How to Conduct the Best Virtual Interviews

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Welcome to the new world of work!

Whether you’re ready or not, virtual interviews are the way recruiters and hiring managers will select job candidates, now and in the future. It’s safer, more effective, and saves time and money.

And, it’s important to remember, your company’s reputation, and the ability to attract great candidates depends on your ability to conduct the best well-prepared virtual interviews.  

19 Tips to Conduct Effective Virtual Interviews and Ensure a Positive Candidate Experience

Remember, as you incorporate these 19 tips, make sure you update your strategic hiring process by reviewing the processes and tools being used and make any improvements NOW  (e.g., applicant tracking system, job fit assessments, training interviewers, background and reference checks, etc.). 

First steps, these are a must and are often overlooked:

  1. Review your company’s vision and mission. Any changes? Write them down.
  2. What are the new company goals, short-term (Q2 and Q3) and long-term (Q4 and Q1-2021)? Write these down.
  3. Review these with your management team before interviewing and hiring new employees.
  4. Once your management team has aligned, review, and update job descriptions and corresponding policies to reflect changes (e.g., hiring and selection, remote employees, working from home, working and meeting with customers, etc.).
  5. Create a 180-day Success Plan for each position. Keep it simple and focused.
  6. Update structured interview questions and selection tools being used (e.g., benchmarks for job fit assessments, etc.).
  7. Train all interviewers Do not rely on them to read the new policies and procedures. The virtual training will ensure consistency for the best interviews and positive job candidate experiences.

Second steps, prep work for virtual interviews:

  1. Be prepared and don’t wing it. Hiring biases and gut reactions will be a problem without preparation. Remember, there will be new biases. For example, job candidates are being interviewed in their homes and not in a professional setting.
  2. Send out ATS reminders with time and date, length of the interview, name of interviewer(s) and job title(s), plus the URL for the virtual interview.
  3. Test virtual connections. Request job candidates “test” the URL connection before the interview and resolve issues. If you don’t use a conferencing system often, also “test” your virtual connections before the scheduled time.
  4. Review the job description and structured interview questions (yes, reread them each time). This allows you to listen and stay focused, instead of thinking about what to say next.

Third, conducting the virtual interview:

  1. Be sure everyone is visible on your monitor during group or panel interviews.
  2. Turn off electronic devices and other distractions. This keeps everyone focused and saves time spent in the interview.
  3. Start the virtual interview by introducing yourself (20 seconds). If in a group, have each interviewer provide a 20-second introduction. State name, title, and how this job impacts their area.
  4. Share what to expect during the virtual interview process with job candidates.

For example, today I am (or, we are) conducting the first set of interviews for XXX position. This will take approximately 1 hour. “Have you scheduled this amount of time for our conversation?”  (If no, reschedule to ensure consistency in the interview process.)

  1. Ask your prepared structured interview questions to objectively compare job candidates. (This is also required by law.)
  2. Listen by looking directly into the camera. Also, speak directly into the mic. Maintain eye contact without staring.
  3. Deep dive into the job candidate’s answers to determine actual hands-on experience. It’s important to know the quality of their skills and the ability to use them in different situations. Also, this will help you create a training program focused on their needs. Do not sound like an interrogator since that will hinder a positive candidate experience.

Examples of deep-dive questions:

  • -What is one specific challenge you have faced?
  • -How did you resolve the issue?
  • -What specifically did you do?
  1. At the end of the interview, not the beginning, share the following information. Here’s why: You want job candidates to tell you who they really are…not tell you what they think you want to hear based on the information below.
  • -Vision and Mission of the company
  • -Title and top 3 to 5 job responsibilities (do not negotiate at this time)
  • Quick overview of 180-Day Plan with a specific focus on Q2 and Q3
  • -Reporting structure and potential start date
  • -DO NOT conduct salary and benefit negotiations until it’s time to make a job offer
  • -Share what’s next with selected candidates (e.g., future interviews by team members, due diligence process, completing assessments, notifying job candidates of status, etc.)
  • -Be responsible for following-up and following-through on any promises made.

Conducting the best virtual interviews means you are well-prepared, focused, and follow your company’s policies & procedures. Remember, if you don’t, job candidates will share their less-than-positive virtual interview experiences on social media!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel when selecting the right people for the right jobs.  The new world of work has started. Are you ready?  Contact Jeannette to improve your strategic hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes.  Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

 

Are You Ready to Excel as a Leader? Now is the Time!

