In the last year, we’ve deposited many new words and phrases into our commonly used word bank (eg. COVID, herd immunity, “6 feet, please!”). But our favorite? Digital Interviewing. A digital interview means you and your candidate are connecting, well, digitally! As we continue to adapt to business remotely, we’re quickly discovering the things we cannot chince out on—the interview process being a big one. Check out our top 4 digital interview tips below to make the most out of your digital connection.
1. Preparation Equals Confidence
Taking time to prepare for a digital interview means paying attention to detail, brushing up on the facts, and setting the stage for what everyone is hoping to be a great interview. Prep should be happening on both sides, as the employer (hey—we can help with that!) and as the candidate. Not doing so would be like...
- Heading to the store without your wallet
- Showing up to your soccer game in sandals
- Calling your date the wrong name 🥴
Plain and simple, in these cases you are not prepared, it could’ve been avoided, and time has been wasted. Let your candidate know what to wear, what to bring, who they’ll be talking with, and how long the interview will be. Getting these things out in the open puts everyone on the same page and instills that needed boost of confidence as both parties prep for the digital interview. Doing so also ensures the candidate has the best possible experience the moment the conversation begins.
2. Core Competencies (like Shakira’s Hips) Don’t Lie
You’re hiring for a role because you need a job done — a specific job. No doubt, more than one thing determines if a person is right for the position, but one thing that should be as objective as an Excel formula is the hard skills they’re bringing to the table. Basing your interview questions off of your list of core competencies for a role will help you extract the golden nuggets from this part of the conversation— Are their skills what the job requires? Will they be able to jump into and excel at the role? These are the key ideas that matter, regardless of which company they’re coming from, who referred them, or what they look like. And communicating those core competencies should start with the job description. Make sure people know what they’re applying for, and should they get the role, know what’s expected of them.
3. Record and Return
An interview can go by fast — sometimes too fast, leaving you looking for the playback button. Taking notes is never a bad thing, but sometimes even slightly shifting focus from the candidate can make you miss things. Knowing the interview is being recorded (with the candidate’s consent), provides peace of mind, and therefore, the chance to purely listen. You can use a tool like Pillar for this—or if you want to try it on the cheap, you can even turn Zoom recordings into your own free online interview tool.
But after getting through the first few common digital interview questions, your candidate gets more of a chance to express their personality and individuality. There may be phrases or mentions that you want to hold onto and dig deeper into. Perhaps you want to pass some of their digital interview answers onto the next teammate who will be interviewing the candidate. Recording the interview allows you to return to the interview as many times as you want. It also gives the candidate more than one chance to make themselves heard, get their point across, and solidify their first impression.
4. Calendar Alerts: *Turns Volume Up*
While being late to any meeting isn’t great etiquette, your candidate is not a co-worker, nor is this a standard meeting along with the rest you may have on your calendar that day. We’ve all been there—sending off that last email before joining the next meeting, waiting until the last minute to refill your coffee or run to the bathroom. Starting your digital interview on time isn’t only polite as the potential employer—it communicates something about your business. After all, this is a two way street; you need to sell the candidate on your company too! Being prompt also leaves time at the end of the interview for a candidate to ask questions. While communication of next steps is key, you want to allow time for more than, “So what are the next steps?” at the end of an interview. Time management is even more important in a digital interview when the candidate won’t get that time in the office to chat on the way out, maybe meet other co-workers, and get a general sense of the culture and camaraderie of a company. It’s a candidate’s market out there—so giving the candidate time to ask about what’s on their mind should be equally important to the employer and the candidate.
Sure, some digital interview practice could do us all some good, but between the Zoom links, the scheduling, and the day-to-day mumbo jumbo that waits for us after an interview, we’re still talking about a conversation between two people. At the core, that’s the goal of any interview. Both parties come with an end result in mind, but don’t forget the humans that’re sitting in the middle of it. Whether there’s a decision to hire or not, a connection was still made—something we should all be more grateful for these days.
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