Social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic is forcing more employers to conduct online interviews. The demand for skilled IT professionals in areas such as data, web, user interaction, and project management is higher than ever.
The current isolation disrupts work practices and employers need to be more flexible in managing the recruitment process. Technology has come to the fore more than ever before, thanks to people working from home. During quarantine, all interviews moved to Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, WebEx and GotoMeeting. It is important for companies to understand how to use technology effectively to make a good professional impression and get the most out of candidates.
When preparing for an online interview, a company should focus on three main areas:
This may seem obvious, but it is important that you familiarize yourself with the technology you intend to use in advance and make sure it works correctly. This must be done by everyone who participates in the conference. Make sure your internet connection is good in the room you will be in during your interview. If you are using mobile technology, make sure you have a strong signal.
Whenever possible, it is best to use your laptop or full screen mode on your mobile phone for the interview: this will give you a better idea of the candidate’s reaction. By the way, remember that the candidate sees you too, so dress appropriately. For better lighting, you can place a lamp behind the laptop. It is also recommended to raise the laptop to a suitable height by placing it on books or other support. Try to keep the camera at eye level and maintain eye contact with the camera during the interview.
Many people now work from home, so it is important to make sure that no one will be interrupting you during the interview. Likewise, you should turn off your phone to avoid sudden incoming calls or notifications.
A well-written job specification is often the key to successful hiring. Review the specification for the position and plan your questions to identify the candidate’s relevant experience and skills. Be sure to include the same basic questions you would ask in any other interview, for example:
What does the candidate know about your business?
What does he know about the industry?
Why does he need a job?
How have he prepared for the interview?
As with any job interview, it is imperative to read the candidate’s CV in advance and take note of any additional details. This could include details about the candidate’s expected salary, availability, when notifications can be sent, etc.
During the interview, focus on listening to the candidate’s responses. Keep in mind that if you allow yourself to be distracted, the candidate will be able to see it online, just as you can see if the candidate is not listening to your questions.
Finally, remember to prepare for the candidate’s questions. In the current environment, this could include asking how your company is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to preparing yourself, it is important to make sure that all of your team members who will be interviewed are also properly prepared. This will include notification of the time and date of the interview and the provision of copies of all relevant documentation. Likewise, you need to inform the candidate that the interview will be conducted online, make sure he knows the time and date, the format of the interview and the technology that will be used. Candidates should be provided with all the necessary information about the position they are applying for, well in advance of the interview.
If you are new to online interviews, keep in mind that you still need to complete all the usual pre-hiring checks, such as determining if a candidate is eligible to work in the country, proficiency testing, referral screening, and, if necessary, arrange medical inspections.
Many employers check candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn and social media. If you do, it is recommended that you inform the candidate about it. It is important to comply with data protection / privacy regulations.
While Covid-19 has increased the use of video conferencing for online interviews, new technologies have been driving changes in work practices in many sectors for some time now. As more enterprises realize the benefits and cost savings that can be achieved with these technologies, the demand for IT professionals will remain high.
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