Digital Interview: What did we learn this pandemic?

With the sudden onset of the pandemic, everything went into lockdown mode. Billions of people had to lock themselves down as Coronavirus spread rapidly throughout the world. Millions of businesses had to close down and others had to run with regulations placed by the government. As many businesses had to operate in a locked downstate, human resource management had to do the same as well.

“Let’s conduct the interview virtually” was the term that was used by every business and heard by every human resource manager, when it came to hiring. This was the most logical option. With restrictions being placed such as avoiding human contact and interaction as much as possible, as an HR, it was a difficult task because the HR department relied on human interaction.

Nepal, which was not used to digital recruitment had to come on board for this paradigm shift. With this, various virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, Google meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype came widely into use. Thanks to these technologies, businesses were able to conduct interviews and hire accordingly.

Now, let us understand the basics of the digital interviews and the types of this interview format.

A digital Interview is a technologically induced interview, which is conducted online by the employer with the candidates. During a digital interview, the session operates with the help of digital tools, which uses a webcam for live video and audio tools to carry out the conversation amongst the two parties. The main advantage of this interview is the ability to record and replay it at the time of one’s ease. There are two forms of digital interview that is practiced widely throughout the globe.

1) Pre-recorded Interview
Pre-recorded video interview is a great tool when it comes to the early recruitment and screening process for any company. The format of this type of interview is simple. The recruiter sends pre-defined questions to the candidates who then, need to record it and send it back to the recruiter for assessment. The questions are set according to the requirements of the vacancy and a deadline is given which needs to be met by the candidate. The video is then evaluated and analyzed by the recruiter and decided to whether or not to take the candidate further in the recruitment process. This interview is a great chance to highlight oneself beyond the traditional approach of sending CVs which is a one-sided interview where there is the only candidate who sits in the interview and sends it to the recruiter.

This type of interview cannot replace the full-fledged face-to-face interview but is a great tool for the initial screening of candidates to get a better understanding of the candidates. With the help of this format, the recruiters can generate efficiency, which will save them time. This can result in many conveniences for your candidates as you can have wide participation of candidates due to no limitations for time and space. One can record this interview whenever and wherever they want and send it to the recruiters within the given period.

2) Live Interview
A live interview is a two-sided interview where both recruiter and the candidate come together on a pre-determined time, date, and platform for the interview. This type of interview is better as it provides opportunities to interviewer and candidate to discuss freely with the choice to follow up. It also results in cost and time saving, eliminates geographical boundaries, efficiency, and diversity in their choices.

The interview is technologically empowered and the biggest problem for this type of interview is technical errors resulting from being reliant on technology. Some people are camera shy as it can obviously affect the way they present which would be better if it were a person-to-person interview. For this interview, one needs a quiet physical setting with no disturbances throughout the interview.

During the pandemic, a live interview was the most widely used format throughout the nation for interviews. Every company that conducted interviews embraced it with open arms. Among all the different industries, IT companies conducted them with much ease and carried out the interview process normally as they were used to such technologies beforehand. Candidates who wanted to apply for jobs in this industry were familiar with the entire process, which led to a smooth flow of the interview. Here, the interview, hiring, onboarding, and job start was all done virtually without any physical interaction between the two sides. Along with IT companies other technology-based companies like Online Businesses, News Portals also seemed to trust the concept of virtual interviews and recruitment. Various jobs like Graphic Designers, Social Media Manager, Customer Support, Content Writer, Blogger, Digital Marketers were hired through this method.

However, various other industries found it difficult to adapt to these technologies, which halted their recruitment process. Industries like Financial Services, Public Service, and Manufacturing hired the least amount of candidates during this period. Some were reluctant to hire the candidates even after conducting interviews whereas many were new to the technology which made it difficult for them to adapt to the changes. Among all the jobs, senior-level jobs were the least recruited jobs through this medium. Banking and financial intermediaries were the ones in which the least amount of recruitment was done during the time of the pandemic.

We discovered it was quite a struggle for companies in our country to adjust to this new normal and trust the technological process when it came to recruiting new members. Nevertheless, this pandemic has shown it is much necessary for all organizations to adapt themselves accordingly to technology as it has become indispensable for almost all business operations throughout the globe.

By BIDHAN LOHANI, Co-founder Jobs Sniper

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