While countless companies and industries have been shut down
or severely impacted in the midst of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, some
organizations are still looking to hire hundreds and even thousands
of new employees. But as remote work and social distancing become new ways of
life for millions of people, so too comes the rise of the virtual job interview,
with dynamics affecting candidates and recruiters alike.
Whether you’re looking for a new job or looking to bring on
new hires in these uncertain times, here are a few points to keep in mind for
the virtual job interview, as some traditions change—and some remain the same.
Dress the Part
Even if you’re not in the same room, it’s just as crucial to dress for your virtual job interview as you would for an in-person meeting—and not just from the waist up. It’s still best practice to wear full professional attire. Firstly, you’re prepared in case you need to suddenly move around on camera. Secondly, dressing up can have a positive impact on your mentality and overall interview performance, similar to how striking a powerful pose has been linked to favored outcomes in business and in life.
On the practical side, it’s also good to wear solid colors
and to be mindful of patterns that may “dance” on camera and cause unwanted distractions.
After all, the focus of a job interview (virtual or traditional) should be what
the candidate and the employer can each bring to the proverbial table.
Arrive Early, Prepared
Virtual job interviews are a two-way exchange, and both
recruiters and candidates should use this opportunity to learn more about each
other. Prior to the interview, employers should review the candidate’s resume, as
well as any submitted supplemental materials, and prepare a few questions. Candidates
should also research the role, learn more about the company’s products and
services, and see what other employees (current and former) think about the
company’s culture, via trusted peer-review sites.
Everyone’s time is valuable, so it shouldn’t be wasted
because of a lack of preparation by either party.
Stay True to Your Values
Just because your work environment might’ve changed, doesn’t mean your beliefs have to also. In this time of uncertainty, it’s imperative to remember your “why” and to stay true to your core values, whether representing yourself or an entire company.
For candidates, that means finding out more about how it
feels to work for the prospective employer. Even if it’s a temporary position,
culture matters. It can affect your well-being and overall job performance.
Plus, a temporary or seasonal role can lead to a permanent position in the
company, so it’s worth paying attention to your first impression.
Likewise, for recruiters, it’s still vital to hire for cultural fit. Look for candidates who not only possess great talent and skills, but who will also help you build a great culture and become an employer of choice.
Follow Up in a Timely Manner
No matter how or where the interview is conducted, some follow-up should take place. If you’re a candidate, be sure to contact whomever you spoke with and to reference a memorable takeaway from the interview.
Maybe it’s a topic you spoke about (e.g., how you both went
to the same university), or, in this era of remote work, maybe it’s something funny
that happened during your conversation (e.g., the cat’s surprise cameo
providing a moment of levity). If you interviewed with multiple future
co-workers, reach out to each person separately. An email is instant, but
nothing still impresses like a hand-written thank-you note in the mail.
Recruiters, too, should follow up with candidates. It’s even more critical to contact someone who didn’t get the job, as no one likes to be “ghosted” by a prospective employer. Not following up is poor business practice, and you risk missing out down the line if another position opens up that proves a better fit for both parties. For a candidate, burning a bridge rarely helps your career. For employers, great talent is hard to find, and even harder to retain.
Remember: The hiring process often takes time. For
candidates, it can be days or sometimes weeks after an interview before you
learn whether you’ve earned the job. Also remember that these are extraordinary
times. While candidates and companies are anxious to get back to work, it may
take longer than usual to hear back, as society adjusts to widescale change in
an ever-evolving situation.
Like with any economic downturn, a recovery will eventually
happen, so it helps to stay positive and think long term. Don’t get
discouraged. Be patient, be confident, and keep an open mind as you continue
your job search.
We hope these tips and reminders lead to success. Have virtual job interview techniques of your own to share? We invite your comments below.
For more insights on successful interviewing and recruiting, check out Ultimate’s whitepapers the “Top 6 Things Candidates Are Tired of Hearing,” “Social-Powered Recruiting: For the Candidate,” and “Social-Powered Recruiting: For the Recruiter.”
The post The Virtual Job Interview: Tips for Candidates, Recruiters appeared first on Ultimate Software Blog.
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