The New Normal: Tips for Digital Interviews

More and more employers are turning to video interviews to streamline their recruiting process and augment their hiring decisions. The transition to digital hiring was already taking place, but during the pandemic almost all interviewing has moved online. The art of interviewing is always challenging, but it becomes even more difficult when you can’t meet face to face. It can be hard to read the room, when you cannot see people’s non-verbal expressions. While your video interview may feel different, you can rest assured knowing you are answering the same questions as every other candidate. Here are some tips on ways to nail your next digital interview:

1.Company Culture

One of my favorite maxims is, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” Trying to figure out if your personal values line up with the company’s is a huge part of being a good corporate fit. Often candidates feel that the interview process is a one-way street – false! Remember, only half of the interview process is determining if you’re a good fit for the company. The other half is determining if the company is a good fit for you. Here are couple of online ways to research company culture:

  • Search the following in Google- site: “company culture” This will populate Google search results with any page on their site that contains the words company culture.
  • Read the About Us section or Mission Statement on the company’s website.
  • Look at employee review sites like Glassdoor. Current and past employees tend to be very candid about their thoughts about a company culture’s strengths and pitfalls on their website. Caveat: Take their comments with a grain of salt. The people who leave comments on Glassdoor tend to fit into one of two categories: 1.) Company kool-aid drinkers and 2.) Disaffected employees who have grievances to air against the company.

2. Know the Company’s Product or Service

The second part of your pre-interview due diligence should involve getting an understanding of the companies’ products or services. This is critical research that must be conducted so you sound informed in a video interview. You can’t solve a businesses’ problems unless you know what problems they are solving for their customers. Here are a few places to start when looking for the organization’s product or service;

  • Read the website’s product or service pages.
  • Read the website’s blog posts about their industry, product or service.
  • Search Google News for the company’s name to find the most recent developments or innovations happening inside the company.
  • Visit review sites, find out what customers/clients, employees and have to say about the company’s product or service. Some site to review including the following; YELP, Glassdoor, Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau.

3. Practice your interview responses:

Keep in mind that on demand video interviews are always structured interviews. You are answering the same questions, in the same order as everyone else who’s interviewing for the position. The employer is going to reserve this time for questions that really matter to them for their initial evaluation.

Video interviews are also limited to standardized questions. You generally don’t have to prepare for or anticipate curve balls or inappropriate questions. Video interviews want to measure your potential to succeed based on merit, not bias.

  • Practice answering the most common behavioral based interview questions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s recent opportunities and challenges.
  • Record yourself on a computer or phone video capture app answering mock questions.
  • Glassdoor collects interview questions from candidates based on job titles and companies.

4. Check your technology

This may sound like an obvious tip, but this one of the few things you can control ahead of the interview. Imagine being in the middle of a great answer to the interview questions and all of a sudden, your wireless connection goes out. Here are a few tech tips to consider in advance of the interview:

  • Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in while you conduct your interview to avoid any unexpected battery outages or shutdowns.
  • Try to find a room with decent lighting so your face is clearly visible. Try closing the blinds if you’re planning on sitting in front of a window during the daytime.
  • Test your internal microphone or headset prior to your interview by recording a voice memo to ensure functionality for the interview.
  • If you’re interviewing on a computer, it’s natural to look at the window displaying your video feed and not your web camera. Position the video feed window near the top center of your screen so that looking at this feed will also make it look like you’re looking at the camera.
  • Test your internet connection prior to starting the interview.

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