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What to expect from the interview process during COVID-19

Posted in interview-tips

Friday, September 25th, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has meant changing many of the ways we live and work, and applying for a new job during COVID-19 is among them.

Early in the outbreak – even before the government-imposed lockdown began – we at Alexander Hancock took the decision to minimise face-to-face contact.

That allowed us to protect our staff and to give safe distance to anyone who needed to visit us in person.

However, the interview process is an integral part of getting a new job in COVID-19 just as it is at any other time – so we have continued in-depth interviews with candidates.

So what’s changed since March? Here are some differences you might notice in the interview process during COVID-19, both with your Alexander Hancock recruitment consultant and with any employers who interview you.

COVID-safe interviews

There are several different ways to hold COVID-safe job interviews (or COVID-secure interviews, as they are sometimes called).

One of the main ways is to hold first-round job interviews remotely. You may notice more of your job interviews take place by telephone or videoconferencing in the months to come.

This is beneficial for some candidates in other ways too – you can ‘attend’ more COVID-secure job interviews at times that suit you, as you don’t have to travel in person.

You might feel like your recruitment consultant is holding more in-depth interviews with you over the phone, because we are working hard to make sure we don’t put candidates forward for in-person interviews unless they’re a perfect fit for the job.

Equally, your first-round telephone interview with a prospective employer might feel more probing, but that’s because they too are trying to reduce the number of face-to-face interviews they carry out.

All of this means it’s important to take those initial interviews seriously, even if they’re just a phone call or web chat – they’re your chance to impress and get on to a potentially much shorter shortlist for the next round.

In-person job interviews during COVID-19

If you are asked to attend an in-person job interview during COVID-19, it’s sensible to ask what COVID-secure precautions are in place in the workplace you will need to visit.

For example, you might have to:

  • Sanitise your hands with alcohol gel or wash them with soap on arrival.
  • Wait outside until the interviewer is ready for you.
  • Maintain a minimum physical distance from others inside.
  • Wear a face mask in communal areas or in the interview.
  • Follow other sensible precautions e.g. avoid touching your face and eyes.

Obviously if you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, you should not attend an interview in person; however, you could still have interviews by telephone or webcam.

You might want to keep a smart bag or briefcase ready with essential supplies like spare masks, alcohol gel, tissues, hayfever pills, throat lozenges and so on – whatever you need to feel comfortable and safe on your way to, during, and home from the interview.

This year has been challenging and many people are facing unplanned career changes. By doing everything we can to keep the interview process safe and on track, we are helping as many candidates as possible to find the best jobs available in COVID-secure workplaces.

Contact us today to help with your job search!

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