LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Virtual Job Interviews

LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Virtual Job Interviews

LinkedIn is releasing new tools in response to all aspects on the job hunt going virtual due to COVID-19, including the job interview itself.

LinkedIn is launching a test version of a new video introduction feature, as well as an AI-powered tool that gives feedback on peoples’ spoken word responses.

Here’s more about each of these new tools.

Video Introductions

LinkedIn is testing a feature that’s designed to improve peoples’ ability to make a positive first impression to hiring managers.

“We’ve found that 65 percent of people believe that the impression you make online is just as important as the one you make in person, but it can be challenging to show your soft skills to potential employers when you’re not in the same room.”

LinkedIn’s new video introductions feature allows hiring manager to request an introduction as part of the hiring process.

The candidate can then respond either by recording an introduction or providing written copy.

LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Virtual Job Interviews

“A carefully crafted response can help you stand out before the official interview process even begins,” the company notes.

AI-Powered Feedback

LinkedIn is bringing AI-powered instant feedback to its interview preparation tools, which can help candidates prepare for common screening questions.

“When it comes to the interview, more than 50 percent of people say they lack confidence,” LinkedIn says.

To help candidates answer questions more confidently, the instant feedback tools will listen to peoples’ responses and analyze the speech content.

Users can record practice answers and submit them to the AI feedback tool to get an assessment on their answer delivery.

Feedback provided by the tool is aimed at helping people refine their interview and speaking skills.

For example, users will receive advice on pacing, how many times they use filler words, and sensitive phrases to avoid.

LinkedIn Releases New Tools for Virtual Job Interviews

If they choose to, users can send their recorded responses to their LinkedIn connections to get some more personal feedback.

This feature is rolling out globally and can be accessed immediately after applying for jobs through LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s Video Interview Tips

Included in LinkedIn’s announcement are three key tips for successful video interviews.

Cut the small talk

It’s important to establish a realtionship quickly in a video interview.

“You don’t have the luxury of small talk on a video call,” the company notes.

Use the first few minutes of a video call to establish a personal connection.

It may help to check the interviewer’s LinkedIn page for any background information or mutual connections that could give you something to talk about.

Keep it quiet

There’s a long list of potential interruptions when working from home – whether its kids, roommates, or family members who are also under stay at home orders.

If you’re sharing a space with other people, let them know you have an important interview scheduled so they don’t accidentally walk in or make an excessive amount of noise.

Prep your tech

An obvious but often overlooked tip is to make sure your technology works, and you know how to use it correctly before the interview.

If you just got a new webcam, for example, you may want to have a practice call with friends to learn how it works before going live with a potential employer.

Source: LinkedIn Official Blog

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5 Lessons Learned After One Month of Virtual Events

5 Lessons Learned After One Month of Virtual Events

It’s no secret that this is a challenging time for field marketers and event marketers. By now, we’re all well aware that we need to pivot from in-person to virtual events – but knowing how to get there and how to achieve your desired result is easier said than done.

For those who specialize in events, trade shows, or field activities, making the pivot from in-person to virtual events is likely unchartered territory. Many of us are figuring it out as we go, experimenting with new technologies, and learning how to fail fast.

We’re over a month into our new reality, and our field marketing team has launched six virtual events. To help as you continue to pivot from in-person to virtual events, I’m sharing the top five lessons we’ve learned so far.

Always Have a Plan B…and a Plan C

Our day-to-day reality is changing fast, and when it comes to events, there are a lot of factors that are outside of our control. What might seem like a fool-proof idea today, could be almost impossible to execute by tomorrow. Having backup plans in place is critical for success.

When we canceled one of our in-person dining experiences, our Plan B was to host the event virtually by having a celebrity chef livestream a fully produced cooking class from a studio kitchen. As part of that experience, we would also send the attendees meal kits to cook along with the chef.

Shortly after launching, the shelter in place orders went into effect in New York City, taking studio production and meal kit assembly off the table. We then had to pivot to Plan C – having the chef film the video herself in her own kitchen, selecting a recipe that focused on pantry staples, and sending gift cards to all attendees to buy the necessary ingredients.

