How to prepare for a phone interview and an online video interview?

The spread of coronavirus is changing the way we live, study and work. For security reasons, many employers and recruitment companies in Latvia and worldwide are moving from face-to-face interviews to telephone interviews and online video interviews.

While job interview questions are unlikely to change, there are some differences between face-to-face interviews and telephone interviews.

Telephone interview

Telephone interviews have historically been used as an initial method for screening candidates but are now becoming more widely used.

Tips for preparing for a phone interview:
    • Finding a quieter place when you see a call from an unfamiliar number. If this is not a good time to talk, feel free to ask them to call you after a certain time.
    • Prepare an information about yourself in one to two sentences. Read the cover letter – if you have taken the time to prepare it, you already have all the answers;
    • No need to respond right away. If you didn’t understand the question, feel free to ask. Demonstrate interest and ask questions;
    • After a phone call, ask yourself – what is your impression? Do you still want an internship or job in this company?


    • Live Video Interview

      You definitely need to be 100% ready. The quality of your online video interview depends on two things – your answers to questions and your ability to use modern technology. Before the interview, try it out with a friend who can judge the quality of your computer’s sound and picture connection. Skype, Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and more, are the most common types of programs. Before the video interview, make sure the interviewer has your mobile phone number if you still need to do a phone interview.

      Tips for preparing for an online video interview:
          • Choose a quiet, well-lit room with a neutral background, sit down so you can easily look at the camera and your picture wouldn’t be distorted;
          • Make sure your room is clean so unnecessary items wouldn’t distract from the interview process;
          • Prepare your computer, check your internet connection speed, your computer’s microphone and camera before the interview;
          • Dress as if you were going to a face-to-face interview – home interview doesn’t mean you can dress up in home clothes;
          • Consider avoiding bright colored clothes or big jewelry that can distract you;
          • Schedule your time if you don’t live alone – agree to be alone in the room, warn your relatives / friends not to disturb you;
          • Close unwanted programs on your computer, avoid unexpected interruptions and strange sounds;
          • Prepare your resume and remarks that highlight why you would be the right candidate for this vacancy;
          • Before the interview research company information and a research the most recent information;
          • Think about the questions that you might ask the interviewer. It is best to write these questions on a sticky note and stick it to the monitor;
          • Pay attention to the intonation, timbre of your voice, as a monotone is the fastest way for an interviewer to lose interest in you;
          • Prepare a glass of water and put it beside you;
          • If you really want to get an internship / job, show it after the interview, write a letter of gratitude to the interviewer. Finally, be patient, as it may take a little longer than usual for your interviewer to decide.


          • Be Social and ActiveNow

            Your active presence on social media like LinkedIn is more important than ever. Share and comment on articles relevant to your field of study / profession. Join discussion groups, comment and post articles.

            RTU students can receive career counseling remotely by writing to Eva.Patmalniece@rtu.lv.

            For more information:

            RTU Career Center Edition “Career Day 2020” (20.03.2020.)

            Gabija Čeledinaitė Psychologist, career counselor at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (20.03.2020.)

            5 things you must do to have a successful job interview on video during the COVID-19 outbreak (20.03.2020.)

            5 Tips for Job Searching During Coronavirus (20.03.2020.)

How to make studying from home effective?

Distance learning presents many new challenges to those who are in full-time education. Viktorija Gaina, a psychologist at Riga Technical University, summarizes the main problems students face and suggestions for solving them.

