As the days pass by the country learns more and more ways to maintain social distance and to combat the spread of Covid-19. Professional Recruiter Associates, is here to help our clients and candidates getting past through these times of turmoil. Here are some tips for interviews to maintain your work force and keep everyone comfortable. This turbulence will pass, and you don’t want to lose the best employees to the competition, so there is no reason to stop hiring.

1. Review your Skype name. You would consider it a red flag if you’re conducting a business interview with an otherwise solid candidate whose Skype name is KingMarijuana. Make sure your user name is also appropriate.

2. Practice before conducting your first video conference interview. Make sure you are very familiar with the technical settings and are prepared for connection, sound or video problems that may occur and learn how to fix them ahead of time. Practice video conferencing with a co-worker or a friend.

3. Get the time zones right before the interview begins. It’s your responsibility to ensure that a 9:00 am interview for you isn’t a 2:00 am interview for the candidate.

4. Make sure you have a secure, solid broadband connection. Avoid using wi-fi which can be flaky and the connection can often drift in and out.

5. Dress the part. Your attire should be no different than if your candidate came in for an in-person interview.
TIP: Avoid hot colors like red or fuchsia, which can be too bright on camera. Also avoid shiny jewelry that can be seen on screen, as it can come across like a disco ball and can be distracting.

6. Consider your physical surroundings. Does the whiteboard behind you include sensitive information? Is your desk or office cluttered? If necessary, book a conference room if that’s what you would normally do for an in-person interview.
TIP: If your company is conducting a lot of digital interviews, consider creating an interviewing studio that is optimized and ready-to-go for any web conference interview.

7. Consider the lighting. Test your lighting with your own webcam to see what you and your surroundings look like on camera. Avoid lighting that produces shadows or is too bright or too dark, which may create a dingy atmosphere.

8. Use a headset. Your computer picks up a lot of background noise. By using a headset, the candidate will be able to hear you more clearly, especially if you’re in a public space.

9. Eliminate any interruptions.

  • Place an “Interview in progress” sign by your door.
  • Turn off any notifications on your computer including your email client, social media, and change your Skype status to “Do not Disturb”.
  • Silence your phone.

10. Make eye contact. While it may seem counterintuitive to look into the webcam instead of your screen, it will reinforce that you’re present and friendly. It also ensures that you’re not distracted by watching yourself in the bottom corner.
TIP: Cut a hole in a colorful stick-it-note and place it over your webcam eye to remind yourself to look there during the interview. To get a more becoming angle of yourself, place the camera so that it’s eye level.

11. Watch your body language. On Skype, the main cues of your engagement come from your body language. Lean forward as you’re communicating. As with an in-person interview, this will engage your candidate as you exhibit interest, concern, eagerness, and willingness to listen.

12. SMILE! Remind yourself of this most important tip by placing a stick-it note on your screen.

13. Calmly handle any technical glitches. Tech glitches will occur, no matter how prepared you are. Handle them with grace and resist the urge to get frustrated and curse at the software! This leaves the candidate feeling tense and uncomfortable. It’s also very acceptable for the call to be restarted when real-time troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the challenges.

14. If appropriate, record the interview. Most video conferencing tools include easy-to-use features for recording your sessions. The recording can be played back to stakeholders. When you’re recommending that the candidate move to the next steps, this saves everyone considerable amounts of time. Be sure to always obtain the candidate’s permission before the video conference begins.
Today and always I am beyond grateful to count you among our PRA family. On the behalf of everyone at Professional Recruiter Associates, stay safe and healthy.

During this time we will be giving a 30% discount on first time job orders!

With gratitude,
Donald Sonn
Professional Recruiter Associates

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