COVID-19 Pushing Virtual Job Interviews

Coronavirus has forced many companies around to world toswitch to working from home. As more employees test positive for COVID-19,offices are beginning to shut down and those that can, are turning to virtual interactions.Not only is it the work that is being carried out online, but interviews arealso being held virtually.

Amazon switched the majority of its interviews to virtual interviews, setting up portals where candidates are able to contact recruiters and complete all of the necessary paperwork. Via Amazon Chime, its own videoconferencing software, interviews can be held. Google has done the same with Google Hangouts and LinkedIn is using BlueJeans or waiting for a more appropriate time to meet in person.

The advice from Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder, isthat anyone expecting an interview in the coming weeks should be prepared forit to take place online by using software like Skype or Zoom and there may wellbe delays. This will be more likely when companies have a large number ofemployees in areas that are suffering from coronavirus.

Outsourcing is one field that will have to adapt to the current situation if it is to survive. Kathy Albarado is the CEO if Reston, a Va.-based outsourcing and acquisition consultancy. Her team of 40 employees is now working from home and all of the interviews are going ahead. The company is using Microsoft Teams to communicate via chat and video meetings. Microsoft Teams also allows for file storage and application integration. The process is similar to before, pre-screening is carried out via a telephone call and the traditional in-person interview is now virtual.

It is great to see that the tech giants are not taking advantage of the crisis we are experiencing right now. On the contrary, Microsoft, for example, is offering a free trial period of 6 months for the premium versions of Teams.

It is true that virtual interviews are not the same asin-person interviews, however, they are not impeding the interview process orlessening the experience. Video calls today have far superior quality than evena couple of years ago and you are still able to read facial expressions and howengaged your candidates are.

Looking on the Positive Side

Remote work was already beginning to gain popularity beforethe COVID-19 crisis hit us. Granted, many companies were not totally preparedfor such a sudden switch, but it will play a great role in the future of remotework, and this will include virtual interviews. As companies come to grips withthe technology that is required, these new practices will become the new norm.Remote work and virtual interviews demonstrate a company’s ability to beflexible, especially when it comes to the health, wellbeing, and personal circumstancesof its employees, something candidates are grateful for today.

How to Hold Your Virtual Interviews

For those who have held numerous face-to-face interviews,they might be nervous about the idea of change. But it doesn’t have to be thisway. Here are three pieces of advice that will help your virtual interviews runsmoothly:

Prepare everything as you would a normal interview-make sure you are aware of the complete job description and that you arefamiliar with the candidate’s CV. Have your computer turned on and the relevantsoftware ready 5 minutes before the start time and ensure the environment isquiet and well lit. Also make sure that the candidate is aware of the correcttime of the interview, more so if you are working in different time zones, andthat they know how to access and use the software.

Let your candidate know your expectations– you shouldlet your candidates know beforehand that the interview will be virtual, explainwhy you are interviewing in this way and what you expect from the process.

Revise your technology- again, don’t leave this tothe last minute. It looks unprofessional if your candidate is waiting while youtry to establish a connection. Ask them to check their technology before theinterview is due to begin. Both the camera and the microphone should bechecked.