It's a choice I made when I decided to do the International Business Exchange fall of my senior year - I'd have to recruit for full-time positions in America from Australia. While I've only had a few interviews so far, I'd like to share my experiences recruiting from abroad. I'm currently recruiting for actuarial analyst positions, but the process is the same for other financial positions, too.
Getting the Interviews.
A month before recruiting started, a frightening thought crossed my mind. What if no employers want to hold a Skype interview for me? Of course, this was a silly thought, because in the world we live in, it's just as easy to hold a virtual interview as an in-person interview. I think this is a thought that may occur to many people who are deciding whether or not to study abroad during recruiting. While ensuring you a have a job when you graduate is important, I personally believe recruiting should not be a reason to not study abroad. While some employers may not hold Skype interviews, quite a few firms will, so it shouldn't make a difference in your decision.
The process has been just as easy as if I were back in New York City. I apply for positions through On Campus Recruiting, I'm notified when I get an interview, I pick a time-slot, then I email the recruitment team to make sure a Skype interview may be accommodated. There hasn't been an instance where I was invited to interview and they could not accommodate me with a Skype or phone interview.
The Time Difference.
Before coming to Australia, I didn't think too much about the time difference. I just knew I would be 15 hours ahead and would have to talk to those back home either relatively early or late. However, when you are working on business time, the standard 9am - 5pm, this equates to midnight - 8am my time. My interviews have fallen in the range of midnight to 2am.
It's been both tiring and interesting having interviews that late. For me, I think the most beneficial aspect of having the interviews so late was that I had to go through a full "normal" day beforehand, so a lot of the nervousness was taken away until just a few hours before the interview. The worst part was staying up late for the interviews - I'm usually in bed by 11pm!
Regardless, time difference has not been a huge issue regarding recruiting from abroad and really, time difference is the worst for those recruiting in America from Asia or Australia.
Before recruiting, I never had an interview via Skype. The most important thing to do when interviewing from Skype is to make sure to test out the camera before the interview - make sure your chair is placed in a position where your full upper-body can be seen on the screen. Also make sure there is nothing behind you, it's best if there is just a plain wall.
A Skype interview is very different than an in-person interview. It is a lot easier in an in-person interview to feel the part - you're in an interview room with your interviewer and you are speaking directly to a person. Over Skype, you are in a different environment, most likely your own room, and you are speaking through a screen. This was one of my biggest problems with Skype, as I get most of my energy from having a person physically in front of me speaking with me. The best you can do in this situation is to just continually focus on the interview and try to find other ways to get energy and connect, whether it's listening to music seconds before the interview or practicing in the mirror right before.
Of course, there are also benefits to Skype interviews. Personally, I enjoyed wearing my Sperrys with my skirt suit, they're definitely more comfortable than heels! It also takes less time to prepare for the interview - you just need to make sure you're seated in front of your computer at the time of the interview. You don't have to worry about finding the office building, knowing how long it takes to get to the location, etc.
Recruiting Is Definitely Possible From Abroad.
Recruiting is definitely still possible from abroad and while it is something to think about before choosing to study abroad during that important semester, it should definitely not be a deciding factor solely based on the thought that it is impossible to recruit from abroad or you won't get good interviews or anything like that. If there's a will there's a way. If you want to study abroad senior year and you want a full-time job when you graduate, you can still have both of those. You may have to work a little harder, but it is definitely possible.
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