Since opening up our beta in Aug-end, we have been seeing job-seekers successfully leverage Workomo to prep on their interviewer before jumping on a Zoom call. Am sure two questions are crossing your mind as you read this — Why is getting to know your interviewer before the call important? And why should I use Workomo to do my prep, instead of looking up the person on LinkedIn or Google Search? Let me answer both these through what we are hearing from our users.
Q1. Why is getting to know your interviewer before the Zoom call important?
Because the majority of interviews are happening over Zoom & Meet, and it’s that much harder to leave an impression over video compared to in-person. Because you can’t use your body language & energy to ‘charm’ someone over software. Because economic uncertainty driven by the pandemic has made competition for the same jobs that much more intense. Because unlike 15 years back, it’s likely that your interviewer is a digital ‘creator’ of some sort and extremely passionate about it — something that you can use to your advantage.
Gone are the days when “reading up a company’s website” and “asking intelligent questions in the end” itself differentiated a candidate — these are now table-stakes. One positive to come out of the present video interviews paradigm is that as a candidate, you know beforehand who you are interviewing with. I remember my days of interviewing for major consulting firms and Investment Banks as a young Associate — sitting in their offices for a whole day, with people coming in one-after-another for rounds😓 There was NO way I could know each of them beforehand.
Now it’s different. Details of every interviewer is present on your Zoom meeting calendar. Powerful software like Workomo can automatically identify & pull in relevant insights you need to know about them, all accessible to you with 1-click. Imagine opening the conversation by bringing up the fact that your interviewer worked at Google in 2012, which is when you also interned there. Or that you noticed his Twitter handle mentioning ‘idolize Maradona’, and that you feel today’s Messi is better🙇🏽♂️
Q2. Why should I use Workomo to do my prep, instead of looking up the person on LinkedIn or Google Search?
Because you probably don’t have more than 1–2 mins to prep before rushing into your Zoom interview. Because you are cognitively overloaded with working-from-home, taking meetings all day from your messy living room, and not having the bandwidth to even remember the last name of each interviewer, let alone doing 5–7 clicks and jumping through many hoops to get to someone’s profile. Let me not even go into running a comprehensive cross-platform search on LinkedIn & Twitter, & trying to distill all this info into key insights that you can then use. Even a 10x salesperson who does this day-in-day-out for a job struggles with this.
We have designed Workomo grounds-up to solve these pain points & make it a “remote-first” people insights product:
- No typing or remembering names — Workomo integrates into the calendar and automatically identifies people in your meetings.
- Aggregates data from multiple sources — through the Chrome extension, a contact’s ‘Cue Card’ is available at 1-click. This Cue Card combines data from multiple public sources, so you don’t need extensive search.
- Designed to be digested in <60 secs — people insights in the Cue Card are distilled so you can skim them quickly and access all the right talking points.
- We remind you to do people-prep at the right time & places — with the goal of making interview-prep more productive, we use a combination of smart triggers (a timer on the extension icon, a meeting card auto pop-up on the calendar, within the meeting invite card in Google Calendar, pop-up right as you enter a Zoom or Meet call) so you don’t forget to prep but also, don’t waste precious time doing it.
- Utilize pockets of time during a Zoom or Meet call — there are often waiting-room scenarios in video calls. Now you can use these to continue your prep, as Cue Cards are seamlessly accessible WITHIN the Meet window and RIGHT NEXT to Zoom windows. So prep & plan your talking points without leaving your Zoom or Meet context.
As a job seeker, you are presently wading through unchartered territories of virtual interviews. There are no playbooks to succeed at it. As tribal beings, evolution has wired us to respond to and judge based on in-person energy & cues (that’s what conferences, coffee shops & bars were for). I mean, how do you beat evolution & still leave a solid impression in a Zoom interview?
The answer is — do your people-prep before the meeting. You are living in the age of the creator economy, where professionals are increasingly voicing their passions, interests & expertise digitally. Finding common connections & areas of interest can help you break the ice in even a drab Zoom call. And with software like Workomo, you can do this in 1–2 mins, without eating into your packed schedule or taxing yourself mentally.
PS: this post is part of the “How Innovators use Workomo” series, in which we share how our most retained users are using the product. Check out the previous posts on using Workomo for networking on Lunchclub & prepping on candidates as a hiring manager.
Note: this article first appeared on Soumitra’s Medium blog here.