How do you, as a candidate, successfully find a new full-time position, consulting assignment or onboard at a new client? Since a physical interview is most likely not going to happen, the interview will occur by phone, skype, or other medium. There are challenges for the client (how can I truly know the candidate is “the one”). You, as the candidate, are never sure if you really hit it off with the client and nailed the interview.

Here are some tips to help you secure your new position.

1. Be prepared.

Recently, there has been, on occasion, misrepresentation of the person interviewed versus the person reporting for work –  in other words, a scam. The chances of misrepresentation increases if the entire process is conducted exclusively by phone. Staffing companies and end clients have become more careful as a result. Therefore, it would be very beneficial for both you and your potential employer to have your documents available, including transcripts and other vital documents ready for review and identification. Having your documents prepared in advance will avoid wasting time.  If Skype or similar method is the beginning of the interview process have a form of ID readily available when needed and other necessary documents that  authorize you to work in the United States.

2. Have work product available, if possible.

Another tip is to have available, if possible, any technical items you created as a proof of your ability and knowledge. As long as it is not proprietary to your previous client, have it available for presentation.  Any item or difficult work problem that you have successfully completed can attest to your expertise and may be critical to securing the assignment.

3. Be ready for your close-up!

As you know, a phone or skype interview is not as reliable as face to face interaction. Therefore it is essential that you get your message across by honing your interpersonal skills. Especially since the meeting is not person to person, make sure you are ready for the video interview. Present yourself in a professional manner. I would suggest you wear proper casual dress attire, maintain good posture, and speak clearly and concisely. Posture and verbal conversation are essential and will help you convey your message in a positive way.  Create a pleasant general environment for the viewer and avoid having children or pets in the room. As always, before any interview, whether in person, skype, or phone, take the time to review the company, its products, and how it presents itself to the world. The better prepared you are, the better the chance to secure the assignment.

4. Fulltime or Consulting, or a little of both.

Although full-time hires are accomplished in a similar way, the onboarding process is more complicated. Many corporations are in the process of defining new procedures or postponing the actual hire until the Coronavirus subsides.  If the project is critical, the company may consider a consulting assignment in lieu of a fulltime hire. Other options for the company is the  ‘try-and-buy’ method. In this case, the full-time hire starts as a consulting arrangement that will convert to a full-time hire. It is critical that the intended temporary consultant is within the hiring guidelines of the full-time position and salary requirements. A person who traditionally works as a full-time employee and accepts a temporary consulting assignment should accept the assignment as an hourly employee with all taxes paid and deducted during the payroll process.  Avoid getting incorporated if working as a consultant is a short term solution until things get back to normal. However, if you want to now start your career as a consultant, speak to your accountant before incorporating. An LLC is not a separate tax entity like a corporation. An LLC is more like a partnership or a sole proprietorship where all the profits and losses pass-through the business to the owner. The owner of the LLC then reports this information on their personal tax returns. The LLC itself does not pay any federal income taxes. Thus, many staffing firms will not risk violating the IRS Misclassification Act by working with an LLC.

5. Congratulations! You’ve gotten the job.

Once onboarded, more than likely you will be working off-site to accomplish the intended project requirements in lieu of onsite interaction with management. Although the assignment is time and materials and not a statement of work, keep a complete diary of your daily accomplishments for presentation. Review your work at the end of each day and identify your accumulated accomplishments.

John DiBari
CEO, DTG Consulting Solutions


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