Interviewing virtually

By Rebecca Thurlow, Compass Point Recruitment

Coronavirus has undoubtedly impacted all our professional and private lives, and the recruitment industry has not been immune.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine Autumn/Winter 2020

Adapting to the new normal

We have all had to adapt our working practices to stay safe during the pandemic and our clients and candidates have had to do the same. Whilst Compass Point Recruitment has very much been open for business as normal throughout this period, like every organisation, we have been relying on technology more than ever to get the job done.

An innovation for us has revolved around the curtailment of client visits. We felt it was important to continue to get our personalities and professionalism out there. So, we have arranged virtual tours with our clients to ensure we are still able to get a feel for their company and the culture fit.

We feel this innovation of technology offered a COVID compliant compromise that, not only ensured a successful collaborative partnership, but also meant we were still providing our clients and candidates with the best possible recruitment service whilst staying true to our company values: Committed, Recommended Relationships, Ethical, Accredited, Talented, Expert.

Yet, the most obvious and marked shift for us, is carrying out interviews virtually.

So here are some tips for interviewing via video technology?

Test: Are you familiar with the software you are using? Can you operate the microphone, camera and is your internet connection suitable? Before heading straight into the interview, schedule a test call with a colleague or friend, so you can resolve any issues.

Practice: How do you come across over a video call? Are you too close, or too far away from the camera? Are you hunched over the screen? Position your camera so it is level with your face and top half of your body. Make good eye contact, relax your body language and smile and nod clearly when others speak. Also remember there is sometimes a delay, so be sure to wait for questions and responses to be finished fully before you answer.

Location: If you’re at home, think about where to best place yourself. Dress appropriately and find somewhere quiet with an appropriate backdrop, suitable lighting, and no distractions such as mobile phones ringing, dogs barking, family members chatting in the background.

Prepare: Treat the virtual interview exactly the same as you would if it were face-to-face. Make sure you have everything with you such as a notepad, pen, a copy of the CV and the job description. Ensure you have thought about suitable questions. Also, as we all know with technology, it isn’t fool proof. Things happen and sometimes it doesn’t always run smoothly, so prior to your video interview, discuss what your plan is if the technology fails; will it be rescheduled, or will you opt for a more simple telephone interview instead.

Finishing up: When the interview ends, clarify next steps and when a decision will be made. If next stage interviews are planned on site, make sure everyone is happy to meet in person. Also, ensure the interview is followed up with an email or telephone call.

Interviewing virtually 1

Rebecca Thurlow is MD at Compass Point Recruitment. If you are looking for a recruitment partner that is passionate about connecting the right people together and that thinks outside the box to provide solutions and add value to the recruitment process, then contact: E: T: 01284 765700 or visit

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