News • August 28, 2020

CBU Career Center prepares students for the virtual job interview

CBU Career Center prepares students for the virtual job interview

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 28, 2020) – Sam Ganji (’20) became comfortable behind a webcam while spending years playing online video games.

However, he turned to the Career Center at California Baptist University for the finer points of conducting a virtual interview. Doing a mock interview, Ganji learned the importance of body language and eye contact and that the background should not be distracting.

“It helped me become more aware of my strong suits and also areas where I needed to improve. In short, it helped my confidence,” said Ganji, who graduated in April with a Master of Science in Software Engineering.

As job interviews went virtual because of COVID-19, the Career Center pivoted as well by providing virtual mock interviews for students and alumni.

“Virtual interviews have proven to be an exceptional experience for students in the COVID environment as this is the format most organizations are using initially to screen their job candidates,” said Mike Bishop, senior director of the Career Center.

Tips for preparing for a virtual interview include testing technology prior to the interview and creating a pleasant visual setting. Dress professionally as if for an in-person interview, and make sure the location chosen for the interview will be free from interruption and noise. 

“Obviously no handshake will occur, so the first impression for an employer will come from the candidate’s professional dress, a warm smile and solid eye contact,” Bishop said. “These simple steps will exude confidence to the employer and help them to look forward to their screen time with you.”

In-person networking is limited right now and employers have scaled back on their in-house recruiters, so how you represent yourself on your resume and LinkedIn profile are more critical, Bishop said. 

Bishop provided additional tips:

  • Do your best to showcase skills that will set you apart, especially if those skills are needed for a specific job. 
  • In the current environment, don’t get too picky about working in a specific job for a particular organization. If a job is available in the organization but it is not what you had in mind, it still may be good to take it to become part of the organization. 
  • Make sure you have a full Handshake profile completed. Handshake, a career-services platform, offers more than 5,000 employment opportunities for CBU students.
  • Use the Career Center for any professional development job advice you may be looking for.

The Career Center will host several virtual career fairs and other events this year. Check the Career Center website for information.

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504