Aug. 19, 2020

Jamie Stone knows first-hand how the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the employment process, with many changes that may become permanent. The experienced, longtime aviation professional may have been one of the first in the industry to have gone through the vetting process for a new position, left his current position, accepted the job offer and onboarded his new position – all during the pandemic.

“I had nine video interviews, with some phone interviews as well,” said Stone, whose new position is director of aviation operations for a Southeastern-based health insurance company. “And I was not an early adopter of virtual interview technologies, so it was a learning process. Sometimes I was even in a location where the internet connection was a concern.” (Stone had to conduct one phone interview while sitting in his truck in a Walmart parking lot.)

“I actually prefer video interviewing now because I think it levels the playing field,” noted Stone. “When you interview in person at company headquarters, they kind of have the upper hand.”

For the video interviews, Stone recommends that job seekers make sure they have good lighting, an appropriate background, professional attire and that there will be no interruptions. It takes focus to be completely ‘present’ during the interviews, as well as patience, according to Stone. That’s because some of the interviewers will be recruiters or HR staff with little knowledge of aviation, the details of pilot credentials and aircraft types, and the like.

Although Stone insisted on visiting his new aviation operation in person to help him make his final decision (the company was very accommodating), 95% of the screening process for his new position was done remotely, in less than three months, from start to finish.

Interestingly, Stone feels almost more challenged by the remote onboarding process and having to get to know his staff virtually. “It’s been a bit of an effort using virtual technology to learn about my new team, and, of course, they are all working remotely as well,” he said.