Arrangement of the working environment. It is very important to arrange the environment in your home for studying or working.
  • Think about which room and table you will work in, what materials you will need.
  • If you are sharing an apartment or a room with others, it would be desirable to arrange “quiet” hours for everyone to concentrate.
Clear rules. In an uncertain environment, it is important to follow or create rules ourselves.
  • Before you start, make a paperwork plan.
  • If you are pursuing a particular subject or a task, formulate what exactly you want to do in the next few hours.
  • If you are not clear about the course organization, the deadlines or form of the course, consult the Ortus, Estudies, contact the clerk or subject teacher. Productive action is impossible unless you understand and know exactly what is required of you.
System and regularity in learning are as important as training. Even if it is difficult, it is important to work on your study papers regularly and at about the same time. This time can also be seen as a wonderful opportunity to learn self-organization and self-motivation, which is so much appreciated by employers. General principles:
  • Work on one task in one go. Music or TV may not seem to bother you in the background, but learning from home disturbs us much faster than a face-to-face session.
  • Think about organizing incoming messages. At least while studying, if possible, turn off the sound and vibration.
  • When you start your work day, start with a job that you can do in couple of minutes or with some unpleasant work. This will help you warm up and give you confidence that you are working effectively.
  • Even when working from home, remember to take regular breaks and take care of yourself. A break is useful for some physical activity or a short walk in the fresh air. If this is not the case, ventilate the rooms where you are staying at least a few times a day. A warm, wholesome meal at least a few times a day and enough water will also help your thinking processes.
Here are some other tricks to improve your productivity:
  • In preparation for a workday, wear work clothes to separate your work time from your free time. If possible, the working space can also be separated from the lounge.
  • Make a to-do list because what you write down is usually different from the fictional and can be deleted. Write down the works to be delivered, the people to call or write, the e-lessons and meetings.
  • To-do list should be written in the evening for the next day – so you can get to work faster in the morning without wasting time planning.
  • Put together reminders for more important things.
  • Often, getting started is the hardest part. Leave the phone in another room and set the timer for 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, it will be much easier to continue. Take either the regular culinary timer or The Pomodoro Technique
  • Remember, not only do you have to start work on time, but also finish it on time! You also have the right to healthy laziness during self-isolation. A lot of free time can make you anxious about how to fill it in, but you shouldn’t overdo it.

RTU psychologist’s recommendations for emotional survival of an emergency

Now we experience a strong alarm – the cancellation of plans, the change in rhythm of life, the uncertainty of what is happening at this time. Despite the fact that Covid-19 is new to all people, this is still well known stress reaction that affects our emotions, thoughts and behaviors. During this time, we feel excited and anxious. It is possible, you may easily become angry or overly sensitive. Perhaps what is happening around us is quickly irritating and you want to distance ourselves from people. This is a normal reaction to stress. What can you do to feel better in this situation? The main source of anxiety in such situations is the feeling that we can no longer control anything and it is important to regain some control over our daily routine. • Distinguish real dangers and difficulties from imaginary or exaggerated ones. • Take a pause and respect your emotional hygiene. As much as possible, avoid surfing the social networks or the media for ever new information about the spread of the virus. This informational noise affects our emotions and increases our sense of anxiety. The more anxious we are, the more we watch the news again. This creates a vicious circle that prevents us from being calm. • Choose and follow some reliable sources. For example, follow the instructions from the World Health Organization in case of illness, the instructions of Consular Department of your country on what to do if you stacked outside your country, or any trusted person such as experts you trust. • Follow the usual schedule and your daily routine as much as possible. Get up at the usual time, follow your eating routine. If you exercise, keep doing it at home or in the fresh air. Attend lectures online or take time to write homework or theses. In times of uncertainty routines help us to regain a sense of control. • Try to maintain physical activity, walk and exercise in the fresh air. • Distract your attention from worrying news by focusing on something you’ve long wanted to learn. For example, listen to a new lecture, learn something new on online training platforms, make a video-chat with your friends, and explain to your classmates what you are best at. • Connect with people. It is important to maintain the usual communication, even in a virtual space. Use video calls to connect with family and friends. However, try to avoid each conversation turning into a discussion of the latest news about the virus. • Support Someone! Ask how do near people feel. Perhaps someone feels even more confused and lonely. For example, a child, an elderly family member or other foreign student staying in Latvia. • Get involved in some unusual challenge. For example, talk to someone you have not been in contact with for a long time. Look out the window every day and find something new you have not noticed before. Or cook yourself a warm meal every day. Or listen to a new music album every day. • Take care of yourself. If you find it difficult to cope on your own, contact a RTU psychologist. Advice during quarantine is still available. Write to viktorija.gaina@rtu.lv and schedule time for online consultation.

