Have you ever been told "We really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us but we decided this is not a great fit"? Then wondered: Is it something I said? Did I talk too much? How could I have connected more? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you are not alone. Many people, no matter what job they are interviewing for, have faced this issue or internal dialogue.

On the flip side, maybe you are an employer having the same challenges wondering how to attract talent and identify those that align with your values.       

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Here is the truth, it's about to get harder. Post COVID-19, over 35% of companies will be moving to virtual interviewing and not allowing visitors into their office should they re-open, as reported by Lightspeed Venture Partners. We can assume that companies will shift to a remote interviewing process for the foreseeable future

In short, this new virtual world is going to make it a challenge for both employers and interviewees to convey their personality, sell their experience, and provide an interview process that allows candidates to demonstrate their full potential. 

Interviewee: Strategies for the future 

This is the new normal and the interview landscape is ever-evolving. However, that doesn't mean you can't get ahead and ensure you have a game plan before interviewing.  

These are a few behind-the-scenes tips and tricks that will hopefully help you land that next opportunity. 

  1. Research is key: Make sure to invest time in understanding a company's mission, values, and role responsibilities. With less in-person interaction you want to make sure you're full of personal insight when walking into a conversation. This takes you from being just another candidate to one that cares deeply  about the opportunity at hand. 
  2. Find a quiet space: Whether you are on the phone or on a video call, it's important you are not distracted. 
  3. Eye contact: Maintaining eye contact, though  understandably awkward during a video call, can go a long way and is a great method to build a connection. So double-check your camera angle—no one likes to talk with just a chin. 
  4. Follow up: After the interview, take 3-4 hours to send a thank you email to all the parties involved in the interview process. If you don't have their emails, message the recruiter directly and they will be more than happy to provide them. This can make or break next steps in the process. 

Employers: You get out what you put in

It can be tempting to keep the same process that has worked for you for years, but recruiting isn't stagnant, it's dynamic. In order to set up potential future employees for success, you have to invest in every stage of the hiring process.

At Button, we implemented a few strategies in this virtual world  that hopefully will help others out there who don't know where or how to start. 

  1. Build a remote handbook: Each role might change now that things are virtual. Work with your hiring panels to develop rubrics and additional processes that are documented and easily accessible to members of the team. 
  2. Invest in third party products: These can be a free easy to use services such as, Awwapp.com for whiteboarding or HackerRank to encourage real-time collaboration and remote question options. 
  3. Ensure interview training among the team: Some members of your team may feel awkward interviewing remotely. Invest time in mock interviews and training sessions around dealing with interview obstacles. While it can take time, it will help create a more positive experience for candidates and make the team stronger as a result.

With the world changing it is important to know this is a dynamic problem, one that  requires everyone to think forward rather than stay the same. By embracing this new virtual world as a company, you can create new opportunities to showcase your culture and open up hiring across multiple states or even countries. As an interviewee, this is a moment where you can polish up your skills, while also assessing companies hiring practices and remote policy procedures with more vigor.

For more tips on workplace productivity and culture from the Button Team, click here.