By the Student Outreach, Advancement, and Recruitment (SOAR) Committee
The world as we know it has changed. The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt around the globe, and the business world is no exception. Thankfully, despite the recent economic challenges, many organizations are continuing to invest in their most important assets—people. Due to the remote-work requirements that many organizations have implemented, video conferencing tools have become a primary resource for internal meetings, external meetings, and most interestingly, talent acquisition.
Virtual interviews are the new normal that organizations are utilizing to assess talent. This presents challenges to both the organization and potential candidates. How does a talent evaluator adequately assess an individual without meeting the candidate in person? How does a candidate sufficiently put his or her best foot forward via Zoom? These challenges necessitate a reevaluation of proper interview preparation for candidates.
Interviewing from the comfort of one’s home may inadvertently lead to candidates not adequately preparing. While it may sound nice to roll out of bed at 8:55 for a 9:00 interview, this is not the way to put one’s best foot forward. Candidates should still give themselves plenty of time to research the company, brainstorm thoughtful questions, dress appropriately, brush their hair, etc.
It is also important to do a trial run or two prior to the interview. Technology is unpredictable, so it is essential to plan accordingly and have a backup plan if things go awry. Testing the internet connection, microphone, and camera beforehand will allow candidates to focus on the interview itself rather than the logistics. Consider having a friend or family member schedule a test meeting to ensure that there are no connectivity or audio issues. It may also be worthwhile to connect via Ethernet rather than Wi-Fi to avoid bandwidth problems. Lastly, candidates should take note of the environment that will be presented during the virtual interview. Ensure that the room is free of visual distractions, foot traffic, and loud noises to ensure that interviewers can focus on the content of the interview and not the external factors of the environment.
Although virtual interviews present new challenges, it is important to remember that they are still just interviews at the end of the day. The interviewing techniques and soft skills learned in school are still applicable and critical to a successful interview. Virtual interviews require some additional preparation, but success is still measured by the qualifications and personality of the candidate.
Finally, it is important to note that no matter how meticulous the preparation process, hiccups can and will still happen. Do not let that fluster you. After all, you prepared for this and you are more than ready to put your best foot forward in this virtual world!