Distance modes of interviewing

Did you ever land the job you desired 1000 miles from home, not by flying out for your job interview but by interacting with your interviewer over a webcam? If not, then in the future, you certainly will, as recruiters are hiring candidates through such and many more innovative, virtual platforms. Experts suggest unique ways through which you could create strong impression without being physically present for the interview.

Are you dressed appropriately for the interview? Is your posture right? Did you maintain eye contact throughout the interview? These are a few questions that hover over your head when you are physically present for the job interview. But then, how can you win over your recruiter without being in front of him / her? Recently for one of the senior positions at sanofi-aventis India, they had received a lot of enquiries from NRIs who were interested in taking up the position. They decided to interview the candidates though video conferencing and were successful in short listing the candidate for the role. Salary negotiations wee also conducted through email and tele-conferencing. Thus, they were able to utilize the new medium of job interview that thereby lead to considerable savings in costs and time for sanofi-aventis India. With organizations introducing newer, more technological modes of interviewing candidates, it has virtually become possible to interview a prospective employee in Alaska by an HR manager based in Nasik today. But for job seekers who are physically present, the challenge is even bigger for you to create a good impression as your recruiter will evaluate you and your personality traits (read: motivation, professionalism, honesty team skills, etc) in ways oblivious to you.

While some processes need physical presence of the participants simultaneously from various geographies it is practically impossible to get everyone to be physically present at one place at all times. The only solution to address these kinds of situations is to take shelter under technologies such as video conferencing, web casts, online transactions and chats. And this holds true for job interviews as well, especially today where talent is globally scattered. The need for speed, time optimization and the increasing trend of collaborative hiring practices wherein selectors from different geographies and time zones need to converge on hiring decisions are the drivers behind this trend. There are several factors that contribute to this key among those include advancement in various technologies as these facilitate seamless interview experience and also speed of execution.

This method also helps to provide a greater degree of comfort to the candidate since he / she is not facing the interviewer directly. Given the non intimidating environment that this creates, it provides the interviewer to have a better understanding of the candidate’s psyche and helps evaluate his / her fitment with the job. People are not limiting themselves to taking up jobs in their home towns anymore. They are steeping out to the best deal in various markets. Technology has evolved to provide a rich live screening experience. Audio conference has become sharp and less expensive across geographies and most audio and video technology is now widely available.

However, since every coin has two sides, this trend is not devoid of challenges. One of the key limitations of having a non-physical interaction, according to experts, with a candidate is that the interviewer is unable to gauge certain behavioral and non-verbal aspects of the candidate. A decision on a potential hire cannot be made solely on the basis of non-physical interview as one is unable to gauge the softer and social skills of the candidate. This is more relevant when the role demands the candidate to interface with consumers. There is also likelihood that the interviewing environment on the candidate’s side may distract him / her and hence, affect his / her candidature for employment. Two major cons: 1) The video conference quality varies and may not always be great and 2) this recruitment technique is ideal for only specific job profiles.

It is evident that virtual interviewing techniques are the need of the hour and may be, in the future face to face interviews may no longer persist.