While the meal kits would have been a nice touch and a studio-produced video might have had more polish, the end result still allows us to connect with our customers in a meaningful way.

Shelve the Presentations

If your inbox is anything like mine, you’re receiving multiple webinar invites every day. While I still think webinars are an important tactic and content is (and always will be) king, what we’ve found our customers really want right now is an experience.

In fact, I’ve watched registration for some of our virtual experiences fill up twice as fast as our previous in-person events.

According to Forbes, the scheduling platform Doodle has seen a “296% increase in group meetings for virtual-only happy hours, cocktail hours, wine/beer/drink social events,” and a “100% increase in group meetings booked for virtual-only yoga, dance, exercise, workout, fitness, aerobics, and Pilates sessions.”

Consider swapping your next content-led event for a hands-on virtual experience, like a baking class, wine tasting, or craft workshop. You can still insert your messaging by having an executive speak at the top of the event or asking your sales reps to interact with customers on video or in a live chat.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Launching an event that isn’t 100 percent planned might make you nervous, but I’m here to tell you to just do it. You need to move quickly in times of change.

Once you have an “MVP” (minimum viable product), go ahead and launch. Put your event out into the market to see how your customers are receiving the idea. Take note of what’s resonating and what’s not, and use that feedback to continuously adapt.

With some of our initial virtual events, we started small by targeting our “MVP” to a single market. We then gathered the feedback from internal and external stakeholders on how that event was resonating with customers. Once we were able to incorporate some of that feedback, we then expanded our efforts to target a larger, regional audience.

Along those same lines, don’t be afraid to try something different. Times of constraint can breed creativity. Not every idea will result in a home run, but as long as you’re failing fast, you’ll be able to continuously improve.

(Over) Communicate and Collaborate

As our team continues to pivot from in-person to virtual events, we’re noticing that some of our field marketing efforts are overlapping with other teams’ campaigns.

We’ve learned that it’s imperative to collaborate with other marketing teams to ensure we aren’t duplicating efforts. We also know that we share an audience with our entire marketing organization, so we need to be mindful that we aren’t overwhelming our customers with too many offers.

Since most people are working remotely right now, make sure you have the appropriate channels in place to facilitate an open, continuous dialogue with your marketing counterparts, and don’t be afraid to over communicate. This could look like a group chat forum or a daily standup via video conference.

In our case, we’ve increased communications in our internal Slack channel with our demand generation team. This has allowed us to quickly relay event dates, share marketing lists, and communicate updates as events evolve.

Test Everything

Without onsite IT support or your typical office setup, prepping technology for a virtual event can be a daunting task. While testing our new platforms, we’ve found numerous issues that could have derailed our events if left undiscovered.

If your event involves external speakers, I cannot stress enough the importance of testing. Test the technology on your own first, and once you have a feel for it, loop in your internal colleagues to simulate the actual experience. Finally, invite your outside speakers for testing.

This might seem like a lot of testing for one event, but making sure everyone is comfortable with the technology will ensure everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

To learn more about how our field marketing team is making the pivot from in-person to virtual events, listen to Adobe’s Head of Commercial Field Marketing and our Senior Field Marketing Strategist share Marketo’s overall strategy in the on-demand webinar From In-person to Digital: Shifting Your Event Strategy.

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virtual events

A Guide to Running Virtual Events — Grow Your Business

As an events organizer, your mind is conditioned to think of every worst case scenario and plan accordingly. We can honestly say that a global pandemic did not make our list of potential worst case scenarios—but here we are. Given this new reality, virtual events have become more important than ever.

Events around the world are being cancelled or postponed. It’s every event organizer’s worst nightmare. But we see an opportunity here: it’s time to get back to basics. Let’s find creative ways to continue to build community and connection in a world without the limitations of travel or cost.

In this article, you’ll learn tips from Shopify’s Experiential Marketing team (behind events like Shopify Unite and Pursuit) on how to plan, host, and run successful virtual events.

Virtual events: bringing offline to online

Many conferences planned for the first half of 2020 have opted to go virtual, digital, or remote, and attendees who planned to join in-person can now experience the talks and conversations from the comfort of their own homes.