CV Mondays

In preparation for the largest career development event in Latvia – Riga Technical University (RTU) Career Day, which will take place on March 6 at the International Exhibition Center in Kipsala, the RTU Career Center invites students to focus on career guidance.

RTU Career Center invites you to bring your CV with you to the event, so that the student’s interview with potential employers can be more successful, so you should prepare or update it in advance and improve it. «A CV is a business card for a potential employer and also a picture of ourselves. During the consultation, it is possible to get an ‘outside view’, which can help you tailor your CV to a particular job or simply notice details that you missed yourself, ”says Career Consultant Eva Patmalniece at RTU Career Center.

To create or improve their resume, students are invited to face-to-face career counseling on four Mondays, February 10, 17, and 24, and March 2  starting at 10am. 10am to 4pm in person at the Student Service Center, Azenes Street 6 or by sending a CV to Eva.Patmalniece@rtu.lv. You can get acquainted with the program and follow the latest news on the website of the RTU Career Center and the RTU Career Day 2020 Facebook page.

According to the order of RTU Vice-Rector for Studies Professor Uldis Sukovska on March 6 from 12.30 to 16.00 Lectures are canceled for RTU full-time study programs, providing all students with the opportunity to attend RTU Career Day.

Looking to improve your speaking and leadership skills? Ignite your career? Gain the confidence to speak up?

Looking to improve your speaking and leadership skills? Ignite your career? Gain the confidence to speak up? On 6th of November at 18.30 in Faculty of Architecture, room 305 Rīga Toastmaster together with RTU Career center organizes Rīga Toastmaster meeting where you will have the chance to find all that.

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives.” (S.Spielberg)

Join us at Rīga Toastmasters meeting to better understand and to enjoy technologies and techniques of public speaking.

The meeting will consist of prepared and improvised speeches, as well as several leadership roles. A Toastmasters meeting is a “learning-by-doing workshop,” there are no instructors at Toastmasters meetings. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations and offer suggestions for improvement. This feedback process is a vital part of the program’s success.

Registration: No prior registration required

Since 1924, Toastmasters International has recognized worldwide as the leading organization dedicated to communication and leadership skill development. Through its worldwide network of clubs, each week Toastmasters helps more than a quarter million men and women of every ethnicity, education level, and profession build their competence in communication so they can gain the confidence to lead others.

Digital Freedom Festival 2019

Tap into your inner unicorn & become part of Digital Freedom Festival 2019 Volunteer Squad!

The Digital Freedom Festival is a meeting place to celebrate digital culture, seek the answers to our future, and discuss the benefits of the digital revolution. We’re looking for ambitious and committed volunteers to help ensure that the DFF is a mind-blowing, memory overloading, never-ending fun and successfully overwhelming experience for all attendees!

It will take place in Riga, Latvia, November 14th (@various locations), November 15th (@Hanzas Perons)

This year Digital Freedom Festival will focus on the impact of technology on sustainable development and the role of humans in the new technology age.

Volunteering at the Digital Freedom Festival is a great opportunity to: • Experience what goes on behind the scenes at one of the most influential technology festivals in the Baltics by helping create an outstanding event • Network and gather contacts for your future career, and make new friends • Learn about the latest trends, hot topics, issues and gain insight into the worldwide digital culture • Gather inspiration from the various events and motivating speakers, as well as feel and observe the surrounding spirit of entrepreneurship • Test your skills and gain new knowledge, as well as share your experience Become part of the DFF team – gain invaluable firsthand experience that you will never forget!

Apply here
>> to have some fun and get stuff done!

