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.

EIT JumpStarter 2020 project!

If you are a student, reseracher or you’re passionate about new technologies and you have a business idea  within the following domains: healthcare, agri-food sector, raw materials, sustainability, energy, urban mobility or manufacturing – change your idea into a real company and compete for 10.000 euros!   FOR WHOM: anyone with an innovative business idea, students, Ph.D. students, scientists and graduates WHAT YOU CAN WIN: free training on business start-up within 10, 2-days workshops located in Europe, you can accelerate your business, meet business parters and network; moreover: one month free individual mentoring to the best business ideas, and prizes of 10.000, 7.000 and 5.000 euros to win in the Great Finals! APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5th of April 2020r, 17:00 CET. Find out more: https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/Jumpstarter-2020  and : https://youtu.be/KrokYq1cXr4  More about the project and link to online application here  

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.

On RTU Career Day, Young People Will Meet With Businesses and Pursue Career Education Activities

Students from all Latvian universities are invited to the Career Day of Riga Technical University (RTU), which will take place on 6 March in the International Exhibition Hall in Kipsala and will bring together 130 company representatives from 40 different sectors, in order to gain insight into the situation on the labour market, meet with business representatives in person, establish contacts valuable for career development and participate in educational activities – a discussion, an inspirational workshop and a short interview to explore their opportunities for receiving a very concrete job offer. This year, the RTU Career Day, the largest youth professional orientation event in Latvia, will be held with the participation of Latvian businesses, as well as four foreign companies, inviting both Latvian and foreign students to it. The Career Day exhibition – meeting with representatives of busiesses at the Exhibition Hall will take place from 10:00 to 16:00 and the admission is free. To enable all RTU students to visit the Career Day, lectures will be cancelled from 12:30 on 6 March. Alongside with activities in the Exhibition Hall, where young people will meet with business representatives, three educational and practical career-related activities will take place: • At 11:00 – 12:00, a seminar on profession selection “The Future Is in Your Own Arms” will be held, chaired by TV personality and actress Ieva Florence-Vīksne. The lecturer will share her experience of seeking and finding her profession, will talk about obstacles, overcoming them and using them for her own good. One will also find out during the workshop where to take inspiration from when one wants to give up. Registration is by completing the application form. • At 12:30 – 13:30, discussion on future skills and labour market challenges will take place, with the participation of the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science Reinis Znotiņš, RTU Vice-Rector for Strategic Development Artūrs Zeps, Anta Praņeviča from Fontes company, representative of the Board of RTU Alumni Association and CEO of MILZU company Enno Ence. Participants of the discussion will present their vision of the most important issues on the labour market in terms of its development, inviting visitors to participate as well. The discussion will be moderated by Director of RTU Public Relations Department Ivars Svilāns. • At 13:00 – 17:00, a speed dating event will take place, with the participation of 50 companies, inviting students to a four-minute talk during which both sides will be able to assess the potential for starting an employment relationship. If interests of both parties coincide, the young people can receive very specific job offers after the event. Upon short interviews, students will be able to meet and talk to representatives of other companies as well. The time from 13:00 to 15:00 is allocated for talks in Latvian and from 15:00 to 17:00 in English, providing an opportunity for foreign students to attend the event. To participate in the speed dating event arranged by the social enterprise Visas Iespējas, it is required to register and complete the application form. More information is available on the Facebook page.

Job speed dating

WHAT? Visas Iespējas & RTU Career Day “Job speed-dating” event WHERE? International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, exhibition hall on 2nd Floor WHEN? 6th of March 13.00 – 15.00 (LAT) / 15.00 – 17.00 (ENG) WHO? Young people who are looking for a full or part-time job Have you experienced that looking for a job can take a lot of time and in the end, you still don’t get what you wanted? Instead of sending several CV’s and motivation letters, meet companies “eye to eye” in a non-formal environment during RTU Career day “Job speed-dating” event which will happen on the 6th of March at 13:00 in the International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, 2nd floor. Meet several interesting companies representing different sectors! 4-minute conversation with each representative will give you a chance to ask questions, tell about your talents and find out whether there’s a “match”! Event will happen in two parts: first part, which will happen from 13.00-15.00, will be in Latvian and meant for participants who can freely communicate in Latvian, while the second part of the event will happen in English from 15.00-17.00 and will be meant for foreigners living in Latvia and looking for a job. After each part, there’s also going to be half an hour for some networking that you can use to ask some extra questions and talk with representatives that you didn’t get the interviews with. PARTICIPATION IN THE EVENT: Participation is for FREE. However, to apply, you need to fill in a form until 23rd of February: Registration FORM for the 2nd part in English. IMPORTANT! After registration, you need to fill in a longer questionnaire, that we’ll send to your e-mail address closer to the start of the event. Afterwards, we’ll contact you to announce the results of the selection process. Do you want to find your job “match”? You have all the opportunities!

CV workshop

RTU Career Center and Foreign Students department invites to a seminar about CV and cover letter, and Internship organization procedure. RTU international students are invited to attend a seminar, which will take place on February 6th at 16.30 at the Faculty of Power and Electrical Engineering of Riga Technical University, room 115, Āzenes street 12/1. During a seminar, Viktorija Gaina from RTU Studentu Service will provide general information about CV and cover letter adapting for Latvian labour market. Signe Laizane from RTU Foreign Students department will speak about Internship organization procedure at RTU and process of getting a job. Apply by filling in an electronic form.  

