How to prepare for the STEM Women Weekly Online Careers Events

How to prepare for the STEM Women Weekly Online Careers Events

Homepage, Popular

Starting on Wednesday 1st April, STEM Women are hosting Weekly Online Careers Events for female STEM students and recent graduates who are interested in starting a career within a STEM industry.

A new way for candidates to meet, network and secure interviews with potential employers, our new virtual events are the perfect place to learn more about current graduate schemes and opportunities.

If you’re interested in attending these weekly online events, please fill out our sign-up form and you’ll hear back from us if your application has been successful.

How to Prepare for Online Careers Events

Once you have been entered into the event, employers will look over your profile and decide on whether to progress your profile to the next stage. This will usually consist of an online interview or networking session with a potential employer and will take place on Wednesday afternoons. 

It’s important that you are well prepared for this part of the Online Careers Event, so we’ve put together a few top tips on how to perform well during an online interview, assessment or networking session.

Do your research

If you have been invited to the next stage of the process by one, or a number of employers, it’s important that you start researching those companies as soon as possible. Make sure you read any information the company sends you regarding the online session.

As well as researching the company and the graduate schemes they offer, you could also find out a bit more information about the person, or people, that you will be chatting with. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Having a strong list of personalised questions can help you stand out.

Update your online and offline profiles

Before you sign up to our Online Careers Events, you should make sure you have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile with a professional profile picture. This is something that potential employers will look at before deciding to progress you to the next stage, so make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way possible.

Alongside your online profiles, it’s also a good idea to update your CV so it’s ready to send over to employers upon request. If your interview or networking session goes well, you may well be asked to send your CV over straight after the event has ended.

Download relevant software and run updates

When you are invited to the next stage by a company, they will tell you what platform they will be conducting the online session on. This will usually be Skype or a similar video chat platform. If you haven’t already, set up an account, download all relevant software and test it. If you already have a Skype account, check that your name is professional and that you can remember your log in details.

An hour before the session begins, it’s also worth logging into your account to check for any updates that you may need to run.

You are likely to be sent an invitation to a Skype interview via email. Respond in a professional and timely manner as you will need to select and confirm a suitable time.

Practice makes perfect

Before the event, it’s a good idea to run through a few practice interviews using the relevant online platform. You could do this with a friend or family member, or just record yourself and watch it back.

This process will help you check that your microphone, video and internet connection are all working, plus it will help you to start planning your answers to frequently asked questions.

If you find that your microphone isn’t performing well enough, use headphones to avoid any feedback and ensure you don’t start hearing yourself echo.

Another important tip to remember during online interviews or assessments is to give yourself time to understand and digest the questions you are being asked. A good way of doing this is to count to five in your head, take a deep breath and then begin answering. This will also help to avoid you talking over the interviewer if there is a slight delay.

Plan your answers

Alongside conducting practice interviews, you can also plan what you’d like to say by structuring your answers. One way of doing this is to use the STAR technique - situation, task, action, result. So, when describing a certain skill, you can talk about the context, the goal you were trying to achieve, the steps you took and the outcome. This helps keep your answers concise and ensures you remain focused.

Another top tip during online interviews or assessments is to write a few keywords or prompts on sticky notes around the edge of your laptop.

Avoid distractions during the event

It’s important that you choose a quiet spot in your house to set up during the event. Whether that’s at a desk, in your bedroom or on the living room table, you need to make sure you will not be disturbed whilst talking to employers. Inform everyone you live with that you will be busy between set times and place a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door.

It’s also a good idea to either turn your phone off or turn it to face down so you don’t lose your concentration.

Look professional

Make sure you dress professionally, similarly to how you would if you were attending an interview or a face-to-face careers event. You should make sure the room you are in is well lit and the backdrop is tidy and appropriate. Sit in a comfortable chair that allows you to sit up straight and always look directly at the employer you are speaking to, try not to look at your own video during the session.

Treat the session just like a face-to-face interview, so remember to show confidence, smile and display open body language throughout.

Prepare for technical difficulties

Even if you’ve got a strong internet connection and have downloaded the most recent software, technical issues can still arise. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ensure that the employer you are scheduled to speak to has your phone number and email address, just in case the connection drops during your session.

Follow up your session

Reach out the following day to say thanks and further express your interest. You could also add them on LinkedIn if you think it went well.

STEM Women Online Careers Events

Employers take part in career fairs because they are looking for new and exciting talent to join their business. Our Online Careers Events are no different. No matter what format of interview you encounter, make sure you’re prepared to make a lasting impression and really make the most of this unique opportunity.

If you're a student interested in taking part, please fill out the form found here.

If you're an employer interested in joining one of our Weekly Online Careers Events, get in touch with Sophie using sophiec@stemwomen.co.uk.