Interviews 2.0 -Understanding Interview Formats in 2021

Companies continue to use phone and video conferencing conversation as a part of the screening process in recruitment with final interviews typically in person. During the pandemic, companies switched from the previous hybrid model of interviewing to relying solely on video technology to recruit and hire. Post pandemic, companies continue to rely on technology to assist with interviewing. Video technology is efficient and cost effective. Some companies will continue to rely exclusively on video interviewing while others will move to pre-pandemic recruitment and hiring practices. The new challenge for companies will be efficiently hiring qualified talent whether local or remote. Companies can attract the best talent by developing a recruitment and hiring strategy that leverages technology and provides a positive candidate experience.

For the job seeker, there are different types of interview formats to understand as many organizations reopen the workplace for full-time onsite and hybrid roles. Preparing for virtual interviews is the same as preparing for in-person interviews. According to this Jobvite survey 67% of recruiters are interviewing using video, and 40% of recruiters believe virtual interviews will be the default moving forward.

Types of Interviews

  • A job audition is a simulation for the role also known as a whiteboard test, case study, or some other form of skills assessment. The goal of the interview is to replicate a daily situation or problem that is the normal aspect of the workday for the open position. This type of interview removes bias and allows the employer to make performance-based decisions.
  • Drive-thru job fairs are especially effective in the manufacturing, light industrial, utilities, warehouse, and administrative sectors. Drive-thru hiring events take place “on the spot” or “grab and go.” The advantage to the “on-the-spot” format is that an interview is extended to the candidate without them ever leaving their car. Don’t forget a copy of your resume for this event!
  • Pre-recorded or one way video interviews. In this format, the employer will give you instructions on how to join the interview. Instead of being connected with a person, you’ll be prompted to answer interview questions that have been pre-recorded or appear in writing on the screen. You’ll record your answer to each question and the employer will review the recording later. There is often a time limit for your answers, and usually you are unable to re-record.
  • Roundtable interviews are usually completed in 2 hours. All the finalists are in the same Zoom room. The company’s HR department explains the process -each individual will spend 30 minutes in a breakout room with the interviewer(s) from the company in a round robin format. This is different from a panel interview when it is several members from the company at one time -the panel -interviewing only you.
  • Two-way video Interviews are when the candidate and interviewer use a video conferencing platform to conduct a one-on-one interview. Treat your videoconferencing interview the same way you would an in-person interview.
  • Whiteboard interview is a technical problem-solving assessment that takes place in real time and typically involves a candidate writing code and sometimes diagrams on a whiteboard while onsite. A similar kind of interview can be done in person with pen and paper.

STAR Interview Method

No matter the interview format, the key to successful interviewing is preparing for your interview. The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific Situation, Task, Action, and Result of the situation you are describing. When preparing for your interviews whether they are in person or video, or some combination, please follow the STAR method steps and always be as specific as possible, without including too much information.

Hiring managers and recruiters want to find the right candidate with the right experience, skills, as well as the right culture fit. Know your resume and have your STAR stories ready. Focus on how you solved a problem, overcame a challenge, made a mistake, lead a team, and did something interesting or innovative, and you will be sure to shine.

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