Without a bus: online job interviews in the pandemic | Behavior

Get dressed, take the bus, the subway and arrive at the company where you were called for a job interview. Suddenly, the new coronavirus (Sars-Cov-2) pandemic broke this traditional cycle by looking for an opportunity, making companies and candidates prepare for completely remote selections and interviews with platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and even WhatsApp .

Faced with this unprecedented global challenge, which resulted in social isolation, the sport ended up growing exponentially. Data from Revelo, a technology startup in the Human Resources sector, showed in May this year that online job interviews grew by 40% during the pandemic.

Despite this, the generation of new jobs has not grown at the same pace. The survey Pnad Covid-19, from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), exposed that the unemployment rate in the country, registered in the penultimate week of July, was 13.7%. There are still 12.9 million unemployed in Brazil, the data reveal.

Even with the growth and rise in recent months, the online selection process did not necessarily arise during the pandemic period. “Companies used to approach this model only in one of the stages of the selection process and not all of it, as is common now,” explains Lachlan de Crespigny, Co-Founder of Revelo.

XP, Nubank and iFood hire hundreds in pandemic

In particular, organizations operating in the technology sector have embraced remote teams long before the global crisis.

“When we talk about technology-based companies, online interviews have always been present, especially at the beginning of the selection process, the first contact”, recalls Ana Laura Schmidt, psychologist and Recruitment Products Strategist at XP Investimentos, in an interview with Tecnoblog.

In contracting the crisis, companies like Nubank, XP Investimentos, iFood, Mercado Livre and Stone hired during the pandemic, working with remote teams. Silvia Kihara, recruitment manager at Nubank, tells the Tecnoblog that virtual interviews are already part of the daily life of fintech – today with much more strength, due to the social distance.


“Out of this unprecedented situation that we are experiencing, we usually take candidates to the office for face-to-face interviews at least once, but it is not uncommon for candidates to go through all phases online,” explains Kihara.

Nubank has been working remotely since March 12. The purple card company has already hired more than 200 people throughout the crisis in several regions, such as Dubai, Hong Kong and Silicon Valley. The company reveals to the Tecnoblog that about 170 of these over 200 have gone through 100% remote stages. Currently, there are 250 open positions that must be filled by the end of this year.

IFood, which is controlled by Movile, also opened its doors while other companies waived. Since the crisis worsened, 274 people have been hired and there are currently 183 open positions; 116 are for technology areas.

The delivery giant already worked with the virtual modality and says that it used other technologies to make the selections and hiring 100% viable.

IFood Office / Photo: Luiza Florenzano

“The selection processes continued, initially, for vacancies that required urgency in hiring, with all interviews done remotely”, says Thais Vicente, People Attraction Manager at iFood.

“It was already common to run selection processes online, but not for 100% of vacancies as we are doing today. We had to quickly search for tools and resources to ensure a better experience for both candidates and managers ”, he adds.

Attention is drawn to the large offer of vacancies related to technology. According to data from Revelo, opportunities in tech grew 25%. For Schmidt, “this is an area that is always going against the grain. Many companies have started to invest in digital transformation. In addition, new products that aim to simplify our lives are appearing ”.

There are more advantages than disadvantages

The entirely virtual recruitment modality brings together advantages, disadvantages, criticisms and praise. For experts, the positives can outweigh the negatives. One of the most evident benefits is the end of displacement, which, in the traditional model, requires prior organization, especially for those who live in large cities.

For the shy, on the other hand, one more advantage, considering that nervousness is often not so visible during the video conversation.

And regarding the tension, Schmidt says that “it remains extremely important for the recruitment team to break the ice of the interview and guide the next steps to try to bring the closeness and care that we had in the office when welcoming people”.

Man interviewing another

Hiring was also faster. Without the procedures for preparing a face-to-face conversation, such as displacement of the candidate, scheduling a room, organizing agendas and other possible unforeseen events, the process became even more agile. And that’s exactly where technology comes in as a partner on both sides.

However, there are other challenges that may arise at the time of the interview, such as lack of internet connection, difficulty accessing the program, microphone disconnected or with a problem, and other setbacks. To avoid all of this, there are good recommendations that can be practiced minutes before the interview. We’ll talk later.

