Social distancing now means assessment days and face to face interviews are things of the past. Covid now means on line aptitude tests, psych tests, and first stage video interviews are now the norm. They are cheaper, quicker, easier and compliant with government guidelines. However, how someone comes across in person as supposed to in a video is not the same, similarly, how can an applicant assess the working style of a company or its culture when the backdrop is unfocused or their interviewer is wfh?
Love it or hate it – for now it’s reality.
Luckily for graduates, they have not experienced much else. They grew up with multiple screens and unified communications. That said, it’s still key to familiarise yourself with the processes companies are now employing to give yourself the best shot at success.
Online assessments – Testing online is initiated as soon as you apply. Companies are using software and AI to assess CVs and associated social media accounts (sometimes more than just LinkedIn). Filtering against key words, grades, spelling errors, subjects taken, universities attended, syntax, sentiment, etc just to whittle down the huge number of applicants applying for the limited number of graduate roles being made available this year.
If you made the cut, the next step is often an online test. These test typically will be designed to assess character traits, measure IQ, numerical and verbal skills or job-specific competencies.
These tests are automated with nominal time being spent by any human to assess the quality of the filtering – the intent is to further reduce the number of applicants to actually be interviewed as cost effectively as possible. Most know it’s not perfect but it’s fast and relatively cheap.
For those applying its really difficult to prepare as the number and type of tests being used is bewildering. We would recommend a) taking the UpLink quiz to gain insights into some of the common elements and understand how you will be presenting yourself b) secondly, its always worthwhile to research the company, how it presents itself and dig deeper to get a sense of its purpose and culture as their values are often key in defining direction or something to align your input to.
Virtual interviews –For those who failed to reach this point, contact the company and ask for feedback – there is no point accepting the faceless corporate black hole that has mined you for data to then receive a meaningless thanks but no thanks email with no feedback. Even if they reel off platitudes dig deeper and ask for a profile of those who made it through to interview by sex, university, race, subject taken and their rules for data retention of your data!
Congratulations, if you have managed to navigate through a maze with no map. It would be silly to stumble over something basic at this point. We suggest you familiarise yourself with the video platform to be used; Zoom, Skype, Microsoft teams, WhatsApp etc. Login in way before the call and check the basics.
- What you look like (lighting, backdrop, formal dress with no zig zag or stripes that will hinder the video compressor, also don’t hold your mobile if that is your device of choice, fix it to something so they don’t see a continually moving image or viewpoint change as you swap hands or rest it on the desk.
- Audio is clear (microphone sensitivity is good, no background noises)
- Network connectivity is good
- Remove all other distractions (pets, mobile phone, your mum screaming “Lunch” etc)
Remember it’s a two-way conversation they know a lot about you, but all you have to go on is their marketing spin they present on their social channels and website. Don’t hesitate to dig deeper into the culture, management style, rest of the team. the boss and other key elements that will define whether you can and want to succeed in their environment.
Review all of your notes, the job spec and your research on the company. Take one last look at your UpLink profile for ideas and insights about what is important to you. Have your questions at the ready and relax.
Last tip, Smile – people warm to people who smile.
Questions? Feel free to get in touch.