Leaders.Crisis.BizSavvyCoach.5Now is the time to excel as a leader. Are you ready to lead during this crisis?

No one is born a leader. It takes experience, practice, and commitment to be a leader, especially during a crisis.

  • -Are you ready?
  • -Do you have the ability to work with and through others to get the job done?
  • -Are you able to engage your teams in meaningful conversations, while building dynamic results?

Remember, leaders don’t get do-overs, even during a crisis period.

6 Skills Required of Leaders to Excel during a Crisis and Beyond

  1. Engage Your Team. Forcing your team members to do what you tell them to do is not engaging. It only creates fear and distrust. Instead, treat your team members as adults and as contributing members of your team. Yes, your mindset matters. Also, acknowledge their great ideas. Working alongside them virtually can still produce intended outcomes in a win-win-win manner.

Crisis Tip: Check-IN to see how they are doing…do not check-UP to see what they are doing!

 

  1. Integrity Still Matters. Work through legal and financial considerations and don’t take short-cuts. Remember, the best solutions may not follow the easiest and fastest pathways. When mistakes occur, and they will, take responsibility for resolving them.

Crisis Tip: When a mistake is made, take responsibility. Apologize and clean it up! It sets a great example for your team and others.

 

  1. Listen for New Possibilities in ALL Ideas. Remember, it’s not business as usual. Put down your electronic gadgets. Listen to what is being said and the unspoken messages that are being conveyed. Then, ask questions to elicit the best from your team to build on new ideas. Initially, these ideas may seem off-the-wall and ridiculous…but they can inspire new solutions. Keep an open mind.

Crisis Tip: Consider, you will create better solutions when you work with your team instead of as a lone-ranger.

 

  1. Respect Others. Your job isn’t to be a critical parent, particularly when you have team members older than you! Remember, they have tremendous experience and great ideas. Trust your team to get the job done without micromanaging them. Stay present to the results they are producing by measuring those results. Acknowledge any progress made, no matter how small.

Crisis Tip: Respect builds trust and loyalty, especially during all the uncertainty.

 

  1. Self-Care. It’s important to ensure your team members have the resources and your attention right now. And, it’s critical that you take care of you! Schedule time to spend with your family and friends virtually. Don’t forget to stay connected with your business network too!

Crisis Tip: Leaders who take care of themselves are more likely to have engaged and productive team members.

 

  1. Leaders Who Excel Have Coaches, Especially Right Now! If you don’t have an executive coach, now is the time to hire one. Have confidential conversations with them to keep you on track. That helps you navigate these uncertain times with the confidence of a true leader.

Crisis Tip:  It doesn’t need to be lonely as a leader…you just need to be coachable.

 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2017 -2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to achieve dynamic results. Did you hit your 1st Quarter goals? If you did, congrats! Remember, what you do now, during Q2, will impact Q3 and beyond. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

I’ve got an invitation for you:  All bosses are leaders! If you want to be a better boss or hope to be a boss someday, I invite you to download “15 Ways to Be a Better Boss”  It’s free.

3 Bad Habits You Need to Break to Be a Confident Leader

Confident Leader.BizSavvyCoach.5

I’ve got an invitation for you.

All leaders are bosses! If you want to be a better boss or hope to be a boss someday, I invite you to download “15 Ways to Be a Better Boss”  It’s free.

Building your confidence today and inspiring confidence in your team is critical! And, given what’s going on in the world, it’s even more important now.

What inevitably gets in the way of being a confident leader? Your bad habits.

Due to all of the uncertainty, as a leader, you are under more pressure than ever before. Now, is when your leadership habits…the good, not-so-good, and bad…can either support you and your team achieving great results or not.

It’s Critical You Breakthrough These 3 Bad Habits

1. Poor Listening Skills. This #1 bad habit will sabotage your results!

A leader had a bad habit of checking his emails and texts during meetings. He insisted he was only multitasking and could hear everything being said. He failed to understand the human brain is wired for one activity at a time. (Multi-tasking is a myth!) It wasn’t until he missed hearing critical information that he learned this lesson the hard way. Even after the team member repeated himself, he failed to understand or question the significance of it. As a result, the budget was exceeded and timeline was missed.

Always listen as though your results (and career) depend on it…because they do!