With humans’ ever-shortening attention spans, it’s a struggle to engage attendees in this new world, but it’s also an opportunity to connect in new and exciting ways. Virtual events can be quite powerful and scalable, as they allow people from around the world to gather in a virtual space, connect, and share ideas.

How to start planning your event

virtual events: Shopify happy hour
The first ever Women in Shopify Virtual Happy Hour was hosted using Zoom on March 2020, organized by Alli Burg from Lucid, Deb Hopkins from Causeway305, and Kelly Vaughn from The Taproom Agency.

Just like any other event, think about the purpose of your gathering. You’ll want to brainstorm and think about the following questions: 

  • How do you want attendees to feel?
  • What format do you think would work best? 
  • How can you keep people feeling engaged?
  • Is this a smaller, more intimate gathering limited to a certain number of people? 
  • Is this a larger scale event dedicated to sharing information more widely?

Aren’t virtual events just webinars?

A webinar is typically one-to-many and sometimes pre-recorded, with little to no opportunity for attendees to interact with each other. Challenge yourself to think beyond a ‘webinar’ format—what makes your event something people wouldn’t want to miss?

Decide on roles for your team during your virtual event

Similar to an in-person event, you’ll want to make sure everyone on your team knows their specific role and responsibilities. Examples of virtual event roles include:

  • Registration/greeter: Welcomes attendees as they join the space and is in charge of collecting attendance data after the online event.
  • Chat moderator: Posts the rules/code of conduct into the chat, encourages attendee participation, and removes anyone who breaks the rules.
  • Host: Makes sure that the event stays on time and follows the pre-planned agenda. This is especially helpful when there are multiple speakers.
  • Technical admin: Remains on standby in case of technical issues or troubleshooting required during the virtual event. If your chosen technology fails, this person would be in charge of emailing all attendees to ask them to reboot, or provide information about Plan B technology if you need to switch tools mid-event.

You might also like: Building Partnerships: Shopify Partners Share How They’re Creating Long-Term Value.

Find the right tools

Instead of a venue, you will need a platform to connect you and your attendees together. Your choice should tie back to the goals of your event, your ideal audience size, the experience you’re looking to create, and the type of programming you’ll offer. Here are some recommendations worth exploring:

“Instead of a venue, you will need a platform to connect you and your attendees together.”

  • Zoom Webinars and Zoom Rooms: For content sharing and breakout sessions. The Zoom Rooms feature allows you to break out into smaller sessions for networking, and the Zoom Webinar feature allows you to create a webinar space. Note: Zoom has received bad press from security holes in its platform recently, so don’t choose this tool for confidential meetings.
  • Google Meet & Hangouts: Virtual space for 1:1s and meetings that can be recorded.
  • WebinarJam: Creates a recording and replay of your webinar that attendees can join anytime.
  • Crowdcast: Host live video Q&As, interviews, summits, webinars, and more.
  • Hopin: An online events platform built for broadcasting content and attendee collaboration.
  • HeySummit: Host and manage your online summits, webinars, video content, and more. 
  • Livestorm: A video communication platform, offering meeting, event, and webinar functionality.
  • Whereby: A flexible tool that provides you with video meetings in your browser—no downloads or logins required for guests.

Our checklist for running perfect virtual events

virtual events: man sitting at desk

Now that you know who your event is for and the tools you can use to run it, here is our checklist of what to do from setup to going live, and following up after your event:

1. Practice makes perfect—test everything in advance of your event

  • Test the software and your internet connection. Get your speakers and colleagues in the virtual space together to test out how it will look and feel when you get to the main event. Do this at least one day before your event.
  • Plan ahead. Is there any content you can pre-record and share during the event? Perhaps a wrap-up video of some recent updates or highlights from members of your community? Your future self will thank you for anything you do to lighten your load during the actual event.

2. Set up your space

  • Set up your laptop on a solid surface. Make sure there is no risk of it tipping or falling. Imagine if that happened during your event!
  • Place your computer at eye level. You don’t want to be looking down at your webcam.
  • Connect to the power and internet. Make sure you have a solid connection so you won’t freeze, lag, or drop off during your event.
  • Avoid choosing a spot with a window in your shot. This will cause the background to be overexposed and you to be underexposed. 
  • Wear headphones with a microphone attached. Standard Apple headphones work well for this, but you can use any set of quality headphones.
  • Find a quiet room. Make sure you’re in a silent place without any background noise or distractions. Your audience wants to be able to hear you, and not what’s going on around you.

