Interviewing for a new job can be stressful and nerve racking in normal times, doing it during a pandemic when companies are transitioning to a virtual environment or cutting back on new positions can add another level of uneasiness. As our newest employees experienced, they now needed to find companies that weren’t in a hiring freeze and weren’t deferring start dates to the end of 2020 or even into 2021.
Like candidates companies had to adjust and adapt as well. During this time of COVID induced restrictions we have been fortunate to hire 4 new employees this year, 3 of which had a completely virtual interview process. While moving to video calls was the biggest change to our interview process, we wanted to make sure candidates really got a feel for Nuvera and our team. Candidates aren’t only speaking with managers, but they will also be interviewed by other members of our team. We want to ensure candidates get a sense of our culture and who they will be working with, but also feel comfortable expressing their own personality. At Nuvera, we try not to take ourselves too seriously and our team strives to infuse humor and humility in all aspects of our work, including our interviews. A common theme that all of our new hires appreciated was the opportunity to connect with the interviewer before getting into the details of the call. By breaking the ice and opening up to share our personalities with candidates we hope to create a comfortable environment for them to do the same.
While each candidate still needs to demonstrate their skills and experience for the position and be professional, there are other key areas to think about when preparing for a virtual interview.
- Test out the video platform – Make sure your video and audio are clear and you have good lighting. A bad connection or audio that cuts in and out can be a distraction for you and the interviewers.
- Use the virtual interview to your advantage – Since you don’t have to go to an unfamiliar office, choose a location where you are comfortable and can be yourself. But make sure there are not any major distractions like a noisy location or people walking behind you.
- Consider your setting – Think about what is in the background of your video. Will it be cluttered with items or show a dirty room? If you have pictures or an item in your background, think about having a story to share that could spark a good conversation.
- Your clothing still matters – Dress for the position. A suit isn’t required but wearing a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt probably won’t impress either.
- Be prepared to be flexible – The interview team could change or there could be technical issues to handle. Your inability to adapt will be noticed.
This is a difficult time both for companies seeking talent and for individuals seeking employment. We hope that by sharing our learnings we are able to help people on both sides of the coin.