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Interviewing from home… beneficial or not?

Photo: Unsplash
Photo: Unsplash

With new announcements made by the government every week, it’s more and more obvious that COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime soon, and that the distanciation and safety measures are here to stay… at least for a little bit.

What does that imply in terms of recruiting new employees? Or job applications? Well, in part, it means that even though job offers are popping up again, interviews might have to happen from home for now. How do we feel about it? Is it a curse or a blessing? Let’s explores the pros and cons of this “new” procedure. 

I say “new” because the concept of the remote interview has existed for a while in certain fields. When we think of a “real career”, it’s customary in the hiring process to go through a phone interview. This generally allows the employer to do a preselection of candidates before planning to meet them in person.

Currently, this step is growing more and more common due to the social distancing measures put in place. Is that a pro or a con? Let’s consider the employer’s point of view. 

In control

For the employer, a phone or video interview is the occasion to take control of the hiring process. A remote interview can be shortened or modified based on the first impression of the candidate. Remote interviews are then an easy way to save some time. 

Since interviews can be shorter, the employer is able to consider more candidates, and maybe even widen the selection criteria. This can make the hiring process easier and can transform the experience - in a good way!

Conducting phone interviews allows the chance to eliminate factors that could discriminate against candidates, such as age, gender or ethnicity (well, not gender, but… still). Remote interviews allow the employer to remain impartial and forces them to base their decision purely on skills and experience. Everyone’s a winner! In a video call, there’s also a chance to observe the environment surrounding the candidate, which can provide additional clues to help make a decision (for example, if a candidate is surrounded by piles of dirty laundry… come on, dude, just clean a little!).

In your pj’s

Ah, I’m kind of kidding, but not really… One of the pros of phone interviews is that you have the options to stay in your pj’s!

There’s other stuff, too. From the candidate’s point of view, a remote interview offers a few upsides. You’re in a familiar, comfortable environment. You don’t have to show up on site, so it’s easier to work it into your schedule. Your stress level is lower, so it’s easier to focus on the interviewer’s questions.

However, it can be hard to establish a strong human connection with your employer. Getting your personality across can be a challenge. In the food service industry, for example, strengths are often charisma or people skills. It’s harder to share those strengths through a phone or video call.

Interviewing from home can make the hiring process both harder and easier. I know, it’s so clear, isn’t it? In fields that prone human contact and customer service, it can be hard to hire someone remotely without meeting them first. However, with lower stress levels, phone and video interviews can go better than face-to-face meetings.

Is your job search or hiring process going better or worse now that it’s happening remotely? We’re curious to find out!

Laurie Dumas-Ruel

Laurie Dumas-Ruel is the web editor for Hotelleriejobs as well as a fiction writer in her free time. She's worked in food service alongside tourists for years and loves to explore the different ways in which human resources and the food service, hotel and tourism industries intertwine.