The recruitment process is changing more and more as remote working becomes increasingly popular. And now, with the explosion of video calling, it is possible - and certainly commonplace - to interview for a job without ever leaving your home. This blog post will explore how this has changed the recruitment process and what you can do to make sure that you are prepared for this new way of applying!
A necessary change
During lockdown, companies had to quickly rethink their recruiting strategy. You may remember that telephone interviews were a popular first step in recruitment before the pandemic, but they have certainly become even more prevalent in the last 18 months. And, of course, the majority of people will now be no stranger to video calling, which, as well as being used as a means for keeping in touch with family and friends, has also been used in abundance to conduct remote job interviews. Add to this the increasing use of online assessments, so that companies can get a real feel for a candidate's skill before they've even made contact, and you can see how the hiring process has been changed drastically.
With most remaining restrictions lifted earlier this week, employers are now left to decide whether they will continue with these methods, or return to more traditional face-to-face interviews. There are benefits to both - read on to find out what these are.
The positives of remote interviewing
Though remote interviewing was introduced as a response to an emergency, there's no denying that it has clear benefits as a standalone practice.
- Companies can find talent they might not have had access to otherwise.
- A more diverse pool of applicants will be attracted, bringing fresh perspectives into the company.
- Both the hiring company and the candidate potentially save time and money by eliminating travel time and cost, and the need for a suitable interview space.
- A remote interview can reduce a candidate's nerves, meaning hiring companies get to see how they answer questions and respond to situations in a relaxed, real-world way, rather than under the pressure of anxiety.
The positives of traditional interviews
Of course, as mentioned, the ‘old’ methods do have their plus points too:
- Being able to see the candidate's facial expressions and body language in person helps you to understand them more.
- More opportunity for both interviewee and interviewer to build rapport.
- Being able to see the workplace in person helps a candidate to decide if the company is a good fit for them and their values.
- Less chance of interviews being hindered by technical difficulties.
We're now at a crossroads, and companies across the UK (and beyond) will be deciding for themselves how they want to continue with their recruitment processes. We may see a rise in hybrid recruitment processes, allowing hiring companies and candidates to get the benefit of both types of interview. This could involve companies conducting initial interviews over phone or video call, moving on to an in-person interview following a candidate shortlisting. A similar model was used pre-pandemic with phone interviews commonplace for first contact - but we expect this may shift to video interviews as the norm.
“It is clear that Covid has had a massive impact on the way we recruit, at the beginning of the pandemic recruiters were forced to shift to virtual recruitment activity. As we come out of restrictions it looks like video interviewing is not going anywhere soon with both clients and candidates seeing the benefits to the recruitment process.” - Sarah Bailie, Senior Associate, Kirkland Associates.
How to survive a video interview
Whatever happens, it would be prudent to stay knowledgeable and prepared for any kind of interview if you expect to be job hunting at any point in the future. The good news is, some of your preparation for a remote interview will be the same as for a face-to-face interview.
Don't cut corners on your appearance just because you're at home. It might feel less formal, but it's so important to dress and groom exactly as you would for an in-person interview. A first impression is a first impression, whether it's face-to-face or on camera. Resist the temptation to only dress smartly from the waist up too! One candidate recently attended an interview in a shirt and tie, only to stand up mid-way through the interview and reveal a fetching pair of jogging bottoms! (Astonishingly, he still got the job!)
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Though the temptation might be there to have off-camera notes to allow you to spend less time practising your answers, don't do it. It will be blatantly obvious if you are reading something off-camera. Prepare and rehearse in the same way you would for a face-to-face interview. Of course, just as with a face-to-face interview, there's nothing to stop you from asking if you can refer to notes from time to time, but use them as sparingly as you would in person.
Choose your space wisely
Make sure you plan ahead when choosing an appropriate location to conduct the video interview, such as your bedroom or office. You will want to avoid disruptions from other members of your household and make sure there's nothing that could be distracting for the interviewer in the background on screen!
There is no denying that the interview process has changed during the pandemic. Whether this is short term or long term change, we will see with time. We've given you some tips on how to navigate these changes and hopefully land your next job! If you're looking for your next role, give us a call on 01332 638035. Our team of recruiters is waiting to help you achieve job searching success!
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