Virtual Interviews: Maintaining Momentum in Uncertain Times – Bulletin 3
As we see the world responding to the COVID-19 situation, we know that there is a significant amount of uncertainty, and even fear, about what it all means and what we as organizations and professionals should be doing in our response. To help organizations answer those questions, KCI has created a Bulletin Series to provide timely advice about how you should navigate this situation as it evolves while continuing to maintain momentum in your fundraising programs and activities.
TIPS FOR CONDUCTING VIRTUAL INTERVIEWS
Most organizations are continuing with their hiring processes, especially for leadership and revenue-generating roles. In this Bulletin, our Search + Talent team provides some practical guidance and advice for conducting virtual interviews. With good planning and by following these tips and techniques, virtual interviews can be almost as effective as those done in-person, thereby enabling you to maintain momentum in your hiring process.
GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS:
- Test your technology — Prior to your interview, ensure the virtual interview platform is working properly. Test both your microphone and audio device to ensure both are functioning at appropriate levels. Familiarize yourself with the software being used ahead of time.
- Have a backup plan – In the event of a technology related issue, have a backup plan in place. A secondary video conference platform, or a conference call phone line make excellent contingencies. Ensure those conducting the interview have your preferred method of contact by which to reach you in the event of any changes or updates.
- Lighting – Avoid positioning yourself where windows or other light sources are directly behind you. This can cause a bright backlighting effect, making it difficult for others to see you clearly.
- Minimize background noise – Remove any potential sources of background noise. Ensure your workspace is in an enclosed room, close windows, and remove pets for the duration of the interview. Minimize paper shuffling to prevent distracting sounds picked up by your microphone.
- “Do Not Disturb” — Ensure there are no distractions present in your environment. Set your phone to silent or do not disturb. Disable notifications and other pop ups to give speakers your full attention. Use signs or other physical indications that your environment should not be disturbed for the duration of the interview.
- Dress appropriately — Dress as if your interview were taking place in person.
- Eye contact – Looking into the lens of your camera will allow you to give the appearance of eye contact to others in the interview. And when possible, consider alternatives to wearing glasses during interviews. Reflections from lighting can disrupt eye contact, making it more difficult to “connect” with others.
- Be patient – For both interviewers and candidates, differing network strengths and speeds can cause slight delays between sending and receiving audio and video. Allow time for speakers to fully finish before attempting to respond.
ADVICE FOR INTERVIEWERS:
- Interview flow – Especially for interview panels with more than one interviewer, determine the process before the candidate arrives on screen. Ensure all are aware of who is welcoming the candidate, asking each question, etc.
- Explain the process and review materials — Make sure the interview process is clear for candidates, and answer any questions they have regarding virtual interviews. Prior to the interview, ensure all interviewers are clear on the interview process, and have reviewed candidate resumes, the job description, and any other relevant materials.
- Give your full attention — Despite interviews taking place remotely, it is important to ensure the interviewers present and maintain the expected standards and best practices. Candidates should be able to feel respected by the interview process and that their time is valued.
ADVICE FOR CANDIDATES:
- Preparation and punctuality — Be prepared for your interview ahead of time. Prepare and practice responses for potential interview questions, and create your own questions to ask the interviewer. Also be aware of the start time of your interview and avoid joining the virtual platform until your assigned time.
- Be personable and aware of body language — As would be expected with in person interviews, eye contact and a friendly demeanor are key to engaging with the interview and expressing genuine enthusiasm for the position. And while it is important to remain natural, excessive hand gestures or fidgeting can be distracting. Be conscious of your body language during the interview while remaining genuine.
- Organize your workspace – Ensure your workspace is organized in a manner where reading and taking notes can be done easily and with a minimum amount of paper shuffling. Have anything you will need for the interview (pen, paper, job description, water, etc.) on hand before the interview starts.
- Follow-up — After your interview is finished, send a thank you note to the interviewer for taking the time to speak with you.
We look forward to supporting you through these next few weeks and months and our next bulletin will focus on implications on event fundraising.