No matter what side of the interview you’re on, interviewing is hardly ever easy. Now, add in your neighbor’s dog barking and technical issues and it almost leads to panic! But, how do you manage to successfully find a new job or hire a new candidate in the middle of a pandemic? You adapt.
With the world turned almost upside down, companies are finding new ways to adapt to hiring challenges every day and are hoping you can too. So, what does this look like? Mainly, this looks like interviews and hiring processes will become virtual; over the phone, over programs such as Zoom or Facetime, and even email.
What can you expect from a virtual interview? A virtual interview will likely take place on Zoom or via phone to give interviewers a chance to learn about the candidate in a virtual space. Likely, you’ll set up a time just like a normal interview, but rather than driving out to a location you may just pick a quiet spot in your home to discuss job details. The interview will still go the same, generally, the interviewer will ask a series of questions to gauge the candidates fit for the position, then you’ll chat a bit and discuss future steps. Still not so sure? Don’t fret, we’ve prepared a few tips to boost your virtual interview success.
Virtual Interview Tips:
- Remember this is still an interview. You’ll want to prepare before the interview just like you normally would and be sure to read the job description to make sure it matches your skillset. Come up with a few ways, related to the description, in which you may have made an impact with a previous employer and show them what you’re all about.
- Be prepared with the technology. Take some time before the interview to ensure that your mic and speakers are working properly.
- Understand that we’re human and many of us are at home too. So, if your dog barks, your baby cries, or your partner walks in accidentally, it’s not the end of the world and your interviewer will likely understand.
Something new that you may experience through virtual hiring is more rounds of interviews. With such an influx of new applicants due to the pandemic, employers are wanting to be sure they are hiring the right candidate for them without being able to meet them in person. They may ask to call you a couple of times or ask you to put together a virtual presentation of your work to get a better feel about your fit for their company. Don’t get discouraged if the process may be taking longer than usual, we’re all adjusting. Instead, ask the hiring manager what the hiring process looks like for them so that you have a clear indication of what to expect.
While recruiters always have a list of skills in mind that they are looking for, a few more are standing out during these times. Communication and handling challenge and the top two of these skills recruiters are paying more attention to. Hiring managers will see how effectively you communicate through these new technologies and will gauge how you may handle a phone call with a customer. To boost your display of communication, highlight your proactiveness by ensuring timely follow-up, and thank you emails. You also may consider using the technology to your advantage, have a graphic design project you’ve been working on that relates to the role? Consider sharing your screen with recruiters to show them your skills. Recruiters are also keeping an eye out for how well you handle challenges. If your audio becomes faulty during your interview, don’t get angry and discouraged, show the hiring manager how you can remain calm while you figure out what’s going on. You may even consider sharing some stories with the recruiter of how you overcame a challenging task at a previous employer.
As is in any interview, it’s a two-way process. The hiring manager is trying to decide if you’re a good fit for them, but you also should be trying to decide if the workplace seems like a good fit for you. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to understand who you’ll be working for and with. Make sure the job will fit your lifestyle, ask about how the company plans on having its employees return to work, or their pandemic safety precautions if they are on the job site. A few things to remember are that just as new as this is for you, it’s likely just as new and confusing for the hiring manager. They are experiencing the same types of difficulties and understand your concerns. While things may not be as smooth with technical challenges and life getting in the way in general, it’s important to keep an open mind during these new hiring processes. Just be sure to be prepared with talking points that highlight your communication, questions for the employer to better understand their process, and take a few moments before the interview to learn about the technology that you’ll be using.
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