If you’ve had any interviews lately you may have noticed that a number of things you’d expect as “normal” have changed. The pandemic, and its impact on the economy, has really upended the recruiting process.
Both companies and candidates have had to adapt. What does this mean for you? Here are just a few areas of impact you should be aware of and be prepared for:
1. Virtual interviewing requires a different set of skills on both sides of the screen. Synchronous (real-time, live) and asynchronous (pre-recorded video responses) are becoming the norm. Often what used to be a phone screen has turned into an invitation to record answers into a video. The key in both situations is practice and remembering to consider things like lighting and backgrounds. Look at the camera, not the screen, and watch the fidgeting – it’s much more apparent on camera than in real life.
2. Hiring managers are more concerned than ever about evidence of achievements, independence and results. Why? Because you will likely be working remotely, at least until vaccines are widespread. So, managers want to see proof that you can stay on task and do great work with less support that an office environment will provide. Be ready to give examples of things you did on your own and how you manage your time.
3. The timeline from first interview to offer has lengthened – dramatically. In 2019, the time from interview to offer averaged around 23 days, with more senior positions taking up to 6 weeks. Anecdotally, what I am hearing from clients is that companies are adding more interviews to the process, and taking more time – sometimes as long as 8 weeks from start to finish. There are several reasons for this. First, extra interviews are being added to compensate for the fact they can’t meet you in person. And, being virtual makes it easier for all the people to weigh in without having to get them all in a room or Zoom room at one time. In fact, Zoom makes that a huge problem. Your job is to view each additional interview as a chance to shine, and be happy you are moving through the process. The challenge is to come to each session as enthusiastic and prepared as the last one. Regardless of how well you did in the last interview, and how well you connected with that person, prep for the next one as if it’s all new!
Also, keep in mind that this is all new for recruiters and hiring managers, and some of them won’t be comfortable with technology or adapting to new procedures. Be patient. Follow up. And meanwhile keep looking!