Whether we like it or not, technology without a doubt makes our personal and profession lives run at a faster pace. Hopefully at a higher rate of efficiency as well. The days of pen and paper are slowly fading away. Business mailings and correspondence that took days to be delivered are now instantly sent and received via e-mails. Board rooms may no longer need to be reserved throughout the day, as meetings can now be conducted through conference calls, bringing individuals from coast to coast together.
What does this mean for the interview process? It means the possibility of the “Video Interview”. For the candidates and companies alike, there are many pro’s to this new method introduced into the hiring process. Candidates that are looking to relocate can now be interviewed through video, allowing them to cut down on some possible costs associated with travel. For companies, it allows them to interview individuals that may reside out of town sooner, as a video interview can be scheduled within hours of the resume being sent, as opposed to waiting for travel arrangements to be made, which could take weeks.
Though the premise of these “video interviews” is the same as the classic initial face to face interview, some individuals, on both sides of the camera, may be confused or intimidated by this new technique.
Here are some tips for both candidates and companies to use for their next “E-Interview”.
Candidates, remember that this “E-Interview” needs to be just as professional as a face to face onsite interview would be. Just because you are not sitting across the table from them, does not mean they will not be able to see you. Often conducted through Skype, or other online programs, these interviews will allow the hiring managers to see you just as clearly as they would in person. With that being said, press that dress shirt and air out your suit, you should still plan on dressing up for this online meeting.
Second, test out and prepare your equipment and area around your computer. Make sure that whatever program is being utilized for the “E-Interview” is up to date and will easily be able to be opened at the time of your call. In addition, make sure that the area around your computer is in a condition that is appropriate for the hiring managers to potentially view. If your computer is in-front of your laundry basket, consider a possible new location. You may also contact your local public library or career center to inquire if you could utilize one of their computers or rooms for the interview. This may help ensure that there is a professional environment around you as well.
Finally, please remember to still make eye contact. Sure, there are not physical hands to shake during this interview, but there are still going to be at least one set of eyes looking at you. Just as awkward as it is to not look at the individual interviewing you during an onsite interview, it is equally as awkward to not make eye contact and acknowledge the individual that is speaking at you through the camera.
Hiring Managers, though this type of interview may not be one that you are as well versed with as the traditional onsite face to face method, please keep in mind that you must still keep the new online method as consistent as the traditional interview. Just because the candidate is not in your office, does not mean you can ask impermissible questions pertaining to race, age, citizenship status etc.
Secondly, block off time, just as you would an onsite interview, to allow you to adequately tend to this meeting. If this interview is being conducted in your office through your computer, make sure that your desk phone is on “do not disturb” and your office staff knows that you can not be interrupted during this time. Treat this appointment with the same importance you would if the candidate was sitting across the table from you.
Finally, remember to follow up with the individuals that you spoke and “met” with online, just as you would those that physically came to your office. If you hire a qualified individual, and the online candidates are not chosen, send them a correspondence updating them on your decision to go with another candidate.
When conducted properly, online or “E-Interviews” are just as effective and useful as a traditional onsite interview, beneficial for both candidate and hiring manager.