Getting the gig: interviewing through a pandemic

It has officially been a year since COVID made its first appearance and the impact on job searching continues to affect many who are exploring new opportunities.

At LEAP Dev and like so many other companies, we’ve had to change our hiring practices in line with the new world we live in and we now run all of our recruitment processes remotely. For those of you looking for a new challenge or a fresh start, we’d like to share a few tips to make sure you hang up your next Zoom interview call feeling confident that you’ve left a great first impression.

Practice makes perfect!

We live in a digital world and while norms are changing constantly and quickly, it can be difficult for many of us to keep up. There’s never been a time in history when we have been so reliant on people getting to know us without being in the same room. To be able to show a stranger who you are and what’s great about you at a distance relies on you being calm, confident and in control.

Taking the time to get to know any platform that may be used during an interview process is an invaluable first step. It’s not about how the interviewer perceives you through technical difficulties; we’re all human and technology can fail us all. There are plenty of us who are lovely, articulate and switched-on human beings, but when you struggle to open a link, unmute our mic or turn your camera on, stress goes up and confidence falls.

Never underestimate the power of nervous energy. Familiarise yourself with the basics until you can navigate them like a pro and you’re one step closer to smooth as butter interviewing.

Let there be light…ing!

First impressions still matter and the fact that most of them now happen online, there are a few additional things we need to consider when preparing for our interviews.

We’ve noticed lighting makes the biggest difference to someone’s zoom window in our morning huddles. The simple act of turning on an additional lamp can turn your zoom call quality from dial up internet to an A class professional photoshoot.

Making sure you have the right lighting can make a huge impact on how you may come across during interviews.

Below are three lighting examples with yours truly as the model:


Photo A is what most people have when initially interviewing. Only the ceiling light is on, which isn’t very flattering, makes you hard to see and causes the camera to look pretty low quality.

Photo B is in the exact same spot, except this time the ceiling light is turned off and substituted for a desk lamp at about a 45 degrees face,  as well as an open the window to add a bit of back drop lighting. Results show a clear improvement in the video quality

Photo C works great if you might not have a table lamp or you just have a messy room that you don’t want to have in the background. Find a spot that gets a lot of natural lighting and maybe find something for the background to give it an additional pop. This results in the most natural looking quality  and really brightens up the call.

Once again, it all comes down to practice and making sure that all the little things are taken care of so you can feel confident that you gave it your best shot.

Engage with the team

Taking the opportunity to ask your interviewer(s) questions has always been an important part of the process. It shows that you’re interested in learning more about the place you’ll (hopefully) be joining rather than simply wanting any old job. It also helps you be sure you’re making the right decision for you. Remember, interviewing is equal parts the candidate AND the organisation selling themselves.

This is true now more than ever because every company has chosen a different path in response to COVID-19. These decisions have been made in line with what the leaders believe and how your team now operates so understanding those choices will give you a lot of important information about the company culture. You want to make sure you know how they have handled the pandemic and what exactly you’ll be getting yourself into.

Some questions that may help you get a better understanding of the team could be:

  • How would you compare day to day work life between pre-COVID and now?
  • How and where will I be onboarded?
  • After onboarding, will I be required to work in the office, from home or a mix?
  • How has the team adapted to everything up until now?
  • How does the team continue to maintain teamwork and collaboration and what tools they use to do so?
  • How do you think these changes will impact the business moving forward?

For us, having someone show genuine interest in teamwork and how our business has adapted to these changes shows they want to be part of a team and that can often be the make or break.

As always, when wrapping things up, thank your interviewer(s) and if you’re impressed with what they’ve had to say, leave no doubts that you want to be a part of the team and their journey.

Preparation is and will always be key when it comes to nailing online interviews. There’s no time like the present to start trying it out. Head to our Careers page and apply so we can be wowed by your confident first impressions!

LEAP Dev

LEAP Dev is an innovative software development company in the legal tech industry with over 80 in house software engineers. We are the #1 provider of firm management, lawyer/client collaboration, accounting and payment processing solutions to small law firms with over 35,000 users in Australia, the UK and the USA.

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