HR Answers: Tips for Surviving Modern Interviews

HR manager interviewing job candidate by video conference
By Catherine Holland

4 minutes

Leveraging common tools and technology can help credit unions of all sizes recruit top talent by smoothing out the interview process.

We’re living in an age where boardroom and office interviews are on the decline and online interviews have become a big part of the current hiring process. The modern interview has become much more thorough, and it can be conducted from the comfort of your computer or even phone screen rather than always being face-to-face.

Prospective employees aren’t the only ones adapting to and benefitting from this new way of interviewing. Businesses are also learning how to execute contemporary interviews properly to select the perfect fit for their team.

Today, 60% of HR managers use or have used video interviewing during the hiring process, and pandemic or not, we don’t think that’s going away anytime soon. Competition for talent today is fierce, and online interviews present both challenges and opportunities regardless of location.

The question is: How can you get through the modern interview process professionally and effectively? Let’s go over some helpful technology and process tips you can utilize for your next hire.

Before the Interview

Familiarize yourself with the technology. If you’re planning to use video platforms like Zoom or Google Meet to conduct the interview, it’s critical that you familiarize yourself with how they work before the meeting. You don’t want to get halfway through the interview and run into an unexpected technical issue that you don’t know how to fix.

It’s also important that you send detailed instructions to your interviewee about how to access Zoom or Google Meets. You can’t always be sure that potential candidates know how to use these video platforms. Include a scheduled date and time for the interview and specify the platform and what they should expect.

It’s also wise to get involved with business/employment-oriented services, such as LinkedIn, Indeed or Monster. Such job platforms have become common ways for candidates and employers to upload and review resumes and job postings. As of now, LinkedIn has 830 million members worldwide. These services are extremely effective and easy to use to find promising candidates. Acclimating to online job applications and resumes is now essential for future success in recruiting top talent.

Go through the applicants. Review potential candidates to get a sense of which applicants you’d like to interview during the staffing and recruiting process. In some cases, you may have dozens (or hundreds) of applications from an online job posting. It may seem overwhelming, but remember that filtering through prospective employees can help you narrow down what you and the business are searching for. You may find that you hadn’t considered a useful and desirable skill represented in the pool of online candidates.

We recommend keeping your personal information protected when creating job posts. Include only the information the applicant needs, and be mindful of what information you’re asking to receive, as well.

Do a test run. Before you move forward with a video interview, you should give it a test run. Check that your internet connection is stable and that the webcam and microphone are working. Taking some time to test the video platform can help you avoid issues such as lagging, freezing and problems with audio that might leave your candidate with a negative impression.

During the Interview

The modern interview process isn’t as simple as it once was. Back in the old days, you could apply, interview and offer/receive a job position on the same day. Now, there’s a lot more to consider.

Ask open-ended questions. As a general rule for every interview, have questions prepared for all your interviewees and ensure you ask each candidate the same questions. You might run into a situation where you have to improvise and throw in a “what if” scenario to see how they respond.

If you notice that the candidate is nervous, try to put them at ease. Remember that your questions should pertain to the job itself. You don’t need to ask hard-hitting questions, especially in a first-round interview.

Do more listening than talking. It will benefit you to pay close attention to what the applicants say, especially if you’re interviewing more than one person for the job. You’re the one asking questions, so it’s important that you really listen to the answers. Also be sure to leave time at the end of the interview in case candidates have any questions for you about the position.

Take notes. When your interviewee is answering your questions, where are those answers going? Take notes during the interview and make specific points about what the applicants say and how they respond to you. Afterward, you’ll have to go over each individual and recall what they said. Detailed notes will help you review the information later and keep things organized. Entering notes electronically either during or after the interview can help keep things organized and allow you to search for key words or details.

Hiring employees can be an exhausting job, but in today’s labor market, it’s beneficial to use technology as a tool during the interviewing process. Familiarizing yourself with commonly used online features and platforms for job posting and hiring can help you tremendously when moving forward with growing your credit union’s bench strength.

Catherine Holland is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and entrepreneurship for a variety of businesses. Some of her favourite pieces can be found on the Jason Brice website.

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