The Don’ts of Interviewing Your Applicants Online
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently sweeping the world economy vigorously and a massive shift in the working industry is expected as a result of this crisis. A recession is anticipated and it will change the way companies operate and hire. So, instead of the usual face-to-face interviews, companies should now invest more in innovative recruitment processes. Given the current scenario, an online job interview is king.
Leveraging technology for hiring in the age of online recruitment
Virtual hiring is not new in this modern age. There are some companies which conduct phone interviews as the first stage to get to know the candidates before inviting them to the office for a face-to-face session. Employers prefer a personal one-to-one interview session rather than a virtual interview as it gives a better perception of the candidate, not to mention the unlikelihood of miscommunication. Hence, it is the most preferred method.
Lately, online jobs have been gaining popularity amongst the candidates because it’s convenient, cost-effective, and manageable. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, it has indeed drove this desire into a need.
With online interviews becoming the new normal, recruiters should be equipped for this change. How should they be ready for this change and what should they not commit to gain the confidence of the candidate?
Coping with your professionalism during your hiring process at home
It is always important to keep your professionalism during your hiring process even at home. Watch out for these online interviewing mistakes so you could make a good first impression with your potential candidate.
Relying on a slow internet connection.
The first and most important step for an online interview to go smoothly is to ensure that your network does not buffer every five minutes. Before you begin the online job interview session, close any program or downloads that may be interfering with your connection because the data consumption of video is much bigger than e-mail or chatting. With everyone now relying on the Internet to communicate, it is vital to invest in a strong network. The solution for this is to find the best type of connection in your area in order to avoid any untoward incidents.
Not checking the quality of the video and audio
Avoid experiencing tech issues in the middle of your interview. Do a test run with a family member or friend before you conduct your online job interview. By having a test run, you would be able to rectify the problem right away and solve it. On a separate note, ask yourself what you would do if any technical difficulty occurs. Poor audio? Then you might need to get microphone for yourself as it is always good to have a Plan B!
Interviewing at an inappropriate area
During an online job interview, your interviewee needs to focus on you and not be obstructed by the objects that they notice in the background. You need to choose a spot at your home that has a neutral background and is well-lit. Who could forget that BBC interview where the interviewee’s kids suddenly interrupted him on live TV? To avoid such an embarrassing scenario, you should find an isolated area where you and your interviewee can have a smooth and peaceful conversation. Try your best to keep children and pets away from you during an online job interview.
You might think that it is okay to dress casually during a virtual interview at home. However, some professionalism is expected from you by the candidates, so it is only necessary to look the part. There is no need to wear formal attire but dress-up smartly and tidy your hair so that your candidate knows you mean business. Treat it as if you are actually seeing the applicant in person.
Not preparing your questions beforehand
The good thing about online interviews is that you can prepare notes before the interview. At the same time, preparing talking points as a guide throughout the interview process is good for as an interviewer. Your job is to get to know your candidate, so jotting down important questions will help you both during the interview. Allow your interviewee to ask questions to you as well so that you could get a better understanding of their interest.
Displaying improper posture
Body language is very important during an online job interview. Why? Because showing a proper posture to your interviewee displays not just confidence, but also interest. Whether you are sitting on a chair or standing up, try not to appear too boggy as it might also have the same effect on your candidate. If they notice that you are not active in the conversation, it might diminish their confidence.
Talking over the candidate
Avoid interrupting your candidate when they are still speaking. It is considered rude, which could also lead to misunderstanding and constantly repeating what was said. Since both of you are only relying on your internet, it is best to give yourself two seconds after the candidate has answered, so that you can transition to the next question smoothly.
Looking away from your candidate
It is impossible to show any eye contact, but show your interest to the candidate by looking directly into the screen. Do not multitask and refrain from looking elsewhere. It shows your sincerity and it gives a clear indication that you are actively listening to their every word. Following up to that, it would be great to give simple affirmations by nodding or saying ‘okay.’
Not being friendly enough
At a time where everyone is struggling because of this COVID-19 crisis, it would be great to check on the candidate by starting off with a simple “how are you?” Asking them how they are coping with the pandemic in terms of finding a job could be an ice-breaker and make the candidate comfortable. It shows that you have empathy and it gives a reflection of your company’s treatment towards its employees.
These are just some of the things not to do when interviewing a candidate online. Meanwhile, many candidates still indicate that they appreciate prompt responses from hirers on their application status. About 83% of candidates believe that it is important to receive updates on every stage of the interview process. Although interview processes are now through online, it is still important to give updates on the candidates’ application. To find out more on candidates feedback on the interview process, check out our newly launched Laws of Attraction interactive site now.
Things will return to normal but with the COVID-19 crisis, we are expected to change the way of working. Hence, we should get used to this new normality as early as now. Companies should prepare for a thorough shift in communication and for employees to brush up on advanced skills. It’s challenges such as these that paves the way for a newer, better way of living.
As a steadfast partner to employers and candidates, JobStreet has launched the campaign #TogetherAhead, with a specially set up COVID-19 Jobs and Resource Hub to offer guidance to both businesses and individuals through this crucial time.