As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip economies across the globe, few industries have been left untouched by the fallout, and that’s having huge implications not only for the workforce but also the recruitment process.
Some companies have moved to freeze hiring until an undetermined time, but many others are continuing to recruit in a bid to prevent a business slowdown. Indeed, in some instances the virus has sparked new demand for professions related to infectious diseases, according to jobs site Glassdoor, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, biotech and pharmaceuticals.
However, measures aimed at containing the outbreak, such as social distancing and work from home policies, have required companies to get creative with their recruitment processes, and many are turning to virtual methods, such as video calls.
“In an effort to reduce some of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses, companies are turning to technology to maintain business continuity during this time of uncertainty,” Glassdoor’s community manager, Jo Cresswell, as we quoted from CNBC Make It.
It does, however, mark a new era for interviewers and interviewees. Many who are used to in-person interviews will have to switch to virtual screening processes for the first time and figure out new ways to best convey themselves and their companies online.
Reported from CNBC Make It, the experts from Glassdoor and Modern Hire gave their top tips for getting the virtual job interview right.
A. Advice for Candidates
1. Test Your Tech
Make sure your internet connection, smartphone or laptop, and video conferencing app or program are both working well prior to your interview.
2. Dress Appropriately
Dressing for success is no less important for remote interviews. Dress smartly, like you would for an in-person interview, and ensure your room is tidy.
3. Be Prepared
Do your homework just as you would for any other interview, rehearsing your responses to key interview questions and preparing your own questions for the interviewer.
4. Be Personable
Make eye-contact, smile often and generally engage with the interviewer to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.
5. Remove Distractions
Ensure you’re fully engaged with the interviewer by removing all distractions, including your smartphone. Do not forget to lock your room, so that no one else suddenly enters your room. Tell your family, if you are going to do an online job interview, so they can understand.
Send a follow-up note to your interviewer, thanking them for their time.
B. Advice for Interviewers
1. Be prepared
Familiarize yourself and other interviewers with the candidate’s resume and the job description to give the virtual interview the formality of an in-person one. Likewise, keep the candidate informed on who they’ll be interviewing with so they can prepare questions of their own. And, of course, check your tech.
2. Have a Strategy
Think carefully about the skills and attributes you’re looking for in a candidate and design questions that dig into each one.
3. Communicate Openly
Keep candidates well-informed at each stage of the interview process. Without being able to give them a warm, in-person reception, it’s especially important to show them their time and efforts are valued.
4. Remove Distractions
Be respectful to the candidate and position yourself away from distractions, including your smartphone, as you would in an in-person interview.
5. Reinforce Employer Brand
Ensure interviewers at all stages of the recruitment process convey a consistent message about the company’s mission and values.
6. Give the Candidate Time
Pause to ensure the candidate is done with their response, before moving onto the next question to account for time lags and lack of usual social cues.