Potentialpark Study 2020

We know that searching for jobs may be easy, but finding the right one is not a walk in the park.     By sharing your thoughts in our study, you are shaping the future of recruitment!     And as a thank you gift, you will get access to several rewards!
  • Exclusive tips and tricks on landing your dream job
  • Attendance to a Personal Branding Webinar
  • Chance to win Amazon Vouchers
  • Tailored list of internships from Top Talent Friendly Companies
  • An opportunity to meet top global employers at our Potentialpark Conference.
  Start the SURVEY and score all the rewards!    When you complete the survey you will be sent a tailored list of internships based on your answers!

Scholarship Opportunity for Globally-Minded Leader

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – educations.com is offering a €5000 scholarship to one ambitious Master’s student studying abroad in Europe in the fall of 2020. The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding leader that is motivated to positively change the world.   The motivation behind the scholarship is educations.com’s desire to support a generation of new leaders that are internationally-minded and passionate about global betterment. The ideal applicant will be an ambitious student that has been active in extracurricular activities and has maintained outstanding grades.   To prove their commitment to a vision of an interconnected and improved world, applicants are asked to submit a short essay that highlights how studying abroad will foster their growth as a leader. Prospective master’s-level students will have from April 8, 2019 until April 13, 2020 to submit their applications. The winner of the €5000 scholarship will be announced from June 1, 2020 and awarded in the fall of 2020.   Find more information and start your application here   About educations.com: educations.com is part of EMG – Educations Media Group, the leader in education marketing in Northern Europe. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, EMG reaches out to students worldwide through its leading online services, comprehensive media partners, print, school visits and education fairs.  

Biotech & Sustainability

To honor our new residence – the former faculty of Biology – at this months meet-up we want to talk about the awesomness behind biotech. For the last decade it’s been a particularly hot topic not only among scientists, academia and policy makers worldwide, but has become a considerable issue even in our households. While Biotech develops breakthrough ways to fight diseases, feed the hungry, have safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes, sustainability looks to protect our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life. Our speakers are experienced in both and will gladly share their ways. Join us October 17 at 18:00-21:00 at TechHub Riga Kronvalda bulvaris 4, Riga. Find applications form in the Facebook event description. Solvita Kostjukova has a more than 10 year experience in product R&D within various Universities and Public companies. She is co-founder and CEO at ALINA – a company that uses innovative zero waste technology in manufacturing paint and coating materials by thus reducing environmental pollution, and impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Anna Ramata-Stunda is the co-founder and CEO at Alternative Plants – a start-up dedicated to bring natural treasures and sustainability to cosmetic industry. She is a PhD candidate in Biotechnology and has vast experience in botanical extract characterisation and in vitro efficacy and safety testing. If you are interested in finding desk space and be a part of our community you can join us here.

Internship and Jobs Opportunities in Greece with Job Trust

On November 28 at 15:30 in Riga Technical University (RTU), Azenes street 12/1, room 116, Job Trust company will inform students and graduates about the Job and Internship Opportunities they have around Greece. For more than 12 years, Job Trust has been recruiting, selecting and placing highly qualified personnel in luxury hotels and resorts around Greece and beyond. We pride ourselves in being able to combine cost-effective and suitable HR services for the tourism industry with free of charge placement and advice for thousands of selected candidates. Through our collaboration with more than 500 universities in more than 20 countries, we are able to provide a large number of luxury hotels and resorts in Greece and abroad with staff carefully selected at the highest standards.   Every year, thousands of students from all over Europe choose Job Trust to come and work in one of Greece’s finest hotels and resorts. They get to complete their training on the job, work at top hotels, in top tourist destinations, alongside top professionals. They experience how large hotels and luxury resorts work and they enrich their CV’s before even getting their degree. They do a lot more than work though. They learn how to adapt to a different culture, they meet people from all over the world, they get to practice their foreign languages, they take in all the beauty that Greece has to offer, and last but certainly not least: they make friendships that last for a lifetime.   If you want to participate in presentation, please fill application form.   For more information you may visit our company’s site