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The New Interview Process for Jobseekers

“Are people still hiring? How can they interview anyone now?”

In many countries across the globe, people are working from home and practising social distancing to flatten the curve. While many are comparing this global pandemic to the likes of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2007/08 and the SARS epidemic in 2003, technology has come a long way since then.

With connectivity on a global scale, many aspects of the traditional interview process can now be done online. As a job seeker, you know that preparation is vital. So here’s what you can expect for the different stages of your job application process.


Pre-Interview Preparation

Do you remember how you prepared for your last job interview? Was it over a coffee with your recruitment consultant or some friends?

While you probably can’t sit at a café and bounce questions off another person, a simple phone call or video call from the comfort of your own home will do the trick. From a recruiter’s perspective, they are more than willing to discuss the interview process with you. Just reach out to them and schedule a call.


Tests & Assessments

Even before the crisis, some companies were already conducting pre-interview assessments. Depending on the role, this could be

  • Personality tests

  • Open-ended questions

  • Essays

  • Roleplay

  • Skills tests

Apart from tests that gauge hands-on technical skills, many of these can be done online.

If you’ve been researching a company’s interview process, bear in mind that they may not be using their pre-pandemic hiring process anymore. Many companies are making adjustments and may consider having online tests as another way to gauge the suitability of candidates.


The Interview

A face-to-face interview is not much of an option now and is being replaced with other alternatives. These could be phone interviews, video interviews with pre-recorded questions and even video calls on platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc. 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the traditional interview vs the new interview. 

No matter what format the interview is in, pay attention to your body language and the tone of your voice. Don't forget to bring a positive attitude and most importantly, don't be late!


The Offer

You may be anxious to know the outcome of the interview, but don’t forget, we are all dealing with change, even your potential employer. As we’re all adjusting to new norms, companies may take a longer time than usual to come back to you. 

Once you have an offer, go through it as you normally would. If there are any parts of the offer or employment contract you are unsure about, discuss them with your recruiter or the person you’ve been in contact with from the company. 

Do note that you may not be able to sign the offer letter and/or employment contract physically. Your new employer may ask for a digital signature or email acknowledgement.



This time, your first day of work experience may be different. While you would still need to meet your new colleagues and go through the onboarding process, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time on video calls, chat and emails instead of in an office. 


The Takeaway

The new interview process is still an interview so put in as much effort as you usually would. As we are all going through a period of change, we need to be flexible and open to the adjustments that will be made to the interview process. Don’t forget, if someone has decided to hire you, it’s because they believe in your capabilities.

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