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Tag: interview (page 3 of 4)

12 Tips For Conducting Video Interviews With Students And Grads

With the development of technology, video interviews are becoming the go-to method for a lot of recruiters. Although most students and new grads are familiar with webcams and computers, engaging in a professional on-screen meeting can still feel like unfamiliar territory.

Even the most experiences interviewee can experience nerves during their first online interview. So how do you help them perform at their best? Consider these 12 tips:

Setting up the interview

1. Establish the tone – Students and grads will sometimes get the impression that online interactions are casual. It’s important to make it clear that this video interview is just as important as a face-to-face meeting. Simply mentioning to your candidate that they should treat this interview as a face to face engagement should suffice.

2. Plan for technical issues – Every type of engagement comes with their possible setbacks. For video interviews, weak internet signals and computer malfunctions can be enough to derail the meeting. Be sure to establish an alternate phone number your candidate can reach you at, and ensure that they have a phone nearby in case you need to reach them.

3. Give them some tips – When scheduling your engagement, it helps to casually ask if your candidate has done a video interview before. If this if your candidate’s first time, encourage them to do some research online. This will help them feel more prepared on the day of the interview, and help them perform better.

Tip: TalentEgg has a great introduction to video interviews for students and grads. Check it out here.

4. Remember the time difference – Often, video interviews are used to interview candidates that live a distance away. If they’re in another time zone, make sure you’re clear when scheduling the date and time. For example: “So we’ll meet this upcoming Monday at 10am Toronto time. That will be 11am Halifax time for you.” This will help clear any confusion.

Right before the interview

5. Test your technology – Have a co-worker do a test video call with you. Ensure the connection is strong, and they can see and hear you well (it’s best to use a headset for engagements like these). Doing this beforehand can minimize the risk of something going wrong during the interview.

6. Check your lighting – While you don’t need professional lighting, it’s best to have a flattering light when chatting with your candidate. Try facing a window for a soft, natural light (not harsh sunlight!). Alternatively, set yourself up in a well-lit room. The last thing you want is a candidate squinting and struggling to see you, ultimately creating a distracting performance.

7. Send a message – If you are using a program like Skype, use the chat feature to send your candidate a message ten minutes before the interview. Otherwise, send them a quick email. Let them know that you’re preparing for the interview, and you will call them at the agreed time. This will take some pressure off of them, so they don’t have to worry whether or not you’re online and ready to go.

8. Minimize distractions – If you had a candidate come into your office for an interview, would you permit noisy co-workers in the room with you? Likely, your answer is no – as it should be! Be sure that you have a quiet room to work in, and if necessary, leave a note to let your colleagues know you’re in an interview.

Tip: Most companies will provide a branded backdrop for conducting interviews. If you don’t have one of these, try to have a wall as your background. Try not to have co-workers walking back and forth – it can be very distracting for a candidate.

During the interview

9. Engage in small talk – In a face to face interview, there is usually that period of “down time” before and after the interview where you are able to casually chat with the candidate. Don’t leave that out – take a few minutes to ease them into the conversation before diving into your questions.

Tip: Depending on the software your company uses, you can tailor any of these tips to the features that the program offers (pre-recorded videos, scheduling features, etc.). Get creative – but make sure that that in the end, there is a personal, “human” quality of interaction.

10. Validate their apprehensions – Talking to a camera can feel weird to a lot of students and grads. If they seem out of their element, casually let them know they’re not alone. A comment as simple as “it can feel a bit strange, I know.” or “I remember my first video interview. You get used to it.” can be enough to help them feel at ease.

11. Be aware of the delay – Connection delay may just be the most annoying part of a video interview. Candidates may experience heightened nerves if their technology shorts out – often they’ll feel like it may cost them the interview. Let them know that you’re experiencing a poor connection on your end as well, and assure them that it happens from time to time.

12. Don’t forget to interact – Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re talking to a person, and not a screen. Be sure to give the candidate feedback: nod and give verbal responses when appropriate. There’s always the worry that your conversation partner can’t hear you, so having constant responses throughout the interview can help set your candidate’s mind at ease.

Discussion: Which type of interview do you find students and grads perform best in… video or in-person?

The 3 Quickest Ways To Lose A Star Candidate

It’s a rare moment when everything comes together perfectly in the hiring process. You meet a new grad that exudes confidence, and they fit the job description to a tee – and then some! But that surreal moment also comes with the realization that if this candidate is at the top of your hire list, they’re likely at the top of another recruiter’s as well.

