Ace Virtual Interviews and Thrive in the Virtual Workplace — Embry-Riddle Shows You How

The first of several career readiness programs to be hosted virtually by Embry-Riddle will take place April 28.
The first of several career readiness programs to be hosted virtually by Embry-Riddle will take place April 28.

Although much of the world has transitioned online, due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, career preparation should not be put on hold for undergraduates hoping to enter the workforce. In addition to the array of virtual services Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers to keep students connected and engaged while distance-learning, Career Services is also providing daily information and inspiration to help them maintain momentum heading toward graduation. 

The goal: Give students the tools to win virtual positions and stand out, even while they’re sitting behind a computer screen.  

“In a virtual environment, even greater attention to detail is needed to come across as the best you possible,” said Kevin Hewerdine, executive director of Career Services at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus. “However, today’s students are so far advanced in digital awareness, virtual communication and working effectively online that, in time, companies will be learning from them.” 

The skills that come from being a digital native do give students a head start, Hewerdine added, but those skills require sharpening. That’s where career readiness programs come in. 

Career Services is publishing how-to blogs and video tutorials, as well as hosting virtual events, to help students adjust to the new normal and continue preparing throughout the summer. Some of those initiatives are listed as follows: 




  • Career Services will partner with Embraer to host a Virtual Town Hall on virtual job searching. This event will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, on Zoom.
  • Alumni Engagement and Career Services will host a series of “Talon Talks” focusing on the changing job market, as well as providing insights on emerging career options, and more, starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.
  • Career Services will host “Navigating the Virtual Interview” at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 6, via Zoom
  • Career Services will host a webinar titled “How to Stand Out as an Intern in a Virtual Workplace” in mid-May (exact date and time to be announced soon)
  • New programming is updated regularly on Handshake, which is also where students and graduates can access virtual event links.

“Right now is the perfect time to build your skillsets, participate in webinars, take online seminars,” Hewerdine said. “And don’t wait for an employer to post a job listing. Increase your network and create a position for yourself by offering your services, oftentimes for free. Being proactive will make you stand out as a candidate of choice in the near future.”

Tips for Succeeding in Your New Virtual Role

So you’ve got the job — now what?

“An internship is an opportunity for students to gain experience, build critical professional networks and demonstrate that they are the best candidate for future full-time opportunities,” said Alicia Smyth, executive director of Career Services at the Daytona Beach Campus. “These opportunities are still possible if the internship is virtual, though the interactions are in a different format.”

To ensure that students make the most of that format, Career Services offers the following tips.

  • Know the company — Research the firm and who you will be working with. Know the organizational chart and have an introductory phone conversation with your colleagues.
  • Be timely — Your supervisor might not check in on you every day. It is up to you to meet deadlines, be efficient and make it to every meeting. Remember: The goal is to stand out.
  • Ask questions — Internships are about learning. You are not expected to know it all. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
  • Understand expectations and set goals — Ask your supervisor about their leadership style. Learn your role then make a plan to maximize value.
  • Have a plan — Develop a daily schedule and ask for feedback. When you finish your to-do list, as for additional assignments.
  • Have a workspace — Creating a professional environment at home helps with focus, but it also comes in handy while video conferencing.
  • Be patient — Your coworkers will be on different schedules than you and might not respond to emails right away. Learn to wait it out, even when it is difficult.
  • Track your accomplishments — Success generates momentum (and makes for great talking points in a performance evaluation).

“Students who possess career readiness competencies such as leadership, critical thinking, digital fluency, effective communication, collaboration and professionalism can stand out by demonstrating their value,” Smyth added. “These soft skills are just as important as the technical knowledge learned in the classroom, and demonstrating them to employers really helps a student shine.”

Posted In: Institutional News