How has Covid-19 changed job interviews?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published On: 24 Aug 2020

Covid Interviewing Hero Image

Recruitment is still happening. Businesses are still looking for and hiring talent and if you are a job seeker, you should be prepared to still be invited to interviews. Regardless of what kind of interview you are invited to, there will be some changes. It’s up to you to be ready for the challenges that job seekers face in this current market and be able to learn and adapt to make your job search a success. So, how exactly has interviewing changed and what can you be doing to prepare correctly for them?

Places are starting to open up and some people are returning to work. Depending on the company and the role you are looking into, your interview may be different. Some employers will need to see you in person (this has never changed, simply been put on pause). If you are applying for a job that requires a technical interview or an assessment of some sort that can’t be done online, then be prepared to visit the site. Things will be a little different from the ways we had all grown used to.

Employers have to ensure that if you are invited to a face-to-face interview, that there are certain precautions put in place. This means during an interview you may be asked to wear face coverings, there will probably be no more hand shaking when you’re introducing yourself and social standing will have to be upheld throughout the interview process. But that’s only the beginning. A lot of employers still won’t be inviting you in. This is where technology gets involved.

First impressions still count

Whether you are in person or in a video interview you want to give off a good impression from the get-go. You might not be able to shake their hand, but you can be sure to talk confidently and introduce yourself properly. You need to ensure that you are keeping good eye contact throughout the interview, just like you would in person. It shows you’re a confident talker and you believe everything you are saying.

Understanding the importance of technology

Virtual interviews were happening long before Covid-19 but now we’ve all had to adjust, they have become the bread and butter of recruitment. It’s important to know how to use these resources well to be able to make sure you are getting the best opportunities.

Hopefully when you are invited to a video interview, they tell you which platform you will be using. This can be Skype, Zoom or any other video platform, so when they tell you this, make sure you download it straight away, make an account, (if you don’t have it already) and try and get to grips with how it works. Use the software to call your friends and try it out. It’s always best to have used it before your interview, just in case anything goes wrong. Most video apps seem to be quite similar, but there are some differences that can throw you off.

You need to make sure that when you are logging into an interview, that you look professional. Make sure that your username is appropriate and not something you had used for a quiz night with your friends. This can be a very simple mistake but can leave you looking rather unprofessional. Make sure you are dressed well and have a clear background, so no attention is drawn away from you.

It can be strange at first to adapt to video interviews because we don’t have the ability to see other people’s body language. It’s important to keep eye contact throughout, just like you would in person and try using hand gestures to help get your point across. Sitting dead still and staring into the camera is enough to make both parties feel a little uneasy and awkward.


PREP!

One thing Covid-19 hasn’t changed is the need for preparation before the interview. However, you don’t necessarily have to worry about remembering it all! It’s often encouraged that you bring notes or a spare copy of your CV to an interview if you need to. But with a video interview, you can have more notes if you really wanted and the interviewer wouldn’t notice!

It’s a good idea to put some post it notes around the top and sides of your computer (making sure you don’t cover the camera) to ensure that you don’t keep looking down when you’re talking. You want to keep the conversation natural, so don’t just sit there reading sentences. But if you are maybe more nervous than usual, the extra notes and prompts can help!

Make sure you prep your workspace and your computer as well. Keep your desk clear and make sure that anything you don’t need and might get in the way, is moved. Also, keep your browser clean as well. Close any tabs you don’t need or won’t use, just in case! You never know when a loud advert might pop up.

Questions

There are typical questions that we all seem to ask at interviews. However, employers are now ready and even expecting questions about how they, as a company, dealt with the impacts of Covid-19 and what they did for their employees. Try and think of questions like this and try to understand more about the company and how they protect their workers.

Another upcoming and popular question is surrounding remote working. Figure out how you would like to plan your work week and see if they can accommodate that. You still have your more typical interview questions, and these are still relevant, but be sure to question the more recent events. It’s a great way to see if the employer is the right one for you.

There are still the basic interview practices that will continue to be present in recruitment processes, however if you want to find a job, you are going to need to adapt and prepare for these changes. Some might take some time to get used to, not everyone is overly keen on the idea of video interviewing. But you will get there and the more practice you get, the better you will become!