The Don’ts of Interviewing Your Applicants Online

Meta: COVID-19 is pushing hirers to utilize technology in recruitment. But how do you spot the right talent at a time when personal interactions are unfeasible?

The Don’ts of Interviewing Your Applicants Online

Whether we like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world economy will see a massive shift in the working industry. The recession will change the way companies operate and hire. Instead of the usual face-to-face interviews, companies must now invest in more innovative recruitment processes. And in the current scenario, an online job interview is king.

Virtual hiring is not something new. Some companies conduct phone interviews as their get- to-know-you stage with an applicant before inviting them to the office. But the personal one- on-one interview gives the employer a better perspective of the applicant, not to mention the unlikelihood of miscommunication. Hence, it is the most preferred method.

With online interviews potentially becoming the new norm, how should recruiters be equipped for this change? What should they not commit to gain the confidence of an applicant?

Relying on a faulty internet connection.

This one goes without saying. For an online interview to go smoothly, ensure that your network isn’t buffering every five minutes. As the data consumption of video is much bigger than e- mail or chatting, ensure the network connection is stable and close any program or downloads that may be interfering with your connection

Not checking the audio and video quality

Avoid finding yourself in a situation where you are experiencing tech issues in the middle of your interview. Before conducting your interview, do a test run first. This way, you would know the problem right away and make the necessary solution. On the other hand, ask yourself what you would do if any technical difficulty occurs. Poor audio? You might need to get yourself a microphone. It’s always better to have a back-up plan!

Interviewing at an inappropriate area

When you’re about to conduct a virtual interview, find a spot where your interviewee can focus on you, not the objects that they notice in the background. Choose a spot in your house that is well-lit and has a neutral background. Who could forget that BBC interview where the interviewee’s kids suddenly interrupted him on live TV? To avoid such embarrassing scenario, find an isolated area where you and your interviewee can have a peaceful conversation. As much as possible, keep children and pets away from you.

Dressing too casually

Interviewing at home might make you think it’s okay to dress in your sleeping clothes. However, applicants are expecting professionalism from you, so it’s only necessary to look the part. There is no need for you to wear formal attire. But dress smartly and tidy your hair so that your applicant 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 to use for the interview. You can also prepare talk points as your guide throughout the whole interview. It is your job to get to know your applicant, so jotting down important questions will help you both progress. Allow your interviewee to ask questions for you as well so you’d get a better understanding of their interest.

Displaying improper posture

Body language says a lot. Showing proper posture to your interviewee doesn’t just exude confidence, but also interest. Whether you are sitting in a chair or standing up, try not to appear too slumpy as it might have the same effect on your applicant. If they notice that you’re not being active in the conversation, it might diminish their own confidence.

Talking over the applicant

Perhaps you can blame it on the delay, but avoid interrupting your applicant when they’re still speaking. Not only is it considered rude, but it can lead to misunderstanding and constantly repeating what was said. Since both of you are only relying on your internet, give yourself two seconds after the applicant finishes answering your question, so that you can transition to the next.

Looking away from your applicant

It may be impossible to show eye contact, but show your interest to the applicant by looking directly into their screen. Refrain from looking elsewhere or multitasking. This shows your sincerity and gives a clear indication that you are actively listening to their every word. Moreover, give simple affirmations by nodding or saying ‘okay.’

Not being personable enough

Just because it’s a job interview doesn’t mean you can’t strike up a casual and meaningful conversation. At a time where everyone is struggling, it would be good to check on the applicant by starting off with a simple “how are you?” Ask them how they’re coping with the pandemic in terms of finding a job. This shows empathy and can be a reflection of your company’s treatment towards employees.

These are just some of the things not to do when finding the right talent online. When the day comes when we return to normal, COVID-19 is expected to change the way we work. Hence, we must get used to innovation as early as now. Companies must be prepared for a radical shift in communication and for employees to brush up some advanced skills. After all of the things the world has been through, it’s challenges like these that paves the way to a newer, better way of living.


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