Can you spot an axe murderer on a Zoom interview?

August 2020

Okay… so maybe not an axe murderer, but a poor work ethic and incompetency can be just as damaging, right? In these socially distant times, zoom interviews are very much the new normal, but how can you judge whether you’re getting the right vibe from the candidate you’re interviewing? There are a number of things that can help you with this process which will allow you to get a better insight as to whether they’re the right fit for your company.

Let’s get personnel

Usually, you would be watching how they walk into the interview room, is it a confident strut? Or how they interact with the gatekeepers, were they polite to your receptionist? Or you would measure the strength of their handshake, was it firm and assertive? Your candidate emits a million signals before the interview has even started. But now, they are already seated, handshakes are impossible through a video call and there’s no opportunity for general workplace interaction with others.

However, conducting an interview over video chat is a heightened situation, there is limited small talk and they’re under constant surveillance with minimal room for error. It’s a high pressured environment and you will be able to see first hand how they deal with that. During the interview you will be able to assess their soft skills the same way you would face-to-face, you will be able to see how they adapt and respond to verbal cues.

Aside from the interview Q&A, there are other factors to consider, which are more subtle but can tell you a lot about the candidate. These include:

Have a look at their setting, where have they chosen to sit for the call to take place? They don’t need to have rented a room at The Ritz, the kitchen table is perfectly fine, it’s the smaller details that matter. Have they cleared the dirty dishes from view? Are they sat up straight and not slouched in bed with a duvet? What have they chosen to wear? Have they dressed appropriately for the interview or gone very casual? A combination of all these things will tell you how serious the candidate is and how important the interview is to them.

Humanising the digital welcome

So, they’ve passed the test and you’re 99% sure they’re not an axe murderer (YAY!), how do you begin the on boarding process via Zoom? Watch this space.

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