The abrupt shift to working remotely has challenged many tech companies to change their recruitment strategies. For candidates who are used to face-to-face interaction—the need to rely exclusively on virtual technologies can be a particularly difficult transition.
For many candidates, virtual hiring sits firmly alongside their job-search strategies while some may still be familiarizing themselves with it. Whatever your reasons for dabbling in virtual hiring are, as long as you have a stable internet connection, it’s possible to reflect your vision for the role and bring out your true skill sets.
Create the illusion of an in-person interview
While virtual hiring has many advantages, it can’t replace the magic of face-to-face dialogue. This is why creating a human connection via technology is important to optimize the interviewing process. To offer a human touch to the experience, make sure you are aware of what the virtual hiring process looks like from the get-go. Ask recruiter(s) for an outline of what to expect, including information such as how long the call will take and who you will be virtually meeting with. This would allow you to do your homework on the interviewer, putting your mind at ease.
It’s also a good idea to ask important questions during the interview to take the edge off any aloofness associated with the entire virtual hiring process.
Don’t let the conversation get boring
It is natural for engagement in virtual meetings to diminish in comparison to physical ones. While there’s no way of replicating the level of social engagement from in-person interactions — you can still make the best out of virtual meetings by planning ahead. Instead of spending the time talking about yourself, which is likely to take a long time and risk losing engagement, talk about your work.
Answer questions directly and thoroughly as well as giving anecdotes about your career history, past projects, and results. Positivity is contagious and people are drawn to others that exude it. While talking about negative experiences during the interview, keep a positive tone and share how you learned from a customer complaint or persistent issue(s).
Explain everything to a tee
Many traits that define a “great” candidate can’t be found on a resume. So, during virtual interviews, try to explain what you have accomplished in your last job. Pay special attention to your skill pitch by using anecdotes to build a picture of your problem-solving abilities. Help the interviewer gauge your customer-centricity and passion for learning by answering questions that reveal the minutest details of your last project.
Speak the language of an ideal candidate as you accurately paint a picture of what your current or past job contained. Use the proper, self-explanatory words while talking about all past tech projects. This will help you save time and keep the conversation short and pointed in the right direction.
Sell your soft skills
Understand that many companies won’t hire the most talented people if they won’t create value for their business and don’t align with their work culture. Technical skills attained through education are not enough for new-age IT professionals. In today’s tech economy, key behavioral skills are just as important as technical knowledge. That’s where your soft skills play a vital role.
At the pre-screening and interviewing stage, figure out ways to articulate how your core values and career aspirations align with the potential employer’s culture. Throughout the process, demonstrate a growth mindset. Exhibit a thirst for knowledge and curiosity to let the other person gauge your enthusiasm for technology.
Humanize the process
A good virtual hiring process is largely supported by technology. So, check if you have the right bandwidth to communicate effectively over chosen video conferencing platforms such as Zoom or Teams. Delays between the two parties speaking, a blurry video feed, and miscommunications can make virtual interviews feel awkward. Focus on your skill pitch, not those awkward moments. Through technology, find humanity in the process. If the interview cuts out during a question, ask the interviewer to repeat their question to ensure you hear everything you have to say and offer in response.
Final Thought: As more employees continue to work from home, businesses are seeking ways to replicate their recruitment in a remote environment. Clearly, the virtual hiring process needs to be approached differently than the one conducted in-person. With some creativity, you can come out of the gates showing a potential employer what you bring to the role and most importantly – what differentiates you from the rest.