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Abusing the Online Interview Process

This is a public service announcement: There is definitely a right and wrong way to conduct an online interview! Technology has come a long way in helping human resources departments with the interviewing process. Online interviews can help businesses save time and money when looking for the right candidate for the job. But, as I unfortunately found out, companies can abuse this process.

I consider myself to be someone who does fairly well in interviews–and as someone who came out of college right in the middle of historic unemployment rates, I’ve gone through a lot of them. So in my experience, I’ve learned how to keep calm and stay on my toes, but during my first and only online interview, I was definitely rattled.

The company I was interviewing with was producing an up and coming social media app, so they were very tech savvy and looking to hire young talent. And when they sent an email stating my preliminary interview would be online, I was not surprised.

But what I thought was going to be a typical online interview, was not. I assumed I would be meeting with someone or a group of people through video and audio conferencing. I was wrong. Instead of meeting with an actual person, I was first put through a training of how the interview would work. I would be asked a series of questions, have 30 seconds to prepare an answer and 30 seconds to produce an answer. And yes, I was answering them on camera, staring at myself.

As the interview started I genuinely lost my nerve. As if talking to myself wasn’t thwarting enough, I was actually being timed on preparing and answering these questions! After the hellish online interview was over, I knew I completely bombed my chances at securing the position.

Sure, not a lot of people are going to have an experience like mine, but it’s definitely worth noting that companies can abuse the online interview process. And while some companies do, a lot of companies get it right.

Here at PGi, we use our own tool, iMeet®, to interview potential candidates if they aren’t within proximity or able to travel for the process. Our own content manager, Josh Erwin, was able to experience an online interview that was conducted the right way.

Josh was in St. Louis, applying for a position here in Atlanta. He had three rounds of interviews through iMeet with our HR department, the manager for the position and the entire team. It wasn’t until his final interview that he met with everyone in person.

Josh’s experience is what I would consider the right way to conduct an online interview. Not only did Josh have the opportunity to meet with essential personnel, but he also had time to prepare for his interviews. And on the business side of the interview, PGi saved on travel costs while making sure Josh was the right fit for the position and the company’s culture.

So, if your business is looking to utilize the digital side of the hiring process, make sure you don’t abuse it. Make your candidates feel comfortable and prepared by explaining how the interview will be conducted and who they will be meeting with. Creating this connection with the candidate will put them at ease and make the interview process a little more bearable.

Ready to try out online interviewing? Check out PGi’s iMeet, free for 30 days.

About Andrea Duke

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