As people around the world eagerly await a return to business as usual after the pandemic, the job interview is unlikely to be the same.
Just as many companies have adapted in recent years to running day-to-day affairs online, they have adopted policies to conduct job interviews virtually – and many say they will continue to schedule initial meetings with candidates online. line. A clear advantage, according to the results of a recent survey of companies commissioned by Express Employment Professionals of Oklahoma City, is that they can look far beyond local communities to identify the best candidates. Online meetings can also eliminate other logistical barriers to hiring.
According to The Harris Poll, 44% of respondents said they have adopted policies to conduct interviews remotely. While 27% of blue-collar companies initially met candidates online, 59% of white-collar companies did so. Some 64% of companies with 100 or more employees have used remote job interviews, compared to 50% of medium-sized companies with 10 to 99 employees and 18% of small companies with fewer than 10 employees.
Notably, 39% of interviewers said they were “harder” on job applicants in initial online meetings than they would be in in-person interviews.
Survey results and feedback showed that candidates cannot afford to take risks by presenting themselves online in an unprofessional manner. Nearly half of decision makers said they would not hire someone who dresses unprofessionally for a virtual meeting. A third said they would react badly to things like cluttered backgrounds or TVs on.
“Virtual job interviews can be convenient for job seekers who may not always be able to travel for job interviews and can allow employers to broaden their search area to find the talent they need” said Express Employment International CEO Bill Stoller. “But for virtual job interviews to be successful, both parties need to treat it the same as an in-person interview by being professional and being prepared with helpful questions and answers.”
According to Jessica Culo, owner of Express Franchise, if companies see the value of virtual interviews, in-person interviews should also continue.
“I think the mix of the two is here to stay, especially with virtual preliminary interviews, followed by second or third in-person interviews,” she said.
Culo’s advice to job seekers is to prepare for virtual interviews the same way they would for an in-person meeting.
“Poor technology, physical distractions, inappropriate appearance and dress, or taking a call in an inappropriate environment are all discouraging signs for most employers,” she said. “Especially when so many roles are now remote or hybrid, employers expect to see a candidate virtually behave for an interview as they should be during working hours.