In the past, companies typically steered clear of digital job interviews, but the pandemic has changed the way we work and interact. But what do these changes imply for a job seeker?
Even though the opportunity has been there for quite a long time, interviews have normally been conducted through the traditional physical interview. This is because both candidates and recruiters have preferred to meet face to face.
However, during the pandemic, digital interviews surged and have become increasingly common in the last years. Many have been surprised by how well such interviews work and how effective they are. At the same time, we know less about how this affects candidate assessment and how it is experienced by the person being interviewed.
A digital interview is a solution which can save you both time and money, but the big question is: How accurate are digital interviews compared to traditional job interviews?
Harder to assess suitability
Studies have shown that candidates perceive interviewers as less friendly when the meeting is conducted digitally and that such interviews give candidates a feeling of less fair evaluation. This is somewhat natural since the conversation takes on a slightly different character than in physical interviews.
There has also been expressed concerns about the non-verbal communication that is often lost when not meeting in person. Since we know that there is a connection between a candidate's personality and their body language in an interview setting, this means that those conducting the interviews also gather less information about the candidate.
It simply becomes more challenging to assess personal suitability. Many interviewers also lack training and experience in conducting digital job interviews.
More suitable for introverts
Another study discovered that introverted candidates appear to be more at ease and calm during digital job interviews. They simply handle this format better than traditional physical meetings.
Lastly, it is important to point out that digital job interviews demand a clearer structure. As a consequence of this a common weakness in physical interviews is removed: the tendency for the interviewer to discuss different topics with different candidates.
Seven tips for the digital job seeker
Here are a few tips for your next digital job interview:
- First impressions matter:
Images and videos taken from low angles rarely look good. Therefore, you should avoid using a mobile phone. Use a PC or tablet. Position your PC/tablet so that the camera is at the level of your head. For example, place some books under the PC. Make sure your face is properly illuminated. Dress as if you were going to a traditional job interview.
- Use a neutral background:
Think about what you're showing the interviewers. Messy living rooms and kitchens don't look good on screen, nor do they leave a good impression. Use a neutral background effect if possible.
- Good network connection:
Choppy audio or video make it harder for interviewers to assess you. Be in a place where you know the internet is good. Avoid using mobile broadband. Even though video is important, remember that sound is even more crucial. Therefore, it can be a good idea to consider turning off the video if you experience a poor connection or network issues.
- Remember eye contact:
Eye contact is crucial. Avoid looking down or to the side when speaking. Try to meet the interviewer's gaze. Remember that the camera on your PC/tablet is not necessarily in the middle of the screen, but often above or to the side.
- Keep your hands on the table:
Avoid unnecessary hand, arm, and body movements. Sit up straight but be relaxed. Feel free to smile and be yourself.
- Practice makes perfect:
Practice in advance! Conduct a digital interview with a friend. Check what works well and what you should change.
- Be prepared:
As in all interviews, it's important to prepare well in advance. Think about situations where you have used the skills requested in the job posting and why you want this particular job.
Good luck with your digital job interview!
Iversen, O. I. (2020). Rekrutterings- og intervjuteknikk. 2.utg. Fagbokforlaget, Bergen.
McColl, R. & Michelotti, M. (2019). Sorry, could you repeat the question? Exploring video-interview recruitment practice in HRM. Human Resource Management Journal, 29:637–656