With regard to the future of this modality, specialists in Human Resources are betting on growth even after the crisis. “The pandemic has brought many changes in behavior and companies that do not adapt will lose competitiveness. Therefore, we have observed a movement in the corporate universe to adhere to what is being called the new normal ”, analyzes Lachlan.

But not all companies are prepared

Wanessa Maris, 26, has a degree in hospitality and an MBA in Business Management, has been unemployed since November 2019 and the pandemic has further hindered plans to seek a new opportunity. To Tecnoblog, she says that she never participated in an online interview and had her first experience in August, but in a negative way, since the company did not contact at the agreed time.

“I was called for an interview at 11:30 am via Skype. Ten minutes earlier, I was already sitting ready to receive the call, time passed … Until it was noon, I contacted the recruiter to find out what happened, she simply said: ‘Now I can’t, it can be at 16h? ‘. In other words, neither an apology did I receive, in fact, nor would I have a return, if I had not contacted him, probably ”, said the young woman on her LinkedIn profile, where she received support from other users. Finally, the interview did not happen.

A subscriber to Catho, Wanessa received an interview invitation through the job classifieds platform.

As this would be her first experience in a completely online process, Maris was unsure of what to do when she made the appointment and without the interviewer’s return. He then decided to send a message on Catho, sent an email and called the recruiter on Skype, who suggested rescheduling, without apologizing or explaining the reason for the delay.

“I think [entrevista de emprego] it is a two-way street, the recruiter evaluates the candidate, but the candidate also evaluates the company and the recruits ”, says Maris. “Since then, this impression has remained [negativa]. It was all very dry, there was no dialogue and I already lost all the enchantment of participating in the interview. I felt disrespected. I already recruited at my old company and the first impression is what remains ”.

In a note to the report, Catho regretted what happened to the subscriber and said that it does not “agree with the practice described by the professional”. The platform explained that it does not intervene in contacts between the company and the candidate. As the resumes are in a database, registered companies can contact without Catho’s interventions.

“During the pandemic, Catho launched a series of lives and content about good practices and how companies could conduct their selection processes during this new format”, concludes the note.

Ana Laura Schmidt stresses that companies need to have empathy during the conversations, taking into account the preparation of the candidate who dedicated himself to the opportunity offered.

“It is definitely something that is marked. The company has a very important role in maintaining care for the candidate person that he had when he was present. I understand that unforeseen events happen. Whenever I need to deselect, I send an email to the person explaining the situation, apologizing and already rescheduling a new conversation ”, he says.

For companies that are joining the modality, Schmidt recommends transparency during communication. “It is important to put ourselves in the shoes of people, understanding that she prepared herself for this moment, generated enormous expectations”.

Tips for doing well in the first online interview

For candidates who have never had the experience of participating in an online job interview, the tips are the same as in a face-to-face process. The big challenge, however, is the technical difficulties that can arise during the conversation. Therefore, after receiving the invitation, be sure to ask the recruiter the program used for the interview.

There are several: Google Hangouts (or Meet), Google Duo, Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, among others.

Zoom / Unsplash / James Yarema

“It is very important to test the tool that will be used to make the video call to avoid unforeseen events with the internet, this happens and everything is fine, but mitigating the risks is important”, guides Schmidt.

If using a notebook computer, make sure there is enough battery and leave the charger close. Experts also advise avoiding the Wi-Fi connection, then recommending the use of the LAN cable, which reminds us of another important factor: testing the internet before talking to the recruiter.

When I interview, do I look at the camera or the screen? With the pandemic and the boom in video call platforms, this question has become a recurring question, as well as the whole discussion on the subject.

Man using notebook

Experts heard by Los Angeles Times always advise looking at the camera when the HR professional is talking to you, even if the “look in the eye” – so recommended in a job interview – is on the screen in these new times. Checking the microphone is also important.

The environment should be favorable for the moment. The place must be organized, well lit and without many visual distractions. By the way, one of the biggest distractions may be in your hands right now. Forget your cell phone during the interview; leave it in Do Not Disturb mode to avoid unexpected notifications or calls.

“Finally, some tips remain from when I was in person: researching the company (history, business, market), in addition, seeking to understand the profile of the position, routine, activities so that the person can prepare to direct their responses / experiences according to what is being asked for the position ”, concludes Schmidt.

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