Recently, I had a client who had been working in the same company for the last 15 years and her last interview was in 2007. Now looking for a new adventure, she started to feel overwhelmed with how the hiring process had shifted in the past decade and sought out help navigating this new normal.
For many of my clients, the hiring cycle and jumping from business to business is stroll in the park and they come to me to get guidance on structuring the answers, having a second opinion and rehearsing for the big day. The are familiar with the new processes, technologies and approaches but for others the evolution of the job hunt is alien and confusing.
It so much more than putting on your best business attire, printing out a stack of resumes, and venturing into an office where you’d share a handshake with a potential employer. The past decade has radically transformed this conventional narrative. So, if you haven’t interviewed for a job in a while, this article is a must read so get ready to download your interview 2.0 update!
From Face-to-Face to Screen-to-Screen
One of the most significant shifts in the job interview landscape over the past ten years is the move towards digital interviews. As high-speed internet and advanced communication technologies became ubiquitous, companies started utilizing tools like Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams for their hiring processes. This trend was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing even the most traditional companies to adapt to this virtual reality.
Going digital might seem simple enough – just sit in front of a camera, right? Wrong. The absence of physical presence means you need to put extra effort into showing your personality and enthusiasm. Remember, you’re no longer in a room where you can use your full range of body language.
You can do this by reaching out to coaches or mentors and practice using these tools as you develop your answers to the interview questions, record the screen and take note of the lighting, position of your face and body in the camera as well as what is going on in the background. Also experimenting with the audio functions and making sure that your microphone is working well. If there is static or interference then changing your microphone could make a huge difference and help the interviewer hear you better.
How AI Is Changing the Game
Artificial intelligence (AI) has also made its way into the interview process. Companies use AI-powered algorithms to sift through resumes, looking for keywords and quantifiable achievements that match their ideal candidate profile. Some even use AI during the actual interview, like HireVue, which evaluates candidate responses, speech patterns, and facial cues.
This might seem a bit disconcerting, and you’re not wrong. Preparing for an AI interview is different. You’ll need to focus on using industry-specific language and relevant keywords. You also need to maintain a professional demeanor even if you’re just talking to a machine. Practice recording yourself answering to a list of questions at your computer and watch it back to see if you have any bad habits such as filler words erm, ah, like etc. as well as if you’re smiling or frowning while speaking. Getting a friend or coach to review these too will help you see an alternative perspective.
The Rise of the Behavioral Interview
Another significant shift in the interview process is the widespread adoption of behavioral interviewing techniques. Instead of focusing solely on your qualifications and professional experience, interviewers want to know how you’ve handled specific situations in the past. They believe that your past behavior is the best indicator of your future performance.
When preparing for a behavioral interview, consider situations where you demonstrated skills like problem-solving, leadership, or conflict resolution. Use the HCCARR method (Headline, Context, Challenge, Action, Result and Reflection) to structure your responses. Click this link to find out more about this model.
The Importance of Cultural Fit
More and more companies are prioritizing cultural fit in their hiring decisions. Interviewers aren’t just evaluating your skills; they’re also assessing whether your values, work style, and personality align with the company’s culture. This can make interviews feel more personal, but it also presents an opportunity to showcase your uniqueness and how it complements the team.
So, What’s Next?
If you haven’t interviewed in a while, these changes may seem daunting. However, with the right preparation, you can navigate this new landscape successfully.
- Brush Up on Your Tech Skills: Make sure you’re comfortable with video conferencing software and digital communication tools. Practice maintaining eye contact with the camera, not your screen, and ensure you have a quiet, professional-looking background.
- Keyword-Optimize Your Resume: Make your resume AI-friendly by including relevant keywords and industry-specific language. Use quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your value.
- Prepare for Behavioral Questions: Think about past experiences that showcase your skills and abilities. Use the STAR method to structure your responses.
- Research the Company Culture: Look at the company’s website, social media, and employer review sites to get a sense of their culture. During the interview, highlight aspects of your personality and work style that align with this culture.
While the world of job interviews has changed dramatically over the past decade, the demonstrating your value, and making a connection with potential employers. These new trends merely offer different ways to do that. So, embrace the change, prepare accordingly, and remember: the goal is still the same. You’re there to show them why you’re the best person for the job.
The interview process might be evolving, but it’s an evolution that invites candidates to present their authentic selves in more diverse ways. That’s an opportunity worth exploring. So, dust off that resume, polish up your digital communication skills, and step confidently into the future of job interviews.
If you’d like to find out how Interview Coaching can help you get a head start above the rest, book a free discovery call with me today and together we can map out a tailored plan for your next success.