Europe’s leading app developer offers top young talent all-expenses paid trip to Milan

Italy’s Bending Spoons launches competition to select 20 students to attend three-day event on tech and programming   MILAN – 15th Jan 2020: Bending Spoons, the biggest European iOS app developer and among the top ten in the world, today launches a competition to invite the 20 best tech students in Europe to a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Milan.   The competition, First Ascent International, is now in its second year and is open to all European Computer Science and Software Engineering students, including those from Russia and Turkey. Last year’s event saw students from 13 countries gather in Milan to enjoy talks by renowned professors and tech entrepreneurs.   Applications open on January 15 and will be accepted until February 23, with the event itself taking place from July 31 to August 2.   The winners will attend an exclusive event in Milan on July 31, and enjoy a wide-ranging agenda including workshops, sightseeing and inspirational talks by prominent academics.   Bending Spoons, which has been recently appointed the best place to work in Italy by the Great Place to Work Institute, is passionate about showing today’s young tech talent the wealth of opportunities the city of Milan has to offer.   A company spokesperson said: “Milan is a great city for the tech sector. It is growing fast and opportunities are on the rise. The international community living in the city is dynamic. It’s a great place to live.”   For further information, please visit : https://international.firstascent.io/.

The Baltic Science Network Mobility Programme for Research Internship (BARI)

BARI stands for Baltic Science Network Mobility Programme for Research Internships. BARI offers summer research internships with appropriate academic training across the Baltic Sea Region to students with interest in Life Sciences, Photon & Neutron Science and Welfare State.

During their internship, students will assist in research and lab work for a proposed project. They will be hosted by doctoral students who wish to strengthen their ties within the Baltic Sea Region (defined as members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Russia and the observer member Belarus) by hosting a motivated and well-qualified student. Successful applicants will receive a scholarship to help cover living expenses and travel costs. Funding is available for a period of up to three months Working language will be English.

The Baltic Science Network Mobility Programme for Research Internships (BARI) has four objectives: 1.To provide promising students (interns) with the opportunity to gain research experience in an exciting project of their choice. 2.To provide doctoral candidates (hosts) with additional skills (intercultural skills, language skills, personal management competencies) which are of prime importance in the global workplace. 3.To raise awareness of the next generation of researchers of the value of international cooperation within the Baltic Region. 4.To support high quality research projects.

Who can apply? PhD students can apply to host an international student during a summer research internship. The PhD student should be employed by or affiliated with an accredited academic institution or a non-profit research institution, working in the field of Life Science, Photon & Neutron Science and Welfare State within the Baltic Sea Region. They should be motivated to work closely together with an international intern who would like to contribute to their research project. Bachelor and Master students can apply for the opportunity to work in one of the research projects which have been offered by the PhD students. They should be studying at a university within the Baltic Sea Region and they should be enrolled as a student during the whole duration of the internship.

How does the application process work?

The process (Steps 1 to 4) ensures an optimum fit between the intern and their host. Placements which are not accepted by the intern and the host are avoided. The database and the broad promotion of the programme ensures a widespread effect which cannot be achieved by an individual institution. The bottom-up structure promotes personal initiative. The flexibility of the structure allows for an easy integration into institutional strategies. The scholarship funders’ engagement can easily be adjusted to the individual objectives and resources.

Schedule and Deadlines

01.02 – 23.02.2020 Web portal opens for PhD students to submit their proposals. Researchers register online and submit an internship offer.

24.02 – 28.02.2020 Evaluation and release of the PhD project proposals into the portal database.

29.02 – 31.03.2020 Web portal opens for BA/MA students to submit their application for BARI research internship.

29.02 – 06.04.2020 Web portal opens for professors to send their references.

11.04 – 19.04.2020 PhD host students rank the applications to their projects.

20.04 – 25.04.2020 Matchmaking: The Portal administrator places students with internship projects and administrates the scholarships.

27.04- 08.05.2020 The PhD host students and the applicants are informed about the outcome of the selection process

01.06 – 16.10.2020 Internship period (the starting date and the duration of the internship are arranged between the PhD student and the prospective intern)

For further Information on BARI please visit website or contact Ms. Nina Ms. Nina Akrami Flores (n.akrami@daad.de)

Seminar about IBANPAY

RTU Career Center invites to a seminar about company IBANPAY

RTU international students are invited to attend a seminar about company IBANPAY, which will take place on January 27 at 18.30 at the Faculty of Power and Electrical Engineering of Riga Technical University, room 116, Āzenes street 12/1.

During a seminar, IBANPAY’s representative Dmitrijs Golonovs will provide general information about company, provided services, competitive advantages and vacancies foreign students are welcome to apply for.

IBANPAY is specialized in provision of outsourced services in the areas of customer support, payment processing, customer relationship management, change control, risk management and data gathering and filing.

If you speak English and one of the following supported languages: ES, DE, IT, RU, TR, AR, PT, FR, PL, CN, JP you may find your future employees there.

Applying by filling in anelectronic form.