Navigating the New Normal: A Guide to Digital Interviews
Digital interviews offer a number of benefits for both hiring managers and job seekers. From streamlining the hiring process to reducing carbon footprint, find out why more and more companies are turning to online interviews
Since the pandemic, the number of digital interviews being carried out has soared substantially. In the same period, over 50 percent of hiring managers will continue conducting online interviews because they streamline the hiring process, cut costs and reduce carbon footprint. The same goes for working remotely — it’s more common than ever due to the pandemic.
With today’s progressing technology and fluctuating work scene, online and video interviews enable you to connect with more companies and perform interviews easily. In this article from 4 Day Week, we’ll look at digital interview tips, questions and answers, why virtual interviews are helpful, and how to prepare for one.
What is a Digital Interview?
So, what is digital interviewing, exactly? A digital interview is conducted via video — applicants either communicate via webcam with the hiring manager or video themselves responding to the questions. Then, the recruitment team evaluates them later.
Essentially, the employer and applicant meet online using designated online tools. A video interview is similar to an in-person interview, except you don’t meet the employer in the flesh. That said, you can still learn all you need to know about the company, so long as you ask the right questions.
Digital Interview vs Face-to-Face Interview
In-person interviews (or traditional interviews) involve a formal, in-the-flesh meeting with one or more interviewers who ask you questions. On the other hand, digital interviews are a revolutionized way for you to communicate via video using apps like Zoom, Slack, Skype, and interviewstream.
The major difference between an onsite interview and a digital interview is that you don’t necessarily have the chance to gauge the interviewer’s responses and attitudes as accurately as you can during an in-person interview.
Why Digital Interviews are Useful
Saves Money for Traveling
Thankfully, you’ll never have to set foot out of your home to record a digital interview. Thus, you save money on travel expenses, lodging, and food. What’s more, you can crack on with your everyday activities once the interview is over — it doesn’t impact your productivity in any way.
It’s a given. Numerous candidates are petrified about taking part in an in-person interview, as they’re frightened of looking nervous or that they’ll make a poor impression on the hiring manager. This leads to a false impression about the applicant based on the unfamiliar environment the interview is usually held in. Digital interviewing eliminates this, as applicants feel more at home in their familiar setting.
You’re in the Driving Seat
Arguably the main benefit of a digital interview is that you have complete control over your setting throughout the interview process. It’s up to you how you prepare for it — you get to choose the lighting and have the tools and supplies around you that are out of the interviewer’s line of vision.
How to Prepare and Ace Your Digital Interview
Step #1: Familiarize Yourself with the Relevant Technology
Make sure you test the necessary technology beforehand — that’s the equipment and software. Recruit the help of a friend to run a test call with you to check everything’s working correctly. Check you can log into the platform and adjust the volume accordingly.
Do your speakers and mic work properly? Does your internet connection support high-quality live video? Are you using a professional screen name interviewers will recognize easily? The last thing you need is a technical glitch during your interview appointment.
Step #2: Make Sure the Light’s Just Right
Be sure to put your best face forward and ace that interview, so pick the perfect position for optimum lighting. You don’t want it to be too dark, and you don’t want it to look too bright during the interview. One of the best places is near a window — just position your face toward the light.
Step #3: Look the Part
While the employer won’t be able to see anything from the waist down, that doesn’t mean you should only dress the upper half of your body. Nail that interview by dressing for success. That means donning interview attire that’ll prepare you psychologically for the interview and enable you to get in the right frame of mind.
Step #4: Rehearse Your Responses
Consider what questions the interviewer will ask and how you’ll respond, but don’t let them sound too practiced. Interviewers will likely ask behavioral-oriented questions such as when you led a workforce, ingeniously resolved an issue, or overcame a hurdle.
Step #5: Talk Like You’re Talking to Someone You Know Well
The real secret of acing a digital interview is to treat it like a conversation, as this is the only way you’ll make a connection. Because you don’t have the time before and after the interview to make pleasantries, build a rapport throughout the digital interview.
So, be yourself. Be personable. Talk as if you’re speaking to someone you know well while keeping your professional hat on.
Step #6: Use the STAR Framework to Answer Questions Effectively
Use the STAR interview method to get ready for behavioral and situational interview questions. STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action, and result. And employers request behavioral interview questions to decide whether you’re a good fit for the role. Using this framework, you’ll be able to prepare well-defined and succinct answers using genuine examples.
As mentioned earlier, STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. You need to follow this structure to figure out a concise, clear-cut response to behavioral questions. So, what are behavioral digital interview questions, exactly?
They’re similar to standard interview questions but mainly concentrate on everyday work circumstances. Behavioral questions need answering via the STAR framework. They’re your chance to tell a ‘work situation story’ and how you responded to it to give the interviewer an insight into how you may react to a similar situation in the future.
Let’s look at a few question examples:
1: “Talk to me about a situation when you’ve had to be incredibly tactical to achieve all your responsibilities by a certain deadline.”
S: “I enjoy organizing my worksheets ahead of time whenever I can. Yet, when I worked as a sales manager at [NAME OF COMPANY], I unexpectedly had to shift the workforce to a new client relationship executive (CRM) application.
“The previous application we used suddenly adjusted its pricing model, and the company couldn’t afford it.”
T: “I was tasked to find a new application to meet the company’s needs towards the end of Q3, once the price increase occurred. I had to do this, while ensuring my sales figures didn’t decline. The new application also had to be intuitive and user-friendly.”
A: “To perform this, I had to manage my time efficiently. My first task was to reach out to our sales colleagues about the main issue with the existing CRM so that I understood what to search for in a new one besides the price aspect. Following this, I put aside a couple of hours every day to investigate.
“As soon as I sourced a new software, I was able to transfer the information. I had to remove any outdated associates, revise lost data on our existing models, then train co-workers on how to operate the new application. I did this at the same time as managing my everyday duties, without any disruption in productivity.”
R: “Finally, we finished the migration three days before the deadline. I completed the quarter 20% before my sales objectives. What’s more, the workforce was happy with the revised CRM.”
#2: Have you ever had to go above and beyond your job responsibilities to complete a task? How did you achieve this?
S: “When I was a real estate manager at [COMPANY NAME], we received one of the hugest listings the organization had ever seen. A $6M house, recently renovated, ready to go out in the market.”
**T: **“Every representative was allowed to try and sell the property, as the owner only gave us a 3-month deadline.”
A: “I wanted to stand out, so I created a virtual tour of the property on our website. I believed strongly that photos wouldn’t do this property justice. So, I borrowed a 360-degree camera, watched tutorials online, then trained myself to produce the tour.”
R: “My managers were delighted when I presented them with it. They published the tour on the website and requested the other agents to forward it to their lists of clients. In the end, the buyer was from somewhere in Europe and didn’t even bother viewing the property in Washington before buying it. Her agent did. She revealed her client felt like she’d already stepped inside the property because of the tour and had no qualms about buying it.”
Digital interviewing arms you with the flexibility to interview from the comfort of your home or workspace. Just reducing the travel time required for a traditional interview makes such a big difference. Don’t get us wrong, traditional interviews are critical, and nothing beats it for the final interview stage.
But for technical assessments, prescreening and first rounds, a digital interview is super helpful. Want to find your dream remote job and work from anywhere? Browse our four-day-week jobs now.