We won’t sugarcoat it—it can be incredibly disheartening and frustrating to be a job seeker right now. But whether you’re a recent graduate, were recently laid off, or are just sick of your current position, it’s still possible to land a new gig despite the pandemic and our current economic situation. Get inspired by these career development and Zoom interview tips to land a job in tech in the time of corona.
Use this Time to Upskill
You may be interested in launching a tech career during the pandemic. Maybe you were laid off from another field and are looking to pivot towards a wealth of opportunities in tech. If this sounds like you, you’ll first want to determine if tech is the right field for you. To do this, we recommend trying out free coding programs. You can check out ours here.
Once you’ve had a chance to play around with some free programs, consider attending a paid bootcamp or a tech academy like Kenzie. Programs like ours teach you coding or UX Design in 6 to 12 months. You’ll get certified and graduate job-ready.
If you’re already in tech, you can look into shorter-term upskill and certificate programs depending on your professional needs. Our 6-month UX Design program was created for professionals and career-changers who want to upskill. With hiring freezes and economic dips happening, there’s never been a better time to reevaluate your current skill set and figure out what you can do to level up.
Consider Remote Opportunities
If you weren’t open to or actively looking for remote opportunities before, now may be the time to reconsider. Thankfully, many companies are now more open to the idea of hiring people outside their city limits. Tech companies like Twitter have already decided to look for talent beyond Silicon Valley. This is great news for those in Middle America who want to get into tech without moving to a larger city. Silver lining? We think so.
Create a Job Search Game Plan
Job searching always requires strategy but especially so in the time of coronavirus. In order to combat feelings of stress, you can sit down and write out a game plan. You’ll want to list positions of interest and include a to-do list with deadlines to keep yourself on track. You may also want to include some actionable affirmations—these remind you of how you want to feel during your search (calm, confident, etc.) and of the activities you can do to help you stay positive. Here’s a quick example:
My Job Search Game Plan
Positions of Interest: UX Designer, UX Engineer, App Developer
- Update LinkedIn profile & online portfolio by August 8
- Refresh resume by August 10
- Draft a cover letter by August 11
- Organize a list of industry contacts to reach out to by August 12
- Draft email to industry contacts by August 12
- Email industry contacts by August 13
- Begin applications by August 14
I will keep myself feeling motivated and calm with my yoga practice, daily walks, writing in my gratitude journal, and playing video games.
I will remind myself of the UX Design badass I am by brushing up on my skills with an online course, listening to a career-focused podcast each day, and going to one virtual networking event per week.
A job hunt can feel particularly urgent and should be treated as such, but don’t neglect your mental health and well-being during the process. Your job search will run more smoothly the calmer you are when browsing LinkedIn posts, doing interviews, and negotiating salaries. Your sense of composure will translate to potential employers and show them you are a stellar candidate who can remain calm under pressure.
Keeping a positive and grounded mindset also helps curb the heightened sense of anxiety and urgency you may feel. You can foster this sense of positivity through meditation, journaling, or by engaging in mental health or spiritual practices that bring you feelings of peace.
You can also work on a daily gratitude practice. Studies have shown that gratitude practices (like writing down a few things you’re grateful for each day) can improve your optimism and sense of well-being. This can be a game-changer and much-needed practice when combating the stress of both a job hunt and a global pandemic.
With these practices in mind, we’re confident you’ll be successful in landing a job in tech during the coronavirus pandemic. Now that you’ve got your game plan, let’s get prepped for virtual interviews.
Zoom Interview Tips
You can’t have a tech job search in the time of corona without a few Zoom interviews. These interviews are a bit different than in-person interviews— you have to figure out ways to make your conversation feel natural without having the normal body language, eye contact, pauses, and small talk that make in-person conversations what they are.
Before your interview begins, you’ll need to set yourself up for technical success. Make sure your laptop is charged, your microphone and speakers work, and that you clean up your background or select a professional virtual one to use instead. Also, be sure to dress for the job, like you would for an in-person interview. You should also ensure you have a strong WiFi connection, turn off notifications, and silence your cell phone. If you live with family, a partner, or roommates, let them know to not disturb you during the interview.
If you’ve never used Zoom before, you should do a practice run ahead of your big interview. Call a friend using the video-conferencing platform to get used to the navigation and its functions.
While you’re on your Zoom interview, be mindful of where you’re looking. You’ll likely be tempted to look at your screen so you can see your interviewer, but don’t forget to look into your webcam as well. This way you’ll appear to be making eye contact with the interviewer.
You may feel like rushing through your answers because you don’t have any of the environmental distractions, natural pauses, and background noises that come with in-person interviews. Luckily, you can create natural pauses of your own by drinking water, taking notes, or making small talk (at the beginning or end of your call). If you’re soft spoken, project your voice as some people tend to speak quieter than usual on video calls. Finally, don’t forget to mute yourself when your interviewer is speaking to minimize distraction and ensure you can hear them clearly.
Tech Companies Hiring Right Now
While tech hiring may have slowed back in March and April, things are picking up again for a variety of companies, big and small. We scoured job sites to find the companies hiring UX Designers and Software Engineers right now. Submit your resume to one of these businesses during your COVID-19 job search.
Proofpoint is a cybersecurity company currently looking to recruit Software Engineers, Front End Tech Leads, and more across the U.S. and Canada. As a Proofpoint employee, you’d work to create and enhance products to protect people and their data from cyber threats. View current openings here.
Hatchways is a small company doing big things. The Toronto-based company helps new Software Engineers get on-the-job experience in the field. Currently, they’re looking to add a remote or Toronto-based Full-stack Developer to the team. Learn more about the work the Hatchways team is doing and how you can get involved here.
Microsoft is hiring big time right now! There are open positions within the company all over the world, including positions in UX and Software Engineering. Explore the plethora of open positions here.
Yes indeed, one of the largest job search websites is hiring too. The company is currently on the hunt for a bevy of talented Engineers in Seattle, Austin, and Sunnyvale. They’ve also got a few remote positions to fill. Check out their listings here
IBM is known for innovation in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, among other sectors. Currently, the company has over 2,000 openings around the world for job seekers to browse, including positions as Developers and UX Designers. Peep current listings here.
Paypal seeks to democratize financial services to make moving and managing money a right for all citizens. They boast generous benefits and currently list over 500 jobs in the Engineering family. Paypal has offices in New York, San Jose, Chicago, and Austin, among other cities. Find current listings here.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is looking for new hires. The company makes inclusion a high priority and offers community resource groups like Parents at Square and Neurodiversity. There are a variety of openings in tech positions for remote workers and those in a handful of cities in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Japan, China, and Canada. View openings at Square here.
Ready to land a job in tech? With a few of our Zoom interview tips, our roundup of tech companies currently hiring, and your new confidence boosting game plan, we’re certain you’ll score a job soon, pandemic be damned. Go get ‘em, tiger!
Ready to jumpstart your career as a UX Designer or Coder? Learn more about our 12-month Software Engineering and 6-month UX Design programs, or check out our free beginner’s coding program Kenzie Free.