internet connection at least 10 minutes in advance.
- Don’t interrupt or talk over the interviewer.
- Be confident, concise and professional.
Whatever your reason for job seeking, it’s useful to know whether pharma is recruiting during COVID-19. “Many recruitment processes are being placed on hold, or even stopped altogether,” explained Andy Boyd, Recruitment Consultant at Evolve. “However, other organisations are being proactive and innovative to maintain ongoing recruitment needs.”
This is echoed by Huw Nicholas, Recruitment Lead at CHASE. They’ve experienced a mixed response at this difficult time: “This is an incredibly challenging time for clients and candidates as both try to navigate their way through the unique challenges that COVID-19 has created.
“Whilst many of our clients have decided to pause recruitment, others have taken into account that business will continue and have embraced the concept of making offers after a completely virtual process.”
And like the rest of us, recruiters are embracing the world of remote working and also championing virtual interviewing. Marie Entwistle, Business Unit Manager: Pharmaceuticals at Star said: “Working days remain the same in the sense that we’re here to support our candidates and clients, but we are having to adapt and encourage others to adapt with us – namely with online interviews.”
Virtual interviewing has become an integral part of the recruitment process but not all organisations embraced it before now. Marie explained: “This is something that several of our clients are already very used to, while for others more traditional interview methods have been historically preferred.”
However, in the current climate it enables companies to move quickly to fill key vacancies according to Huw: “It’s given confidence to organisations who want to stay ‘ahead of the curve’ when it comes to attracting staff. It also allows them to take advantage of the relative lack of competition for candidates who are actively seeking roles whilst providing huge benefits in terms of reduced time to hire.”
Advice for candidates
Job seeking may feel different to the norm, but Andy suggests making the most of the time to build on skills and implement them. “Looking for new jobs can feel daunting but use this time to your advantage and tailor your job searching skills. Do the things you were unable to make time for in the past, such as re-writing/updating your CV, practising competency-based interview questions and updating yourself on the changes within the NHS, and be patient. When the job market hopefully returns to normal, you’ll be in a better position to secure your ideal new job.”
Marie added: “Stick with it. There are some fantastic positions out there and companies are still hiring, so spend some time on getting your CV right, do your research and go for it.”
And don’t let things get you down, Huw advocates the importance of staying positive and embracing the ‘new normal’ of virtual recruiting.
What’s clear is that pharma recruiters are on hand to guide you through job seeking during COVID-19 and will support you to perform your best in virtual interviews to land that next dream job.