If you’re recruiting, the process and etiquette around interviewing is significantly different since the pandemic.
We’ve seen the rise and rise of digital interviewing during COVID-19 using Zoom or Teams and a whole host of things to be considered around face to face interviewing.
But that hasn’t stopped recruitment processes forging ahead; there are just a few more things to think about.
To get the best out of your candidates, you want to relax and reassure them about the interview process.
Here’s our checklist:
Face to Face Interviewing
1. Check that your candidate is happy and prepared to meet in person. (Some candidates may have ‘at risk’ loved ones at home and might prefer to have an initial interview by video).
2. Reassure candidates in advance that the workplace or meeting place is Covid-safe.
3. Provide clear instructions in advance to the candidate on what will happen on the day. This should include guidance on:
• where the candidate should wait upon arrival
• social distancing expectations
• hygiene on arrival (will there be sanitiser available?)
• should a mask be worn?
• should the candidate bring their own drink and pen?
• information on directions (i.e., a one-way system) that may affect the candidate’s ability to enter the building or find the interview.
• reassurance that a hand-shake won’t be required.
4. Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
5. Make sure that the ‘host’ of the interview is aware of their responsibilities relating to COVID-19 and provide any necessary training for people who act as hosts for visitors.
6. Check identification in advance of the interview, either by video-conference or by asking the candidate to scan and email this in advance.
7. If the candidate is required to deliver a presentation email the topic in advance so this can be prepared at home.
On the day …
1. Upon arrival greet the candidate and make an effort to reassure them about the environment. Take the lead and show them where they can sanitise or wash their hands, let them know it’s ok not to shake hands, and inform them of your expectations on mask-wearing.
2. Use the largest room possible to ensure enough area to maintain at least 2m distance between everyone and try to ventilate the room well.
3. Control the number of people within the area, only essential staff should be involved and keep the number of interviewers to a minimum.
4. Clean the candidate’s seat, desk and computer (if used) between interviews, including any seat in the waiting area.
5. Hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities should be readily available to everyone.
6. Ask each candidate to bring their own bottle of water to the interview or have some bottles of water in the room. Avoid using shared jugs of water.
Online interviewing is particularly suitable for first round selection and can be safely done from anywhere. But it isn’t perfect and speaking via a screen can make it more difficult to create a bond with the candidate and to get a genuine feel for their character. Candidates and interviewers often say that it can feel less natural as there are multiple things to be considering over and above the questioning – is my tech working, am I looking at the camera, am I speaking too quickly, am I smiling enough!
Still … we see online interviewing during covid working exceptionally well; taking far less time than face to face interviews with much less risk to health and achieving similar results. The trick is practice. See our quick guide here for how to conduct a successful online interview and the associated etiquette.
So whether we like it or not, as we enter a new tiered system of restrictions across the country, new complexities around conducting interviews are here to stay at least in the short-term.