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3 Tips for Employers Doing Interviews During COVID-19

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Interviews and finding employees is another process changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Conducting virtual interviews has quickly become the new way of hiring, but some employers who put hiring on hold may now have to start hiring again and are unsure how to go about it. 

Even though interviewing via video conference is different and sometimes troublesome, here are some great tips from hiring experts to help you have successful interviews and find your perfect candidate.

Tips for Employers Doing Interviews During COVID-19

# 1 Spare time activities

“One piece of advice I have for those interviewing virtually because of the pandemic is to ask what they’ve been up to during quarantine.” – Andrew Roderick, CEO of Credit Repair Companies 

Finding free time during the COVID-19 pandemic for some was not a hard task. Andrew brings up a great point in looking for the candidate during these times to gauge their use of quality time. 

“Personally, I want to see candidates who have been productive in their spare time, whether it’s picking up a book, learning a new language, or skill or just doing something to better themselves.”

“This shows me that they have the desire to do more in life and are willing to work harder even when nobody’s watching. Although it may not be a professional outlook on a potential new member of staff, I see it as looking at how motivated someone is for a new challenge.”

Hiring More Effectively During COVID-19

# 2 Fine-Tuning Your Approach

 “In my experience, interviewing virtually doesn’t have to be any different than the way you do it in real life.” – Sean Nguyen, Director of Internet Advisor, Internet Advisor

Although doing face to face interviews has changed, that does necessarily mean that every aspect of the meeting has to change. Sean provides excellent insights on issues to continue to look for, even when the interview is done virtually.

 “I find that you just have to fine-tune your approach and focus on different skills and questions. For example, you may have a harder time figuring out the type of person the candidate is and what their personality is like.” 

“It’s true, everyone is on their best behavior in an interview anyway, but in person, you can always pick up a ‘vibe,’ you know?” 

“That’s gone over video, and there’s no real eye contact. But you can still ask some pointed questions to determine if they’d be a good fit for your team. Think about  the important tenets of your business and your company culture – be it teamwork or innovation – and find a way to uncover their stance on it without asking directly. Their response will be telling whether they’ll be a good culture fit or not.”

Unusual Places To Find New Hires

# 3 Employers Be Prepare Too

As the Senior Vice President at Talascend, a national staffing company, Monique Mollere has been in the recruiting industry for 20 years and gives her tips on the best way to conduct interviews during COVID-19.

  • Be prepared, thoroughly review the candidate’s resume, review their LinkedIn profile, and have your questions outlined before the interview starting.
  • Try to create a quiet, peaceful environment for your interview before it begins. Even with best-laid plans, if you are working from home, there can be distractions such as children at home/ pets/ someone ringing the doorbell, thunderstorms, traffic noise, etc. Do your best to control the environment so you can focus your attention on the candidate.
  • Interviews can make people nervous or anxious, try an icebreaker to put the interviewee at ease. Assure them the interview is a two-way street and allows them an opportunity to determine if this is truly a role and find interest in the company.
  • Technology difficulties on either end can be distracting – depending on if you are interviewing from your cell or a laptop, your broadband/ wifi strength can affect. Also, have patience with the interviewee in case they are experiencing technical issues.
  • If you have allotted a certain amount of time for the interview, explain it to the candidate upfront so that they know the expectation for the interview’s length.
  • Begin the interview and take notes. You may be interviewing several candidates for the same role, make sure you remember key answers the candidate has provided so you can refer back to your notes when determining who may move on to the next step.
  • Take time to thoughtfully answer questions the candidate may have about the role and the company.
  • Outline the process and time frame for the next steps and communication so that the candidate knows what happens next.
  • Thank the candidate for their time.

Find Comfort in the Change

Adjusting to all the coronavirus pandemic changes is something every one and every business is currently trying to achieve as smoothly as possible. Although hiring new employees has always been trying, conducting interviews through a computer screen does not make the process any easier. However, using these tips to help you perform your company’s hiring interviews can make a significant difference when hiring during COVID-19. 

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