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Interviewing during the crisis/Lockdown

23 April 2020

By Executives Team

Interviewing during the crisis/Lockdown

Interviewing Remotely: The Best Ways To Make a Good Impression

The rules of what makes an interview have been quickly eroded thanks to the ongoing lockdown of COVID-19, and with the rise of Zoom and Houseparty, there have been innovative ways to redefine what constitutes as an interview between an employer and a potential candidate.

At Executives, we pride ourselves on making sure that we find the best candidate that’s best suited to the role available. However, during these uncertain and challenging times, we’ve had to find new ways of making the usual face-to-face meetings happen via different means.

Here are a few ways to substitute the interview process, but to better understand the candidate during these lockdown times.


It’s simply not possible to interview someone face-to-face, so businesses are looking at communication applications such as Zoom and Skype in order to best-emulate the interview environment.

Zoom has a way of arranging locked meetings, with an invite code that can be sent to a recipient; so here, a meeting could be arranged for a director, a head of department, and the candidate. A virtual background can also replace the director’s kitchen with an image of the workplace perhaps, or even just something more appropriate such as a city skyline. 

The professionalism can still be maintained while keeping in mind that there is a fair amount of scope to be given to candidates who have never used this application before. After all, not everyone was familiar with such processes before just a month ago. 

The video-chat can give everyone an idea as to how everyone interacts with each other, alongside what the candidate can bring to the role in their own words. Written words are great, but passion can be expressed even more when it’s from the person through a video. Through their body language and even facial expressions, more hints as to what they could bring to the role are revealed as you converse. 


Alongside this, it could also be beneficial to send over a short test to the candidate. This doesn’t need to be anything complex or long-winded, but just a few questions that could give the business an idea of what else the candidate could bring to the role.

These could be done in several ways:

  1. An emailed list of questions with a short deadline to test responsiveness and timekeeping as well as knowledge.

  2. Questions on the spot during the above Zoom meeting

  3. Questions given during the Zoom meeting, to be answered in a subsequently-scheduled follow-up meeting.

They could be very varied; from multiple choice questions, to a scenario as to how a marketing campaign could be handled for instance; such as creating one, or dealing with a PR crisis during one.

This can give the business a great idea into how they could be under pressure during certain tasks, while also seeing how well they can communicate their handling of a situation.

A more informal approach

If the above is the route that you choose to go down, make sure that it is more than once to talk to the candidate. 

Granted, there may be five or more applying for the same role, and going through the exact same process, but it helps to keep in touch to just see how they’re feeling at that point in the interview process, as there’s always a chance that they could realise that the role is not for them, or the candidate may have questions for you too.

It could be for another meeting, and it could break the ice further, better gaining an understanding of both the candidate and the director, to better see how inquisitive both parties can be.

We are in trying times; there’s no denying that. But that doesn’t mean that opportunity can be squandered for a great candidate to offer their expertise to a business in a new role, and with just the above points, an interview can still be possible to find the best candidate for your business.

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