2. Lack of Awareness. One leader constantly found fault with how others did their work. He thought he could do it better and faster. The truth was, he didn’t have the skills to do their jobs. He lacked the awareness of the impact of his comments and did not understand these comments disengaged his team and hurt productivity.

When someone fails to achieve the required results, it’s time to inspire confidence in your team members, not criticize their work habits. Remember, during this crisis, it’s NOT business as usual.

During ALL conversations stay present and aware:

  • -State the intended goal or results in 10 words or less.
  • -Listen to each team member’s input and concerns.
  • -Work through any push-backs in a win-win manner (think, ethical considerations, workability, impact on others, etc.).
  • -Align on the work and completion dates with your team to meet your client’s needs.
  • -Provide necessary resources. Remember, working from home is not the same as working from the office.

Your awareness determines the quality and timeliness of your team’s results.

3. Know-It-All Attitude. A new leader was a micromanager, a common trait of inexperienced leaders. She wanted everything done exactly as she thought it should be done. Whenever a mistake was made, instead of taking responsibility, she blamed her team (and others) for making her feel humiliated and for letting her down.

To break this bad habit, listen to your team members’ ideas. They are working on the front lines and can be resourceful when encouraged to do so. Also, listen from compassion since they are experiencing a lot of frustration, stress, and anxiety during these uncertain times. It’s up to you to inspire confidence in them!

Building true confidence in yourself and others starts inside you.

Remember, bad habits are amplified during a crisis. They will come out and be displayed in unexpected and unwanted ways. Work with an executive coach NOW to effectively navigate through these uncertain times. It’s the mark of a confident leader who inspires confident team members!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2012-2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. 1st Quarter is done. Did you hit your goals? If you did, congrats! If you didn’t, regardless of the COVID-19, you must stay in action. Join us on Wednesday mornings for dynamic results coaching.  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Overconfidence is the Top Reason Leaders Sabotage Their Results

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Optimism is important during this COVID-19 crisis. But, overconfidence that you won’t get the virus or the economy won’t impact you will sabotage your results as a leader.

While confidence is important, being too confident usually means you are not paying attention to the details. It’s “in the details” that results will be successful or fail.

A new leader believed he was ready to lead a $25M project, even though he had never run a $1M project before. He sold himself by making bold promises and embellishing his skills. 60 days later he was fired and wanted to know why. He hired a coach who used a scientifically validated job fit assessment. The results showed he had leadership potential, but, he lacked the experience to manage a diverse team. During the conversation with his coach, he found why he was fired. He hadn’t built trust with his team and believed he couldn’t fail. He disregarded his team’s objections. In turn, the team disregarded everything he said. They believed he was, “too full of himself.” In other words, his overconfidence failed to build a team to achieve dynamic results.

This overconfidence dynamic happens when leaders feel superior and fail to understand that this mindset will sabotage their results. It can also be a career derailer.

How to Recognize When You Are Overconfident

Awareness of your mindset is important. At times, everyone has been or will be overconfident in their life and career. Learn to recognize and be aware of words or actions that signal you’re being overconfident (e.g., “I’ve got this handled!” “I never fail!”)  If you don’t, this mindset will sabotage you.

Be honest about your skills. Take the time to conduct an accurate assessment of yourself. Use a scientifically validated job fit assessment that goes beyond how you want to be seen. Objective results are critical will provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests. These blind spots will make or break your results as a leader.

Stop comparing yourself with others. Too often, when you see someone make a mistake, you may become arrogant and believe you would never make a similar mistake. That is until you do, then, you have a myriad of excuses! This is one important example of what being overconfident and lacking empathy looks like. Both of these traits are required for successful leadership.

Test your assumptions before declaring your decisions. Too often we make important judgments and decisions based on fragments of information. We fail to objectively deep dive into the pros and cons, instead we rely on how we feel or our interpretation of the data. Use your network to test your assumptions. 90% of the world’s information is in people’s heads, not the internet!  Questions to get answered: Why did it work for that company? What are the differences between their company and mine? What is “insider” information? This kind of analysis will help you make confident and better decisions.

Listen to others’ feedback and concerns. For some, it is easier to only focus on the positives. But, a healthy skepticism will save your career and the financial impact of a bad decision. Learn to listen to what you don’t want to hear. All feedback is valuable.

