Meet the challenge of digital interviews

If you’re not shining in digital interviews or you’re up against your first, don’t think you can just remove clutter and slide into your chair. Preparing requires effort. The live online interview method is gaining popularity among employers, according to Paul Bailo, author of “The Digital Interview Handbook” (Career Press, $14.99). Less expensive than face-to-face interviews, it can connect people globally.

You might be fortunate to have a first digital interview through a business that understands that not everyone knows how to put one together.

No webcam?

Luke Leonard, executive recruitment manager at CVirtual Inc. in Reno sends people to libraries and FedEx. Some candidates use a son’s or daughter’s laptop.

“We’ve even had our employees bring their personal webcams for them to use,” he explains.

Leonard averages about 75 digital interviews per month, primarily for technical positions in Web development and data science, and for some positions as manager and director.

If you’re setting yourself up for a career or small business filled with digital interviews, throw yourself into a new project. CVirtual operates in a market in which employers want to screen out unqualified candidates and interview only those who fit the bill. “Telephone interviews allow technical people to look up an answer to a question without the interviewer knowing,” Leonard says. “There are templates on the Internet; so everyone can create a good resume.”

Lisa Archetti interviews many working moms, for the 60-person all-virtual LLC in Pompton Plains, N.J., where she’s a human resources manager. Archetti fills positions from AP and AR to full-charge bookkeeping and controller, and others within the business. She estimates conducting 43 initial webcam interviews from June 2013 through June 2014 to qualify candidates.

Applicants must be outgoing and good on the telephone for’s client-centric culture. They must also be very comfortable with technology and adaptable to the change it brings. “They have to get tech, like it and want to learn more about it,” she says. If they’re uncomfortable on a webcam, this probably isn’t the business for them.


Even if you’ve been interviewing digitally for some time, pick up Bailo’s book to increase the professionalism of your digital interviewing environment. Video, audio, lighting — you’ll find details you hadn’t even considered. “Digital Interview” points out that you’re fully accountable. Feeling lost? Hunt for a consultant.

Archetti watched a woman from a major American city interview for a management job in a hot pink halter top. She says the attire choice reflected “a judgment problem,” that the casual home environment shouldn’t dictate appearance in an interview.

Leonard has noticed that some older candidates and highly qualified men in their late 20s or early 30s feel they’re above this process, that they shouldn’t have to undergo it.

“It’s just kind of how it is,” he says, “regardless of who you are or what you’ve done in the past.”

Older workers might also think that they’ll be victims of age discrimination, thanks to their appearance on a webcam. Archetti mentions that a boss who discriminates on a webcam will likely do the same in person.

When you’re interviewing, strive to speak to the interviewer, not at him or her, Bailo advises. Notice the difference with excellent news broadcasters. They’re at a disadvantage, though, because they can’t see you.

Read more about digital interviews and apply what you learn. You’re on!

Dr. Mildred L. Culp of WorkWise® welcomes your questions at © 2014 Passage Media.


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