Top Tips for the Virtual OCI Process
By now, you’re already a skilled sailor in virtual seas. You’ve taken classes, attended social events, and panel presentations through Zoom, and have already finished the customization of your workspace for optimum connection and participation.
You may also feel relaxed with the concept of a virtual OCI process. If you haven’t already come in contact with potential employers, through mock interviews or otherwise, you’ve read posts and take part in programs about how to put your best foot forward. You have been taught how to dress for success and have a few ideas about how to engage your interviewers.
But virtual OCI processes usually test your preparation, organizational skills, and endurance as much as your interviewing skills. As you delve into more in-depth preparations, we offer 10 tips for making the process a success
1 Track and review all communications related to OCI logistics.
It will be potentially disastrous if you don’t catch all communications and alerts related to OCI logistics. This includes communications from both potential employers and your school. Develop a filing system specific for that purpose if that will help. You would rue to miss or lose track of messages with interview schedules, sign-on information, interviewer changes, or information that employers might need from you ahead of callback interviews
2. Limit distractions.
Distractions come in multiple forms, avoid them. They may relate to your tech setup, your lighting, or the noise or activity around you. The goal is to limit distractions by producing an environment that will enable you and your interviewers to give maximum focus to your interviews and to limit anything else demanding for your attention at that moment.
You need to ensure that you have a quiet space, uncluttered background, and a secure connection for the interview, always engage in interviews in those areas free from activity, either behind or in front of you; and ensure you’ve functional lighting, audio, and video prior to the start of the interview process.
Close windows, draw blinds, turn off your phone, and let people around you know that you’re interviewing when necessary. Be wary about harsh backlighting, which might be distracting to interviewers and could make your face seem improperly lit. You should make sure to turn off any TVs in the area because even when muted, they can project powerful colorful and changing light. It’s also necessary to disable any pop-up notifications on your computer.
Once an interview has begun, never look down at your phone or watch. If comfortable with the self-view, you can minimize or disable it so you can focus solely on the interviewer.
3. Organize your approach.
Most likely, your virtual OCI experience will be unlike in-person interviews where you will likely participate in every one of your interviews, whether it’s a screen or callback from exactly the same physical location. You most definitely won’t have the experience of visiting different offices to help you recall information about certain firms.
So prepare notes that you can use for revision before each interview to refresh your memory about the firm, the interviewer, or key points of interest. But it’s is seen as amateurish to read them during the interviews, so don’t.
You won’t want to miss an important comment or question from an interviewer.
So spare some minutes after every interview to jot down notes that will help you recall the firm and important information. You definitely would be surprised at how the pace and volume of interviews affect your ability to recall who said what.
4. Show, don’t tell.
Help interviewers recall who you’re by providing picturesque illustrations of the skills and attributes you possess. That will also aid interviewers to connect the dots between your experiences and the needs of their respective organizations.
You can display your assiduousness and preparation by asking questions that substantiate knowledge of the interviewer or firm.
It’s a great idea to practice interviewing. Practicing will help you bridge the virtual divide and communicate in ways that are memorable, conversational and concise. A mock interviewer can help you discover any distractions or potential interruptions you hadn’t anticipated, and any counterproductive tendencies you might have like speaking too quickly, looking offscreen, or even interrupting the interviewer.
6. Test your tech setup before interviews.
Why is this a tip of its own? I’m sure you asked yourself that for a second there. This is because a simple step like this one helps you avoid a lot of potential heartaches. You may have a lot of confidence in your setup and its reliability but tech is frail. You just don’t want the one time that your tech setup fails to occur when you have ongoing interviews. So always test and double-check before interviews.
7. Utilize your interview time wisely.
As you’re looking to establish rapport with your interviewers, it may be rather tempting to spend too much time engaging in pleasantries or exchanging pandemic-related stories. Be conscious of the limited time that you have. Come to the interviews prepared with a few talking points which usually should be handy, and be prepared to pivot to them gracefully. Lastly, be attentive enough to notice when your interviewer is probing for certain skills or attributes, and be ready to follow the interviewer’s lead.
8. Find a connection.
Interviewers mostly connect with and recall candidates who share a hobby or outside interest. The most advantageous connections are those that help you explain to interviewers what you would be like as colleagues, your passions, discipline, motivations, leadership skills, intellectual curiosity, and ability to work in a team. If you stumble upon a connection with an interviewer, especially an uncommon connection, ensure you leverage it to stand out in a crowd.
9. Energy sells.
The virtual interface can be a tug on interpersonal communications. It is more strenuous to read social cues about when to talk and when to listen. The awkwardness can humidify the natural ebb and flow of conversation and limit the degree to which your personality and enthusiasm come through during interviews.
Do your outmost best not to let that happen. Truly energy sells and interviewers associate it with passion, drive, and innovation. To ensure that you have the energy to give, eat and sleep well before your interviews. During the course of the interviews, sit upright and look for opportunities to discuss things that you are passionate about. This will aid you in producing energy that is authentic.
10. Mine newer avenues for information about employer culture.
The present environment has created fresh opportunities to discover information about the culture and value system of potential employers. How has the organization tackled the country’s reckoning with systemic racism? How have they helped attorneys and staff operate during the pandemic? In which ways has the organization carried over its “inclusive” or “collegial” culture to the virtual world? What has the organization offered to support the well-being of attorneys and staff in these demanding times?
Search for answers that provide detailed examples of the firm’s conduct, as opposed to generic philosophies about these matters. Enquiring about activities like these will help you differentiate between potential employers and detect which ones are the best fit for you.