When it comes to conducting interviews for graduate sales jobs, there’s nothing quite like face-to-face time. Interviewing someone in person is a tried and tested tradition that allows recruiters to not only find out what skills and knowledge someone has, but also judge how good a fit they would be, looking at their body language, communication skills and general demeanour in a way you just can’t do when not speaking in person.
However, technological advances have allowed the sales recruitment process to break out of the four walls of the meeting room in recent years, and while face-to-face interviews are still vital, making use of technology to cast your recruitment net wider is a great way to ensure you’re reaching the right people. Skype and other similar video conferencing software has evolved to allow companies to conduct more convenient interviews remotely, which can be invaluable, especially when dealing with graduate recruits who may be spread far and wide across the country. Video interviews allow recruiters and decision makers to interact with candidates who may be hundreds of miles away, allowing you to screen candidates more effectively before bringing them in to interview.
However, while video interviews can be incredibly convenient, there are some challenges thrown up by their emergence. It may be easier to arrange and conduct an interview in this manner, but the lack of any real face-to-face time can make it more difficult to see and judge visual cues. Body language and other tell-tale signs might not be quite as easy to spot, so it’s important that you know what to look for.
While interviews later in the process will more likely be conducted in your company’s place of work, candidates will more often than not be at home while undertaking a video interview. How they set up the camera and what is in view can reveal a lot about their personality, so it’s important to make sure you assess their environment.
For example, is the space around them messy or tidy? The latter would suggest that the individual is aware of the power of first impressions, while the former might point to a lack of organisational skills, not giving themselves enough time ahead of the interview to tidy their space in preparation.
Although some of the traditional body language indicators, such as seating position, hand gestures and posture, are not always as visible in video interviews, there are still some tell-tale signs you can look out for to learn more about the person on the screen.
The easiest thing to keep an eye on is how engaged the candidate is with the interview. Are they sitting up straight, making eye contact and responding and reacting to the things you say? It can be easy to see when someone’s focus is not entirely on the interview, which can suggest a lack of communication skills, a tendency to lose concentration or even someone who is not all that invested in the opportunity.
You need your sales staff to be driven and dedicated, not easily distracted. So, if they display these behaviours, it’s worth considering whether they’re right for the role.
It’s one of the elements of interviews that candidates traditionally stress about most, and dressing for an interview via video conference should be treated the same as if the meeting was in person. There are no hard and fast rules about how to dress for an interview , but it’s important to make sure candidates look smart and are dressing for the job they want. If your company is very formal, you’ll be looking for interviewees to be wearing a shirt and tie or trouser suit, while if the dress code is a little more casual, a smart polo shirt or dress may suffice.
When it comes to a video interview, the candidate may well be interviewing from the comfort of their own home, but that doesn’t mean they should be dressed any less smartly. If they look like they’ve got ready in a rush, they probably have. There’s no excuse for a creased shirt when you’re trying to land a job. If they don’t make an effort at this crucial stage of the recruitment process, you should question their enthusiasm for the job. Looking ahead, could you be sure that they would be presentable when attending important client meetings in pursuit of closing the deal?
Whether an interview is in person or via video, you want to see a candidate have a clear idea of what they want to say in the interview. If they do, it shows that they’re passionate about their career and have invested time preparing for the meeting.
One thing to be aware of, however, is a candidate who feels overly prepared. If their answers seem rehearsed, rather than natural and flowing, pay close attention to their body language. If their eyes keep flicking away from the screen, ask yourself if they’re using cue cards or being coached by someone off screen, which could be a sign of a lack of confidence.
If you’re looking for new employees to join your ranks, find out about our sales recruitment service . At Pareto, we’ve placed more than 27,000 successful sales candidates in businesses across the UK over 20 years. Find the best talent for your business today. If you’d like to find more ways to use the power of technology in your business, read Face-to-face vs digital: how to get the most from sales training.