Sourcing Solved conducted a series of interviews with job candidates who had recently gone through a virtual interview process to get their take on the experience.
The objective of the research is to gain much-needed insight into what is now – and for the foreseeable future, the new normal for candidate assessment.
In the following article, we will share with you the results from three of these interviews.
Person One (public sector role) – Remote interview conducted via Teams. Their first-ever meeting carried out virtually. Candidate was concerned with what to wear. After the interview candidate said, they felt uncomfortable ‘entering’ the room, in the absence of the usual handshake and intros. Candidate found the overall process more “robotic” than a typical interview, and quite stilted. Said they didn’t know how to wrap up the meeting without the usual etiquette. Their general feeling was that it was not their best performance, due to unusually high nerves. The candidate didn’t get the job.
On a side note, this person is extremely competent, can always talk the talk and rarely walks away without winning the job. The whole process massively fazed him.
The following comment illustrates this last point; “I feel you are at a disadvantage right away as you cannot feel the energy and compatibility of personalities.” He then went on to say; “Also, the lack of eye contact and body language make it hard to read people and engage attention with remote interviewing.”
Person Two (private sector role) – Remote interview conducted via Teams. First remote interview. They said they were concerned with what to wear. Two hosts in separate locations, who were in the middle of a conversation when candidate ‘entered the room’……and they continued to talk, so candidate had to “politely” interrupt to make sure hosts knew candidate had arrived.
Hosts took the time to introduce and outline the plan for the interview, putting the candidate at ease. Host 1 very competent, good focus, eye contact and engagement throughout. Host 2 was “clearly” uncomfortable on-screen, and had to be prompted by Host 1 several times. Overall, it was an okay experience. The candidate felt they were given time at the end to ask questions and engage in a more relaxed fashion. They felt that Host 2 was quite “flat and disinterested” making it difficult to connect and engage. The candidate didn’t get the job.
Person Three (private sector role) – Remote interview via Google Hangouts. Followed an initial telephone interview carried out a week prior. Candidate felt that they had built a rapport with Host 1 during the first call and was reasonably relaxed going into the second, virtual interview where a second host joined them. Unfortunately, Host 2 did not use a camera during the interview (citing wifi issues). Candidate felt uncomfortable having a host they couldn’t see. The session went well overall, although it didn’t always flow and they felt cut-off towards the end when their opportunity to ask questions was cut short by Host 1.
The candidate is a confident woman with a proven business track record who also did not get the job. Here is how she assessed her virtual interview experience; “I never thought I’d be interviewing with someone who was sitting in their bedroom!”
Beyond the convenience of being interviewed from the comfort of their homes, candidates generally felt uncomfortable during the virtual session.
The insight gained from this ongoing research series shows that there is still a great deal to learn regarding the virtual interview process.
As such, we would invite you to share your interview experiences by taking our 1-minute survey below.