The New Abnormal: Preparing For A Job Interview

Finding work in any job market is not easy. Finding work in today’s “new normal” job market is even tougher. The key, as always, is to stand out among the crowd. Here are some tips that can help give you an edge up on the competition.

  • Research the company with which you’ll be interviewing. For example, does it have a comprehensive COVID-19 policy? Or do they have Friday afternoon hydroxychloroquine chugging parties?
  • Wearing a mask is now standard garb for all interviews. Wearing a ski mask is only required when interviewing for an armed robbery team.
  • Many job interviews are now conducted by phone. Avoid rookie mistakes like asking, “How much does the job pay?” or “What are you wearing?”
  • Job interviews are also now conducted on video conferencing apps like Zoom and Facetime. Dress appropriately during these meetings. For example, avoid wearing outfits that reveal large tattoos – particularly tattoos on your buttocks.
  • Your background during video interviews also says a lot about you. A neatly organized bookcase is good. A neatly stacked pile of empty Ben & Jerry containers is not.
  • Have an updated resume available. And remember, you haven’t been laying on your couch for the past five months. You’ve been doing research on binge watching Netflix during a pandemic.
  • Treat everyone you encounter with respect. For instance, this may be the first time you’ve spoken to a human being in months, but don’t blame anyone for the fact your boyfriend left you for the Grubhub delivery guy.
  • Don’t appear resentful if your interviewer uses your “I guess this is the new normal” line before you have a chance to.
  • Don’t say anything negative about your previous employers – particularly the employer who fired you for self-quarantining in her executive bathroom.
  • Score a success in the first five minutes. In this day and age, the company may declare bankruptcy after that.

Ben Alper writes for late night talk show hosts, comedians and others. He is the author of “Thank You for Not Talking: A Laughable Look at Introverts.”