Returning to In-Person Interviews
With many businesses now returning to working from the office, it feels as if we are we are really beginning to emerge from the worst of the last 2 years. As Ireland adapted to the challenges of the pandemic, many industries experienced the necessary shift from working on-site to working remotely. This, of course, also had a direct impact on the way businesses interviewed their candidates.
If you had an interview in the last few years, the chances are that it was conducted as a video interview, a phone interview, or even a one-way, recorded interview with pre-selected questions. While interviews are daunting, practicing can be an effective way of showcasing your skills. However, for many, the newest challenge is not only in refreshing the kinds of interviews skills needed when meeting an employer face-to-face, but what changes, if any, to expect. Here’s a few examples:
1. The Questions
Your preparation for the types of questions asked in a remote interview will be the same as for a traditional job interview. Employers might ask broad questions like, “why would you like to work for us,” and “tell me about your weaknesses and strength.” Your preparation will still be as relevant if you get invited to an employer office to meet with them in person.
2. Dress Code
Frist thing’s first! Think about what you’re going to wear. You might have done your last 5 interviews in shorts, but ensure you look the part for your next in-person interview.
While sometimes smiling is not the easiest thing to do in a stressful situation, it can really help to alleviate tension. It’s a good method of relaxing you as the candidate but will also more than likely be reciprocated by your interviewer. As with all of the tips below, you want to find the right balance: smiling too much can give the wrong impression!
Using your hands can be an effective way showcase your enthusiasm. While you’ll want to avoid waving your hands about too much, using them can give the impression that you are at ease – in turn making the employer feel more at ease.
5. Active Listening
This is an important skill that can make a huge difference in any face-to-face situation. Nodding in agreement with the employer lets them know that you understand what they are saying and are able to follow the conversation. It’s also another useful way of helping to reduce tension and encourages a positive atmosphere between interviewer and interviewee.
6. Eye Contact
As remote interviews require participants to engage via a webcam or over the phone, it’s virtually impossible to ensure or maintain eye contact. Eye contact remains a crucial aspect of the in-person interview and helps candidates and interviews alike to give the impression that they are trustworthy and open. If this doesn’t come naturally to you, make sure you practice with a friend, a member of your family, or your FRS Consultant, which can help you become more confident in maintaining and managing your eye contact. If you are invited to a group interview or a panel interview, remember to look at each of the people in the room when answering their questions.
A lot has changed since Covid: do we, or don’t we? Is a fist bump or an elbow lean appropriate? It’s hard to know what’s best to do in this situation. The important thing to remember is that you only do what you and your interviewer feel comfortable with. If you find your self in a situation where the employer is holding a hand out to you, feel free to politely decline the handshake and explain why. Alternatively, if the employer rejects a handshake, don’t be offended. You might also want to ask: “do you mind if I shake your hand?”, both giving the interviewer the option and demonstrating your social awareness at the same time!
As with the handshake, this is a judgement call. We’ve come a long way since 2020 and seeing someone wearing a mask is nothing strange. If you feel more comfortable wearing one, do. Out of respect for your interviewer, it might be a good idea to bring one with you in your pocket even if you choose not to wear it. Feel free to simply ask the employer if they would prefer you wore it. Again, the important thing is that you and your interviewer feel safe.
These tips are designed to help you adjust to the cautious return of face-to-face interviews. While your actual interview preparation might be unchanged, it’s useful to know that there are now new real-world situations to be aware of that we may have overlooked.
Thankfully, our Recruiters are well placed to give you some additional advice on what to expect in your next interview. Reach out to the team now on 1890790890 or register to receive job alerts from FRS Recruitment and start your career search with us today.