Preparing for an online video interview

Businesses are increasingly turning to video conferencing for first round interviews, especially when promising candidates aren't already living locally. Job interviews are difficult enough as it is, without adding in the technical challenges of a video call into the mix. So, here are a few tips to help you prepare. 
Make a good first impression
Making a good first impression is key to making the most of the fair, and we spoke to Dr Amanda Barnes, employability manager and cell biologist at the University of York, to get tips on preparing for the interview and also for how to navigate an online interview. (Watch the full interview with Amanda on our blog!)

“The first thing I’d say is that although this is not a formal interview, this is your first opportunity to show yourself to that company and a way in,” she said. So you should dress formally, just as you would for an in-person interview, and make sure that you use formal, professional speech in your interview.

Key in making...

 

 

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Writing better job ads

The language and appearance of your job ad can enhance its appeal to women, or it can put them off. How can you ensure women apply for your vacancies?

Research has shown that the way you write and design your jobs ads can significantly affect the balance of genders among applicants. Your choice of words, typeface and colour can make a difference to the kinds of candidates who can imagine themselves ‘at home’ in your organisation and, thus, who applies. This is not necessarily a conscious process, but these choices will affect whether you connect with a diverse applicant pool, and evidence from the tech industry shows the genderedness of the ad will affect whether you end up appointing a man or a woman.

A job ad advertises more than just the job. It represents the institutional culture of the employer, and gives an insight into the attitudes and values of the current staff. So when crafting an ad, you should:

Use gender-neutral language
Think about how you use ...

 

 

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Providing relocation support

Starting a new job in a new town can be a daunting experience for anyone. However, for women, whether established professionals or recent graduates, the stresses can be even greater. Women are more likely to have dependant relatives, so may be disrupting much more than their own life in order to take up your job offer. Paying attention to the broader needs of a woman’s partner and, potentially, family will take thought, time, effort and sometimes money. But it will also make you a much more attractive employer and will help to ensure that you really do hire and retain the best talent.

A prospective employer can therefore usefully think more broadly about relocation for women:

Understand graduate trends
Start providing information early
Offer relocation expenses
Provide advice on where to live
Allow time for settling in
Be flexible, fair and transparent

Understand graduate trends
Despite the widespread assumption that young women don’t have the same family res...

 

 

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Shortlisting and interviewing women

The shortage of qualified STEM professionals is one symptom of the fact that well- trained women are not progressing in their careers at the same rate as their male colleagues. Indeed, evidence shows that female graduates are more likely to take lower quality jobs than men. That discrepancy persists throughout women’s careers, not least because traditional recruitment techniques can deter women and fail to reveal their talents.

To achieve a more diverse workforce in STEM, your appointment processes may need to change to accommodate the differing needs of women applicants. To support the recruitment and retention of women, you could:

Ensure that the selection committee is diverse
Scrutinise your shortlisting process
Use consistent language
Select according to explicit criteria
Think about the long term

Ensure that your selection committee is diverse
Diverse hiring panels reduce implicit bias and increase the chance that all candidates will be assessed fairly. Man...

 

 

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Interpreting letters of reference

Letters of recommendation (or ‘references’) for job candidates can differ depending on whether the candidate is a man or a woman. For candidates of equal merit, letters of recommendation written for women are likely to be, for example, shorter, to emphasise supportive attributes rather than leadership qualities, and to contain few superlatives. These differences may reflect an unconscious bias among writers of such letters, who are usually senior men. By bearing in mind the possibility that men and women candidates could be described differently, members of selection panels may be able to moderate these differences and so minimise the effect of the bias.

To improve employment prospects for women, you could:

Recognise that references are difficult to write
Be alert to stereotypes
Recognise the scope of the reference
Interpret ‘faint praise’
Allow for the potential for leadership
Understand candidates’ own unconscious bias

Recognise that references are difficult...

 

 

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