Recognize when it’s the right time. While many ideas may be viable with modifications, it may not be the right time or place to put them into action.  Avoid using circular logic to push through ideas before the right time.

How to Work with Overconfident Leaders

Stay aware and mindful in conversations. Listen up when your leader is sharing a decision s/he is making or about to make. It will impact you, your project, team, and budget, either directly or indirectly. Ask open-ended questions for clarification rather than debating the leader’s decision.

Stand up and speak up. While it’s important to be assertive in these situations, diplomacy is critical. Remember, while you may be right, overconfident leaders will ignore you if their ego feels threatened. This can impact future results too.

If the leader’s idea or assertion does not impact you, avoid confrontation. Choose which issues to pursue. If you confront every issue, you will not be heard. Instead, address major issues from a win-win perspective.

Overconfidence can be a leader’s downfall. Learn from the above strategies on how to recognize them and achieve dynamic results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019-2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to achieve dynamic results.  1st Quarter is done. Did you hit your goals? If you did, congrats! Remember, what you do during Q2 will impact Q3 and beyond. Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

12 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Virtual Meetings

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Many of us are now expected (and required) to rely on virtual meetings for business.

But, if you’re unfamiliar with how-to-do-it or lack the skills required to conduct effective virtual meetings, they will be unproductive, time-consuming, and disengaging!

While you may believe you are already a great meeting facilitator, others may disagree. Some of you may be self-conscious about your voice or the way you look on camera. Remember, this is a great time to blast through your self-limiting beliefs and blind spots!

12 Tips for Productive Virtual Meetings

  1. Preparation is the Critical Key. Winging it causes too many distractions! Important key points or details will be forgotten! Prepare an agenda! Send it out along with your meeting notification and link. Remember to ask for any changes in your email. Then, also ask before starting the meeting. If you don’t, the participant will stop listening.
  2. Ensure Audio and Visual Are Both Ready. Check to ensure your equipment and connections are working before the meeting! If you don’t know how to use your conferencing system, learn! Practice with a co-worker or your kids before the meeting.
  3. Minimize Distractions. Working from home has many distractions. These include pets, kids, deliveries, neighbors, etc. Create a workspace that reduces these detractors and ask your team members to do the same. Listen to By Popular Request! More Tips for Working from Home Confidently, Effectively, and Productively! for ideas.
  4. Visuals Are Important. If there are any slides, PPTs or data, send it out with the agenda. Ask someone that is familiar with “Share Screen” capabilities to share any info onscreen. Otherwise, if you make your audience wait while you are fumbling around, you will lose them.
  5. Speak Clearly. Use a mic and speak slowly since some home connections are limited and you will be hard to hear. Remember, it’s critical everyone listens, understands, and participates in the conversations. Otherwise, people will check out while pretending to listen.
  6. Use Your Business Voice When Interrupted. It’s easy to forget the tone of your voice is often different at work than at home. Be aware and breathe before responding to any interruptions. For example, if the dog starts barking at a UPS delivery truck, don’t yell and scream at the dog to stop! Instead, say, “Just a moment, there is a UPS delivery truck here and the dog is letting me know.” Then, resume your conversation. Don’t try to talk over it.
  7. Stay Focused. Multi-tasking is a myth! Reading emails or texts, playing online games, or having side conversations with housemates is distracting. You cannot listen and do other things at the same time and be productive during your virtual meetings.
  8. Team Member is Having Difficulties. During this crisis, some of your team members will be experiencing new challenges. Have a conversation with him or her off-line and before the meeting. This will ensure s/he is able to be present during the conversation.
  9. Listen to the Unsaid. It’s very easy to hideout in virtual meetings. Non-verbal cues will be more difficult to observe. Go around the group and have each team member share ideas or concerns. Use a note-taker for meeting minutes, and don’t rely on “recordings.”
  10. Using “Record Function.” This is an option if someone is absent from the meeting. But, be aware, team members may limit sharing their thoughts and ideas if they know it’s being recorded. There may also be legal ramifications in some states or communities. Check first! If you are recording, always let team members know before the meeting starts and who will have access to the recording.
  11. No Pics on Social Media! Remember, this is a business meeting, not a social one.
  12. For additional info on How to Lead Virtual Team Members

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. 1st Quarter is done. Did you hit your goals? If you did, congrats! If you didn’t, regardless of the Coronavirus, you must stay in action. Join us on Wednesday mornings for dynamic results coaching.  Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.