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Online job interviews advised as part of social distancing

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, recruitment firms are interviewing potential candidates who are working from home online

Apps such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp are being used to change face-to-face meetings into online interviews.

According to BBC News the strategy is part of social distancing efforts as businesses try to help slow the spread of the virus.

Jobseekers are being advised to practise ahead of an online interview.

"Interviewing online and interviewing in person are two completely different experiences," said Sarah Johnston, a professional interview coach at Briefcase Coach.

"Jobseekers share that it can be more challenging to connect with the interviewer online because there is often less small talk and it's harder to pick up on non-verbal cues," she added.

John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, said: “Although the advent of COVID-19 has forced employers to use online interviews the idea of remote interviewing isn’t exactly new; many organisations have used telephone or online interviews for years.”

Hackston proposed that candidates can even benefit from online interviewing.

“Candidates don’t need to worry about travel or other logistics, and they can be on their home turf while the interview is taking place. And there is some evidence that the remote interview is fairer for introverts.”

Hackston also provided advice on how interviewees can conduct themselves during an online interview.

“If candidates are using Skype or another video application it would be best to think about their surroundings. Sitting in front of your drinks collection may not be advisable. Candidates also need to think about other people – especially children – who might be around, and make sure they have a reliable connection,” he said.

Interviewers would also do well to prepare, said Hackston.

“Employers also need to be thinking about logistics. Testing systems before conducting interviews will increase the chances of having a fruitful conversation with potential employees.

"And try to use video if possible; seeing the interviewee on screen means that it will be a lot less likely that somebody different turns up if they get the job,” he added.

Further reading

Is the death of the interview nigh?

AI in hiring is putting off candidates

Jobseekers ‘cheating’ recruitment platforms

Video recruitment: Play, pause, then hire