The truth of the matter is, in an interview, the recruiter is being evaluated just as much as the candidate is. New grads with impressive resumes can afford to be picky, so make sure you’re not committing any of these hiring faux-pas.

Leaving emails unanswered

In most cases, a recruiter is the one and only connection between a candidate and the company. For many students and grads, they’re seen as the only acceptable means of communication with the company. So when these lines of communication become unreachable, or unreasonably slow, it can send a message to the candidate that they are not a priority – or worse, that the company has weak communication.

Make an effort to answer each email within 24-48 hours, and make sure your candidates know that you’re open to answering questions. Students and grads will feel more at ease when they realize the company they are interviewing for is not only transparent, but willing to support them during the hiring process.

Taking the “superior” persona

One of the biggest turn-offs for millennial candidates are employers who talk down to them. Students and grads are highly aware that they lack extensive experience, and that they’re applying for an entry level job. However, they are looking to be treated like the competent professionals they are.

Treat your candidates like you would treat a company client, no matter their age or experience. Tell them about the job, but don’t present it to them as a basic entry-level job for new grads with limited experience. Show them the potential of the position, and offer them the opportunity to take on responsibilities in their role and extend their experiences. Chances are, your star candidate will be excited for the challenge.

Sharing incorrect/inconsistent information

Candidates expect you to be their primary source for information. But as we all know, recruiters are human – and often, you’ll find yourself stumped without a proper answer. The worst thing you can do is make something up, or give inaccurate information. Even if it was given with good intentions, this info could potentially trip up your candidate down the road, and come back on you. Plus, it may give off the impression that your company has poor communication.

If you truly don’t know the answer to one of their questions, approach it head on. Let them know that you’re not sure about the answer, and that you’ll find out the answer for them. This will give you some time to ask a colleague and find out the appropriate answer – plus, it never hurts to show your candidate that you’re human, and not just an interviewing machine. Take this opportunity to build rapport with your star candidate… but don’t forget to follow up with them!

Discussion: What is your go-to strategy to appeal to outstanding new grads?

4 Symptoms Of A Disillusioned Campus Recruiter (And How To Fix Your Perspective)

Do you remember your first day on the job as a campus or college recruiter?

It may have been a short time or perhaps years ago, but most people remember that feeling of excitement – being high on ambition, and pledging to do their very best to build their company or organization by connecting with great people.

Unfortunately, almost every professional goes through a phase where they become disillusioned with their job. It’s not that they stop producing great work, or the role itself lessens in worth. But people often forget to step back from the details of their day-to-day work and remind themselves of why they chose to pursue this career.

So the question is, are you going through a gray phase with your recruitment career? Here are some symptoms you might be facing.

1. You’re seeing names in your database, not people.

When you’re going through resume after resume, day after day, it can be easy to forget that there is a person behind each application. You focus on the text, but not the sentiment behind it.

Remember that every application takes time to craft – students and grads spend hours researching your organization, and thinking about how they fit best in your company. Behind every file in your database, there is an individual who genuinely wants to work with your team and demonstrate why they’re worth your time.

Take some time to look past their educational background and their previous titles. Think in terms of transferable skills – for instance, if they’re applying for an engineering job, but they only have door-to-door sales experience, consider the fact that many engineers benefit from presentation skills when working with clients.

2. Their seemingly obvious questions feel like a huge hassle for you.

If you are a campus recruiter, you know that you will often get the same questions all day long from many different students. From “what does your company do?” to “how much does this job pay?” you’ll have to answer and sometimes redirect both professional and unprofessional inquiries.

This can get frustrating, especially when you know that all this info is readily available on your website. Perhaps you feel you are interacting with people who are not committed to joining your company because they didn’t prepare or do their research first.

Always remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all explanation when it comes to why candidates ask what they ask. Some individuals might have attended the event on a whim, and perhaps some genuinely might not know that the question they asked was inappropriate. Use your discretion, and remember that most people are acting with their best intentions, and they deserve the benefit of the doubt when being considered for a role with your company.

3. Every interview feels like a re-run.

Being in the “driver’s seat” of an interview can be exciting – but after awhile, you can feel like you’re caught in an infinite loop.

You know what you’re going to ask, and you more or less know what the candidate is going to say. Sometimes, you may feel like they’re making up answers to impress you, using generic phrases like “go-getter” and “hard worker”.

