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  • T. Noah

Best Practices: Virtual Interviewing

Written by: T. Noah, Workforce Strategies, LLC

What a strange year it has been indeed! We went from moving and shaking in business, to a screeching halt. Now as things begin to level out, and work resumes, you probably find yourself needing to interview candidates for open jobs. Most organizations are still being cautious with in-person contact, which can be troublesome for the interview process. Thankfully, we live in a time where technology is at our fingertips.

When it comes to connecting with candidates, most employers have been using one or more virtual platforms to recruit talent. Which one is your favorite? Indeed, Snag a Job, Facebook, or your company website? Well your favorite, should be the one that gets the most results! However, you choose to find your next hire, what are you doing about the interview during this time of social distancing? Here at Workforce Strategies, LLC, we have been using platforms such as FaceTime and Skype for interviews before it was the cool thing to do! Now we have expanded to technology such as Zoom and Google Hangouts. I will admit Zoom* is my personal favorite. I find it to be user friendly for both parties, and the video quality is typically good. Best part is you can use Zoom for FREE…yes FREE! You are limited to 40 minutes, but for me that is typically plenty of time to conduct a high-quality interview.

Interviews are traditionally in person, somewhat formal, and everyone on both sides feels a little nervous. None of that has really changed, except the formality of the interview process. When I prep a candidate for a Zoom interview, I always remind them to treat the virtual interview the same as an in-person interview. That means, dress professionally, be prepared, be on time, and smile. That all sounds familiar right? Well the same goes for you the interviewer. When conducting a virtual interview, make sure you are familiar with the controls of the platform you choose. You should know where the mic and camera buttons are, as well as how to end the call. But let’s take it a step further…As the interviewer you should be seated in an area free from distractions, because let’s face it, kids and pets are on the job with a lot of people these days. But do not let that be an excuse for a less than professional interview experience for the candidate. You should also be seated in a well-lit area, with nothing distracting in the background. Make sure your camera is clean and you are professionally dressed. Since you are still representing your employer or company you want your best foot forward.

Being on camera often makes people more nervous than usual during the interview. Nervousness on camera can present as fidgeting with one’s hair or shirt, and sometimes as short abrupt answers. Do your best to present with a calm friendly demeanor, as this will help the candidate be more at ease, allowing you to get a better sense of their personality. I find that the best way to open the conversations is with a few minutes of chit chat about the weather or current events. Most often it helps to ease some of the on-camera tension and open an authentic conversation about the topic at hand.

When you make the effort to prepare and learn about virtual interviewing, you will find that the camera becomes less important, and the conversation is still what matters. So in spite of things being a little atypical, in the interview processes, you can still conduct professional face-to-face interviews and hire great talent!

*We are not sponsored or compensated by Zoom or Google Hangouts


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