With classes going back to in-person and job interviews returning to face-to-face, it is hard to transition from virtual visits to ones that feel more personal and nerve-racking. With online classes, students could multitask, not put their full attention into what the professor was teaching, and take exams at home in the comfort bubble. This virtual world that the Pandemic created generated a comfort bubble where students didn’t have to leave their safe environment.
Searching for a career has become a little more daunting for students, after becoming accustomed to the virtual learning world the Pandemic created. For job interviews, interviewees were able to wear business casual attire from the waist up because there was no need to put a pair of slacks on. Candidates are now required to go into the office, shake hands with representatives, and present themselves in full to employers, not just waist up. This change back to normal can be super nerve-racking for current students and future employees who have become comfortable with virtual daily lives.
There have been studies that show students and young employers are losing their ability to communicate in a professional setting because of the Pandemic. If you are worried about how to succeed in a post-pandemic professional world, here are some tips that could help you.
Understand what makes you comfortable. When you’re in your bubble, what is it that makes you comfortable? Do you like to wear more comfortable clothes? Maybe you can buy softer businescasual clothes with a little more stretch in them. Create small practices that you can do when you’re waiting for your interview like breathing exercises to calm you down.
Don’t know how to act in a professional setting? Practice your facial expressions at home, with masks on, we have forgotten that people can read our expressions very easily. Practicing these at home in front of a mirror will help you understand how you react to certain instances. Practice shaking your friends’ hands to make sure you have a firm handshake.
Worried about not having enough to talk about? Virtual visits have made it easy to pull up a script on the computer next to our potential employer’s face so it is easy to remember what is to be said. In person, there’s no script to read off while being face-to-face with the recruiter. Practice memorizing a certain script for every interview and customize it for certain employers. If you seem like you know what you are talking about, employers will highly respect your attention to detail, preparation, and confidence.
Also, remember that companies understand the challenges we just went through due to COVID because they also had to work through it. We are all learning from the difficulties that it has brought to the professional world.