3. Go live! 

virtual events: woman sitting at desk front view

  • Email your attendees. Do this the day of the event, an hour before, as well as a few minutes in advance of your start time to remind them to log in and join the session.
  • Record your event. If possible, record your virtual events through a screen capture video or through the tool you are using (Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.). This allows you to share your content afterwards with your internal team, and with attendees who couldn’t make it or want to rewatch.
  • Make sure your team members are aware of their roles. Everyone should feel confident that they can deliver on their responsibilities.

4. Keep your audience engaged

Think about some ways to engage your audience during the event that will discourage them from tuning out. Be aware that online and remote content is very different from on-stage content. Try to avoid long-form talks, keep content simple, and consider live Q&A or panel sessions as engaging ways to keep your audience entertained. Here are some ideas:

“Be aware that online and remote content is very different from on-stage content.”

  • Show your face. This may seem like a strange suggestion, but people are more likely to stay engaged if they can see the presenter. It’s also a good idea to encourage audience members to keep their camera on as well. You can even have fun with it and download SnapChat filters for your camera.
  • Have live music. Sound can create very powerful experiences. Think about ways you can play with sound by having a live performer kick things off or close things down. You could also assign someone as the DJ to play music from their laptop while people enter the space, setting the stage.
  • Show them your pet. At the beginning of your event or while in breakout groups, have attendees get comfortable showing their space and any of their furry fellow inhabitants.
  • Hold a contest. Perhaps the attendee with the best question as selected by the speaker gets a prize shipped to them or a gift card in their inbox. Contests help break up the format of speaker after speaker, and can be a fun way to keep your audience’s attention.
  • Use breakout groups. Some solutions like Zoom offer the opportunity to break out into smaller groups for discussion. Be sure to have questions prepared as conversation starters for these sessions.
  • Don’t forget to use the chat. This is a great way to encourage participants to talk amongst each other throughout your virtual events, and can also be used to share reminders or even activity prompts with the group.
  • Find spontaneous ways to surprise and delight your audience. Perhaps an unannounced speaker, an icebreaker activity, a community standup time (where people can share updates, pitches, or job postings), or a giveaway. Throwing in a few random items that aren’t scheduled can bring your audience’s attention back.

You might also like: 5 Things You Should Know About Forming Strategic Partnerships.

5. Stay connected and follow up after the event 

virtual events: woman sitting at desk smiling

Once you’ve gone through all the work of planning, creating, and running the perfect virtual event, make sure to follow up afterwards with the following action steps:

  • Create a Slack channel or Facebook group to continue the conversation. This is a space you should monitor for any questions around the content, and encourage your event speakers and community moderators to engage with attendees.
  • Send a post-event email. Include a recording of the event (if possible), photos you’d like to share, highlights and key resources, a date for your next event, and a survey for attendees to share their experience and suggestions for improvement for your next event. 
  • Collect data. How many people joined the session? What are the most important insights from your survey results? What anecdotal stories came out of this experience? Use this data to improve and build out your next event!

Your community is here

You’ve made it! You’ve read through all the tools and tips you need to get started, but we know it’s not easy.

It’s common to feel anxious, nervous, and lonely during this time. Know that you’re not alone in this, and that Shopify is here to support you and our community during these trying times. We’re curating a wide range of upcoming events to help connect you with communities in your virtual backyard as well as around the world. Shopify Partners are also stepping up to support one another—it’s been incredible to watch.

This is a new world, and we’re facing it together as a community. Let’s share ideas and overcome challenges as a team.

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Pondering the Power of Disruption and Risk in Content Marketing [The Weekly Wrap]

The New and Future Reality of Virtual Events [The Weekly Wrap]

The New and Future Reality of Virtual Events [The Weekly Wrap]

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Fake it to make it | How to build a virtual influencer

Fake it to make it | How to build a virtual influencer

We investigate the tech and the ideas behind virtual influencers like Lil Miquela and Liam Nikuro by creating one of our own.

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