As businesses continue ramping up operations, the demand for new and returning workers across Atlantic Canada has been steadily increasing. This increase in demand coupled with social distancing restrictions pose a problem for both job applicants and companies looking to hire. While traditional in-person interviews are widely accepted as one of the most effective methods for applicants to showcase what they bring to the table, government and company policies may restrict businesses and their recruitment efforts.

To err on the side of caution, many companies are now implementing virtual interviews to hire new employees.

With the right technology, virtual interviews can be as effective as traditional in-person interviews while ensuring all parties limit their risk of COVID-19 exposure.

That being said, there are best practices emerging that job seekers can utilize to make for a successful virtual interview. Here are some of our suggestions that we encourage daily at Integrated Staffing to help ensure a smooth, time-efficient and effective virtual interview:

  • Familiarize yourself with major video chatting platforms – Whether it’s Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts, there are many options when it comes to setting up a virtual interview. We suggest that applicants familiarize themselves with the employer’s platform of choice ahead of time. For example: how do you enable video and audio settings, how do you connect to the call, etc.
  • Review interview instructions ahead of time – Companies often will provide specific instructions for joining the call or how to walk through basic troubleshooting. Reviewing these details in advance can help resolve any technical issues so that you are not rushed or panicked during the call.
  • Complete a technology check 30 minutes before your call – we suggest the following: Check that your internet connection is stable, check that your device is fully charged and ready for use, check that your video chatting platform is updated, and check that your video and audio on your device are working. If you have any issues with technology, we recommend contacting the interviewer as soon as possible. They may be able to help resolve the issue or you may have to reschedule the interview for a later time.
  • Find a quiet environment and limit distractions – It is important to fully dedicate the time for the interview even if it’s not being completed in person. Try to find a quiet, well-lit space where you won’t be disturbed by others and limit distractions like a TV playing in the background or sitting near a window on a busy street. If possible, ensure you have your space to yourself or alert family members that you’re scheduled for an interview in advance.
  • Be professional – While both parties may be completing the interview from home, proper interview etiquette is still very important. Professional clothing and language should still be used at all times even though you may be in your living room.
  • In the event of technical difficulties, be sure to follow up – Technology is imperfect and tends to have a habit of not working when you need it most. If you’ve missed your scheduled virtual interview time, we suggest following up with the employer as soon as possible. Virtual interviews are a new process for many of us and employers are aware issues may arise.

The shift to virtual interviews is likely to increase over the coming months as employers continue rebuilding their workforce. We encourage job seekers to continue to look for best practices and treat virtual interviews as they would a traditional in-person interview.

Virtual interviews are still an excellent way to showcase your skills and experience to companies and hopefully gain meaningful employment.

To help do our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19, Integrated Staffing is currently holding virtual interviews with all of our candidates. While this list provides some great suggestions, there will likely be new changes to best practices for virtual interviews and other recruitment processes. Be sure to check back to our Integrated Staffing Blog for some additional insights and advice.