In this mid-summer edition of the Virtual Vocations “Ask a Hiring Manager” series, we discuss interviewing, resumes, and cover letters with People Operations Manager Kelley McBee of Uscreen. A Top 25 Virtual Vocations Employer Partner, Uscreen is a video hosting and streaming service that allows clients to monetize their visual and video creations. Due to the growing nature of the industry, the company remains a top hirer in the industry, with a variety of openings in several different fields.
As the Head of People Operations at Uscreen, McBee is tasked with filling various positions within the organization. With a large number of remote workers, she also discusses what the company looks for in terms of culture fit, experience, skills, and more. If you’re looking for ways to join the remote workforce, McBee’s tips might be just what you need to propel you into the virtual world.
“The Uscreen team consists of incredibly intelligent, hard-working, and all-around fun people. We are looking for candidates that can match our “work hard, play hard” mindset. Paired with experience and skills, this person is essentially our dream candidate.”
What type of jobs are you interviewing candidates for?
Currently, we have several openings across all departments and levels; please feel free to check out our current openings here. We have a variety of jobs that vary from videography to management to marketing, and almost everything in between. If you have a strong work ethic and want to be part of an energetic team, you’re strongly encouraged to apply.
Is a resume important when you are making hiring decisions?
As we are a fully remote team, we are most interested in a candidate’s online presence. So we look for candidates with a strong LinkedIn profile that is up to date and reflects their skills, duties, and responsibilities in their role(s). That’s not to say that a LinkedIn profile is the defining aspect of a person’s success. Or that a LinkedIn profile is the only thing we consider. But with a strong online presence comes a better opportunity to align with our online visibility goals as a company.
What things will turn you off from inviting a candidate to an interview?
Few things will immediately disqualify a person from an interview. But some things stand out more than others. In particular, I’m less apt to have a person interview or even go through the rest of their application if they do any of the following:
- Lack of attention to detail
- A work history where candidates are consistently in positions for short periods of time (less than one year) without additional information/explanation
- Unprofessional online presence
Therefore, every candidate should also conduct due diligence when applying. In addition to this, they need to explain employment gaps or short employment in their cover letter or email. Finally, they should clean up their online presence so it reflects their reputation and Uscreen’s values.
What three things are most important during an interview?
In the digital era of hiring and remote work, every hiring manager has a different idea of what’s important during the interview. However, I don’t want people to get complacent as a result of the more laidback attitude that’s come as a result of remote work. During an interview, things important to me include:
- Professional appearance (attire, setting, etc.)
- Ability to answer questions clearly and concisely
- Friendly & personable
If you can master these three things, you’ll shine in your interview compared to those who could only handle one or two of those aspects. So dress the part, think about your answer, and let your personality guide you. It’s a much better approach than pajamas, a memorized answer, and a less-than-friendly approach to the interview as a whole.
How important is it that I have all of the requirements listed in the job listing? Should I still apply even if I only have 75% of the requirements?
At Uscreen we do our best to only select those requirements which are needed for the role. Therefore, candidates that don’t meet those requirements will have a disadvantage in the recruitment process. If a candidate feels that the experience they have gives them an added advantage and would not limit them, we certainly encourage them to apply! It might be a strange yet perfect match if you can apply skills to a job that we may not have thought of.
What are you looking for in candidates in terms of culture fit with your organization?
The Uscreen team consists of incredibly intelligent, hard-working, and all-around fun people. We are looking for candidates that can match our “work hard, play hard” mindset. Paired with experience and skills, this person is essentially our dream candidate.
What are you looking for in a cover letter that you can’t get from my resume?
I always love a strongly written cover letter in any application. It gives me some insight into your goals and your frame of mind, and it can also address any experiences you may have that could make you a valuable addition to the team. In your cover letter, I’m also searching for the answers to a few questions.
- Why are you looking for a new role?
- What are your career goals?
- Why Uscreen?
If you can successfully answer these questions, you’re far more likely to get to the next step of the Uscreen interview process.
They say that you only have a matter of seconds to make an impression with your cover letter. What are three things you see on cover letters that will cause you to immediately reject an application?
I’m not a person who’s overly concerned with minor details, but I do have a baseline level of competence I like to see in potential applicants. This can include:
- Spelling and/or grammar mistakes
- Not sharing the position you want — e.g. Looking for new opportunities. I want to know why you want the job you applied for
When it comes down to it, how do you decide who gets the job offer?
We have a multipronged approach to giving a job offer, but overall we’re most concerned about:
- How they would fit culturally
- How the specific candidate can help the entire team to grow/develop and reach our goals
How To Get Your Foot in the Virtual Door
As McBee illustrates, getting a job at Uscreen or any other virtual employer requires more than just a fancy resume or experience. It’s a mix of applied skills, opportunistic approaches to work and employment, and a fun-loving attitude. As more and more people turn to video to market themselves and their businesses, Uscreen’s business model will continue to provide jobs for those willing to take a chance to move to the remote office.
Are you a hiring manager who’s interested in appearing in our “Ask a Hiring Manager” monthly series? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to set something up with the team. We’d love to hear from you!
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