If you’re getting the same answers all the time, it probably means you need to change it up. Don’t ask the same questions all the time – turn your interaction into a two way conversation. Get to know the candidate on a personal level beforehand, and base the questions on what you know about them. Think about the phrasing you’re using in your conversation, or use more scenario-based questions that will force them to draw from their own experiences.

4. You wait for them to impress you, and are let down when they don’t.

Have you ever seen one of those movie scenes where a court jester is tasked with impressing a stone-faced member of royalty? If your interviews are taking on this image, it’s time to make a change.

Students and grads often feel like it’s their job is to make an impression on the campus recruiter, which is absolutely true. However, if they are not receiving any feedback from the person they’re speaking to, their performance will likely be much lower in quality.

Don’t wait for them to come up with a stellar act – meet them part way by interacting with them during the interview. This can be something as simple as a nod, or even a phrase like “I agree.” You’ll find that when the candidate is at ease, they will naturally show what they have to offer.

Discussion: How much of an impact does a campus recruiter’s attitude have on a potential candidate?

4 Reasons Why Campus Recruiters Should Ditch Their Pre-Written Questions

It’s important to be prepared. But there is such a thing as being overly prepared.

Don’t get us wrong – by all means, plan the campus or on-site venue to a tee, do your research on a candidate, and ensure you have all the proper documentation ready. But the one thing you don’t want to overplan are the questions you’ll ask a candidate.

Newer recruiters are the most prone to this. After all, the number one thing everyone thinks of when it comes to interviews are the questions. But overplanning the questions in advance can risk you not getting all the information you need out of your candidate – and more importantly, it may interfere with your efforts to connect with them.

If you’re still not convinced, we have a whole list of reasons why you should ditch the notes and add some improvisation to your interviews.

It’s not a Q&A. It’s a conversation.

The truth is, interviews today are changing – students are no longer tasked with coming up with the “right” answers, but rather, presenting themselves as a worthy candidate by creating a memorable experience. However, even the best young professionals can only do so much when their conversation partner’s mind is stuck in their rigid schedule of “which question to ask next”.

Conversations change direction, and so should you.

It’s important for interviewers to be flexible in what they’re going to ask next. After all, candidates can be unpredictable in their answers, and you need to be able to come up with a probing question to have them expand, or even redirect the conversation if the candidate goes off track. Focusing on a certain set of questions limits your “flexibility” in this sense.

The phrasing of a question matters.

There is a huge difference between asking “Why are you interested in this role?” and “Why are you interested in this career?” Both similar questions, but each will likely yield a different answer from your interviewee. This can be especially problematic for recruiters who are hiring a high volume of candidates, and have a standard set of questions they can rattle off the top of their head – you need to ask your questions the right way in order to get the type of information you’re looking for.

You need to validate their presence.

For an interviewee, there’s nothing worse than feeling like they’re just another disposable candidate. Even if you are hiring at a high volume, it’s important that each interaction is tailored personally to that individual – again, if you are asking “one-size-fits-all” questions, that’s not going to cut it for them.

How to conduct your interview questions (without pre-writing questions).

If you’re convinced, and ready to make the switch, we have some great tips for you:

Create a “road-map”.

A road map will dictate the points you want to hit. You may want to travel from Toronto to Ottawa, and you’ll know what cities you have to drive through. But you probably won’t make plans to stop at a specific gas station in a specific city at a specific time.

Use this analogy when planning your interviews. Know what topics you want to hit and what information you want to draw out of them. But you don’t need to plan the wording and the phrasing of each point. For example, if you know from their resume they have experience in customer service, and you want to know if they have experience hitting sales targets, make a note of it.

Keep a checklist, and review it at the end.

After you create your “roadmap” and you create a list of items you want to cover, create a simple checklist to bring with you to the interview.

During the interview itself, don’t check off anything. Let the conversation take its course, and do your best to steer that conversation to naturally hit as many points off your list as you can. At the end of the interview, take a moment and review your list while your candidate is still there. If you have missed anything, ask them those remaining questions then.

Listen to what they’re saying, and use it in your next question.

If a candidate gives you an answer, and you want to hear more, don’t feel pressured to come up with elaborate phrasing. Think of yourself as a “prompt” more than someone who comes up with impressive questions.

Try using simple phrases like “tell me a bit more about that,” or “Earlier, you mentioned X. Could you elaborate?” This will keep the focus on the candidate, and take the pressure off you so you don’t have to come up with a bunch of information-loaded questions.

Discussion: Do you prefer to conduct “freestyle” interviews or pre-planned interviews?

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