Candidate Tips for Virtual Interviews

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Written by Michelle Imhoff, Talent Acquisition Partner -- Technical Recruiter.
Candidate Tips for Virtual Interviews

Given recent developments, many around the country are working remotely for the moment.  During this time, companies like Shield AI, which are continuing to interview, hire, and on-board talent, have needed to quickly adapt our practices. Our team is working to transition touch-points that have traditionally been done in-person to remain effective when conducted remotely. The candidate experience is of the utmost importance to us and our bar for interacting with prospective teammates remains as high as it has always been.  

 

The following are some of the steps we have taken to ensure hiring and onboarding at Shield AI remains the best experience possible during this time:

  • Prioritizing Communication: Our talent team will be proactively communicating with candidates, not only about scheduling but also about IT setups and remote-communication resources. Our team will be available to practice the IT set up with interviewees the day prior to their scheduled interview.  As always, our talent team remains a resource to help candidates navigate, coordinate, and reschedule as needed.  

  • Remaining Flexible: We understand that interruptions during remote interviews are to be expected during this time. If the dog barks or kids are heard in the background -- don’t fret, it happens! Likewise, if you need to reschedule due to family matters, don’t hesitate to do so. We understand that you have loved ones to consider. 

  • Being Creative: We know that an important part of the decision to join a new company includes understanding that company’s culture. While this is admittedly hard to capture virtually, our team has put together several resources to offer a glimpse inside Shield AI which your recruiter will share with you. Additionally, our team will schedule “virtual coffee” meet-ups during your interview to facilitate getting to know teammates on a more casual level before making your decision.  

 

Additionally, in order to support this transition, the team at Shield AI has consolidated the following tips for how to effectively conduct remote interviews. We are sharing these guidelines in the hope that they will serve as useful references for candidates as they navigate interviewing during this turbulent time.

 

Guidelines for excellent virtual interviews:

  • Avoid technical difficulties. While home internet connections can cause degraded internet connection, aim to reduce the changes that technical difficulties will delay or shorten your interview by testing the video connection prior to the interview.  Be sure that you have downloaded all necessary tools the hiring company is using. On the day of the interview, join a couple of minutes early in case there are connectivity problems.

  • Avoid distractions. Choose a clean, quiet, and well-lit space for your interviews. Create a productive space that allows you to focus.  If possible, avoid setting up your workspace in common rooms or high-traffic areas of your household. If not, let us know. Remember that the interviewers will get a visual of your working environment,  so be sure that it is professional, regardless of the setting.  

  • “Get ready!” Be dressed as you would for an in-person interview. This will help you to get into the right mindset for the conversation. Most companies will outline how you should dress for an interview (e.g., business, business casual, “start-up” casual); be sure to follow those guidelines even though you are at home -- it will signify to them that you are serious about the position. 

  • Optimize communication. Because you are not meeting in person, effective communication must be even more intentional.  Non-verbal cues are vitally important via a video chat. For more on this, read some of our tips for effectively communicating during remote meetings

  • Take notes thoughtfully. It is always a great idea to take notes during an interview. When doing so during a virtual meeting, take care to choose a note taking method that is not distracting on the call.  For example, while it may work well to take typed notes if you’re using a headset with a microphone, typing notes may not be the best choice if you’re using the built-in microphone in your laptop which will pick up the sound of your typing.  Try taking written notes instead.

 

It is our hope that these tips serve you well as you navigate your career search now -- and in times to come, as it is our belief that virtual meetings will become more widespread moving forward. We look forward to connecting with you and we remain eager to share our mission and introduce new teammates in person when we return to our offices.