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What Are the Most Common Interview Techniques and Has COVID Affected Them?

Published: 14 May 2021

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COVID-19 has impacted every corner of the globe, and the recruitment industry is no exception. Whilst some industries have seen a rapid decline in hiring, others have skyrocketed, using the rapid acceleration of technology due to home working to their advantage.

Indeed, familiarity with such software has convinced many people that video interviewing on platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams is perfectly viable and is likely to form the basis of many first interviews from now on. A recent survey by HubSpot found that 83% of workers felt that remote working opportunities made them feel happier in their job. Certainly, it is more time-efficient, and allows you to look further afield than your average recruiter role in Brighton. Working from home definitely has its advantages but what does this mean for recruiters?

Without a doubt, recruiting remotely via video conferencing has opened up new talent pools for recruiters. Many are using these tools to hire candidates from further afield which encourages a wider group of individuals to apply for roles, improving diversity and inclusion levels within a business. However, remote recruitment does not come without challenges. Successful recruiters must get to know candidates before putting them forward for roles- can they possibly do this via video conferencing? It is therefore widely accepted that recruiters must adapt their screening processes to properly assess core competencies and suitability for a role.

At Raymond George, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with an updated look at the most common interview techniques and how you may use these to your advantage during a time of remote interviewing.

Prepare for Remote Job Interviews Using These Common Interview Techniques:

1. Failure to prepare, preparing to fail

As the after-effects of COVID-19 continue to reverberate, instances of remote interviewing are still likely to be the preferred method of communication for recruiters. So, how do you prepare for a first-stage phone or video interview? 

Amongst the standard preparations you’d conduct for previous interviews such as evaluating the company site and linked in page, we highly recommend analysing the job description of the role you have applied for, highlighting any key areas, and making a bullet-pointed list of examples where you have previously demonstrated this skill or level of knowledge. We recommend that you try and visualise yourself back in the role, where did you learn these skills? Be prepared to 'bring them to life' so that the interviewer can really imagine you in that role, understanding how you operate. It's easy to forget to share what you take for granted - don't assume the interviewer knows that! By preparing this way, you can be confident that your answers will be concise and relevant to the role you desire. 

2. Star Interview Technique

Similarly, you can employ the notorious STAR interview technique when forming your answers to ensure you highlight the role you played and the skills you hold, making you an excellent choice for the role. 

The STAR interview technique helps candidates answer behavioural-type questions with ease by breaking their answer into smaller chunks:

Situation, Task, Approach and Results.

In order to get to know candidates online, recruiters may ask a variety of situational, competency questions to assess a candidate's core competencies and suitability for a role. Therefore, it is highly important to prepare your answers using the STAR approach.

3. Practice non-verbal communication

Previously, this technique would advise and prepare you about how to act in an interview room or how firmly to shake the hand of your interviewer. However, due to the impact of covid, this is no longer the case. But this does not mean that non-verbal communication is any less important.

With interviews now taking place online, the areas of non-verbal communication we are concerned with have changed. For example, looking engaged during your video call. Never before has there been such a focus on your face and upper body. Similarly, being aware of your surroundings and taking the time to find a minimal background that is not distracting is also key to remote interview success.

4. Listen

The simplest of all techniques, listen. Often, candidates can be so focused on giving an answer they have rehearsed that they don’t answer the question at hand. Making sure to listen during your interview will reduce the likelihood of such events.

Many interviewers like it when candidates take a moment to think and listen to the questions being asked. When participating in an online interview, you may feel that you need to speak to demonstrate your engagement. Remember to take a minute to breathe and listen.

5. Ask Questions

As well as being prepared to answer questions about yourself and your varying skill set, you should also prepare a shortlist of questions to ask your potential employer. Not only is this a great way to subtly highlight your industry knowledge but also, it is just as important for you to evaluate whether the company is the right fit for you.

Post-Pandemic Questions to Ask Your Employer to Gain Insight into Company Culture:

1. Have you needed to furlough or make employees redundant due to the pandemic? If so, how did you help them transition to new jobs?

2. How has your business plan changed in response to COVID-19? 

3. Will I have the option to work remotely? 

4. What positives have you learnt during this pandemic and how has that impacted your business?

Without a doubt, social media pages and company sites don’t always tell the real story. Although, it is important to note that many great businesses have had to make tough decisions due to the pandemic, asking questions relating to a business’ COVID response, in particular the treatment of their staff, will allow you to gather insight into company culture. Subsequently, you can determine whether this is the perfect platform for you to develop your career, or if the office ethos does not align with your strategic aims and life goals. 

At Raymond George Consultancy, we’re not like traditional Rec 2 Rec recruitment firms who capitalise on large levels of staff turnover. Instead, we find satisfaction in placing talented candidates into roles where they can develop and excel. For further guidance or information on how we can help you find your next recruitment role, contact a member of our friendly team today!

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