How to Conduct Safe Interviews During the Pandemic

  • On October 15, 2020

With the pandemic altering business practices, it’s also changing the style of interviewing. Virtual interactions guarantee the safety of you and your employees while maintaining a method of hire for needed personnel. Here are some tips to conduct interviews while maintaining the safety of both your business and future hires.

Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are best known as the 15-minute screening companies use to understand and know the applicant. This consists of topics like “tell me a little about your business background” or “what is one of your job strengths”, etc. But, this method can be great beyond its historical use by conducting the full interview over the phone so you still have that interaction with the candidate, or a series of interviews depending on your schedule to help weed out applicants to your top five before hosting the main interview. Phone interviews provide the ease of working on tasks between sessions at the office while narrowing down your applicant list.  

Recorded Video Interviews

Sometimes the balance of work and the hiring process can take up a lot of your time. Implementing a recorded interview software gives you the opportunity to ask applicants questions needed to narrow down candidates while giving them the flexibility to answer at their convenience. Many large companies use this method due to the thousands of applications they receive for one listing and need to narrow their options down. From there, the software can detect phrases or certain answers your company deems positive to automatically provide a list of applicants to interview. Or, you can listen to the recordings and create interview contacts personally.

Live Video Interviews

Live video interviews through Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and more have become the best method of hiring during the pandemic, allowing employers to see and know the applicant while maintaining the safety of both parties in the interview. Live video interviews allow the decision-makers who are working remotely to still engage with the candidate as well. Picking the right platform to conduct interviews is important as well if you wish to record the session or have it work with your applicant tracking system (if applicable). 

In-Person Interviews

While virtually vetting candidates is a great method to select your new hiree, it still may be necessary to invite applicants to an on-site interview. There are several things to consider if you realize this may be the path you need to take:

Set Clear Expectations

This includes specific day-of-interview information and instructions such as where to park, where to enter, and point of contact to call or reschedule if the applicant is feeling sick or having trouble finding your office. 

Maintain Social Distancing and other CDC Guidelines

Adhering to all CDC guidelines as well as state and local guidelines are best for both you, the applicant, and anyone else involved in the process. Avoiding close contact by separating a few chair spaces from each other is a great step to maintaining safety. Proper sanitation stations or hand sanitizer for anyone to use keeps potential contact surfaces regularly touched clean. Avoid shaking hands or the recent elbow touch fad and lighten the mood with a joke or other fun alternatives such as air salute or air high-5. After the interview, clean any touched surfaces, pens, sitting areas, and whatever else you feel needed to disinfect. 

Health Screening

Many businesses such as doctors’ offices or restaurants may ask their customers basic screening questions for the coronavirus, and you can too. Sending an email the morning of for the applicant to fill out and sign can let you know who is possibly exposed or ill. Questions usually consist of any exposure to COVID-19, been in contact with someone diagnosed, and more. From there the appointment can be rescheduled and the safety of everyone is maintained. You can also screen onsite by asking candidates to participate in a temperature screening as well as asking illness questions described above.

We recognize it is very challenging to conduct interviews efficiently and effectively with the demand of positions needing to be filled during this time. Staff Solve continues to provide high-quality candidates and jobs in diverse markets for over 27 years. Let us take on the stress off you so you can focus on your business to find the perfect applicant for the position. If you are looking for employment, please visit our job seeker page. If you would like more information about the services we offer employers, visit our employer page or contact us today. 

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