Interviewing During A Pandemic
Interviewing has always been a minefield, but interviewing during a pandemic is unheard of and novel. Since it appeared in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has dominated headlines across the globe. In more recent weeks countries outside of China have seen the outbreak worsen.
Due to continued uncertainty about its impact, companies around the world are taking measures to reduce face-to-face gatherings. A growing number of companies are switching to fully remote operations for their employees, so where does that leave the hiring process?Same place as their day-to-day operations: online.
One of the first things we are noticing here at ShapeIT is that companies are swapping to video interviewing. While in essence the process is the same as a face-to-face process, we are aware that candidates will notice a difference in the process of interviewing during a pandemic. Some will find it more challenging than others.
Longer Interviewing Process
Many companies tend to have a quick interview process, however now that this may go on the back burner. The process from initial interview to job offer will most likely take a lot longer.
This can be due to a number reason, but one of the main issues when marrying working remotely and interviewing is getting everyone on the same page. It isn’t in anyone’s interest to prolong the process, however due to never before seen conditions it may be the case. Therefore, it’s important to remember that the process is one of engagement, even more so than before.
Another aspect to remember is that video interviews lift the lid and offer a small glimpse into your personal life. Therefore it should go without saying that a messy space is absolutely ill-advised. Your safest bet is setting up your video interview area somewhere tidy, with good lighting, and a neutral background.
Tips and Tricks
One of the perks of conducting an interview via video is that you could place notes all around you and no one would know. You can stick them on a wall behind the monitor or even on the table next to you. This was you’ll be aided in a way that wouldn’t happen if the interview were face-to-face. We won’t tell if you don’t! Interviewing during a pandemic is hard, so use all the tools you can!
Practice makes perfect
Something that can be awkward for a lot of people is talking to a camera. That’s why if you can practice talking to it that would be fantastic. Stick something near the camera lens so that can be your focus during the interview. That way you’re not looking down or to the side when talking to your interviewer. This trick gives the illusion of maintaining eye contact which is always highly important during an interview.
Do some research
Another key aspect in terms of preparation is to not slack off on researching. Research your interviewer and the company even if it it isn’t a face-to-face interview. You should do just as much research as you would normally and try to find conversation topics to create rapport with your interviewers.
Because it’s a video interview, small talk will probably not be as prevalent. These sort of interviewing formats tend to last far less than face-to-face meetings. Therefore, forming a bond with the person interviewing you is even more important when the hiring manager isn’t physically there. You can have a look at your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile and see if there’s any bits of information you can use as conversation points.
Ask about their future plans
The sort of questions you would expect to be asked in a face-to-face interview setting will be the same during a video interview. However due to circumstances it would be a great opportunity to ask about their plans on moving forward with the position and how the role is to go forward while the pandemic blows over. It’s the right time to find out if you’ll be working remotely and how thing will progress in light of the circumstances.
Let them know how much you want the job
As with any other interview it’s also highly important you let your interviewers know how interested you are in the role. Thank them for their time, and let them know exactly which aspects of the job/team have impressed you. It’s important to drive home how much you really want the role.
While these tips are sure to ease your nerves about video interviewing during a pandemic, or at least give you a clearer overview of how it’ll work. You need to be ready for uncharted territories in the upcoming weeks. With more and more businesses working from home we all need to be aware that life can sometimes be unexpected. Just think of that legendary BBC interview where children crashed into the room unexpectedly. So regardless of what side of the screen you’re sitting on, a little bit of grace and good humour won’t hurt! Most importantly however, stay safe everyone!