Virtual Interview Example

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Virtual Interview Example

The History of Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews have been around for as long as our computers have had webcams, but they achieved mass adoption during COVID-19 lockdowns. The first video conferencing technologies entered the market in the early 1980s with the first webcam solutions following soon after in the early 90s. But these videos were grainy, had poor audio quality, used tons of bandwidth, and required expensive equipment to run.

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Interviews

The introduction of dedicated video interview platforms wouldn't happen until InterviewStream, HireVue, and Montage began working on the problem in the early 2000s. InterviewStream was founded in 2003, with HireVue following soon after in 2004. These two platforms functioned as "asynchronous virtual interview" solutions (meaning one-way), as opposed to Zoom, Teams, or Skype, which are "synchronous virtual interview" solutions (meaning two-way).

This development was a significant milestone in virtual hiring as it allowed remote hiring managers and recruiters to send out interview requests to candidates, receive answers in return and review them at their convenience. The goal was to create a seamless experience for both interviewers and candidates, addressing the limitations of earlier video conferencing technologies. This advancement played a critical role in the adoption and acceptance of virtual interviews- setting the stage for their widespread use today.

What is a Virtual Interview?

A virtual interview is similar to a traditional face-to-face meeting between a candidate and an employer although it's hosted online. Conducted through video conferencing software or dedicated virtual interview platforms, these solutions allow hiring managers and recruiters the convenience of "remote interviewing" eliminating the need for travel, long prep times, and the high costs of accommodations.

Importance of Virtual Interviews

The role of virtual interviews took center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing measures and travel restrictions made traditional face-to-face interviews almost impossible. Virtual job interview examples became the standard as companies needed to fill roles quickly and efficiently to meet supply chain shortages and increased demand caused by the global pandemic.

How We Use Virtual Interviews Today

Today, virtual interviews are the standard and practiced by almost every company due to their efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to streamlining the interview process, virtual interviews offer many cost-saving benefits for both employers and candidates. With less time and money spent on travel and accommodations, companies can broaden their candidate pool by considering applicants from different regions of the globe. Candidates also benefit as they no longer have to take time off work or pay for expensive travel expenses to attend an interview.

To do virtual interviews right, companies need a tech stack of analytics tools that will help them gather insights and collect better data for decision-making. Interview intelligence is one such tool. Interview intelligence gives hiring teams access to interview insights that help increase fairness and objectivity in hiring while delivering better analysis of candidates' skills.

Tips for a Successful Virtual Interview

As we transition into virtual interview tips, our goal is to help fresh applicants who are less familiar with the hiring process with tips for a successful virtual interview. If you're just graduating or you're recently unemployed, the first tip that I can give you is to focus your time and attention on LinkedIn badges. The "Hiring" badge on LinkedIn is the fastest way to connect with people who are actually looking for employees and actively filling open roles.

Reaching out to these people can be as simple as messaging them something like, "Hey, noticed you're hiring for (X) role, looks like a great company to work for, do you know who I should talk to about applying?"

  1. Next, Do your research

Before the interview, make sure to research the company and position you are applying for thoroughly. This will not only impress the interviewer but also give you a better understanding of their expectations. Read the job description thoroughly, and take notes of things you're strong in, as well as areas you may be weak. If you get a certification or take a class on an area of weakness before the interview, employers will have far more confidence that you're in it for the long haul and willing to learn and adapt.

  1. Test your technology

Make sure your internet connection is stable and your video conferencing software is working properly before the interview begins. This will help prevent any technical difficulties during the interview and show your preparedness to the interviewer. It's also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected technology issues.

  1. Dress professionally

Just because the virtual interview experience isn't in person doesn't mean you should neglect your appearance. Dressing professionally will not only make a good impression but also help put you in a professional mindset for the interview.

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

This is different from doing your research beforehand- preparation includes practicing your answers to potential interview questions, coming up with examples of past experiences that showcase your skills and qualifications, and preparing any materials or documents you may need during the interview.

One of the best ways to prepare is to find answers, skills, or other items you may need on forums and other social platforms. If you're applying for an Account Executive role, Googling "AE virtual interview questions and answers" will give you an idea of what will be asked in the interview. Use these to create a mock interview environment with a friend or colleague so you can practice your interview beforehand.

  1. Be aware of body language

Even though the interviewer cannot physically see much more than your face in a virtual interview, they can still pick up on nonverbal cues through your body language. If you're fidgeting, uncomfortable, pause for long periods of time, or don't engage well, they can tell that you don't have the confidence to move forward. Practicing good posture, maintaining eye contact, and actively listening will help convey your interest and enthusiasm for the position.

  1. Follow up with a thank-you email

After the interview, send a follow-up email thanking the interviewer for their time and reiterating your interest in the position. This will show your professionalism and gratitude for the opportunity, and may also help you stand out from other candidates.

Overall, virtual interviews have become an integral part of the hiring process and it's important to adapt and excel in this format. Be prepared, things won't always "go your way" and that's okay. There are plenty of roles available today if you're willing to go after them.

Pros and Cons of Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews offer tremendous benefits, but they also come with some potential challenges. Here are a few of the pros and cons of virtual interviews. First, it's harder to read a candidate when they're thousands of miles away and have a spotty internet connection. This is one of the biggest cons of virtual interviews. Technical difficulties like connection issues, unstable internet, malfunctioning headphones, cameras, or microphones, and software glitches can disrupt the flow of an interview, making it difficult for candidates to present themselves effectively and for interviewers to gauge their demeanor and capabilities accurately.

Next, one of the big concerns around virtual interviews is the lack of interpersonal interaction. This can hinder the ability to build rapport, which is often a critical step in assessing a candidate's cultural fit within a company.

Virtual interviews also offer a far less controllable environment for companies to conduct interviews. Children can wander into the parent's office and into view, pets can disrupt interviews with barking or other loud noises, and external noises like construction and traffic can make it difficult to concentrate. In a traditional face-to-face interview setting, these distractions are much less common and easier to mitigate.

Additionally, the heavy reliance on video technology may disadvantage those who are less tech-savvy or who lack access to high-quality equipment, potentially leading to bias against excellent candidates who are merely less experienced with the technology. This is one of the less common cons of virtual interviews as platforms like Zoom and Teams have done a great job of accounting for these challenges.

Finally, bias itself can creep into virtual interviews if they're not standardized and properly structured. Structured interviews utilize standardized interview questions and set hiring criteria to create fairness and objectivity in the interview process. If you'd like to see a comprehensive structured hiring guide, click here, and paste your job description into the text field, and in a few minutes, we'll email you a complete guide for your next interview.

Structured interviews use open-ended questions to uncover candidate insights that can be helpful in making hiring decisions. Unlike common virtual interview questions, structured questions focus on assessing the candidate's skills and eliminating bias in the interview process. This approach allows virtual interviews to be fairer toward all candidates as they assess the candidate's skills with far less emphasis placed on personal traits.

Interview intelligence is another solution you can use to "stack the deck in your favor." Using Pillar can increase diversity hiring by 40%+ while decreasing turnover by up to 50%. Book a demo to discover how virtual interviews can help you attract better talent. Happy Hiring!