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Interviewing Challenges during Covid 19

Virtual Job Interviews

Covid 19 and lockdown creates additional issues for people in HR supporting recruitment using Virtual Job Interviews .  You are most likely to be working from home and probably have less resources and support available to you. Yet vacancies still need to be filled. You & your managers still need to interview the candidates. Your job is still to provide a great service to help your organisation appoint the most suitable candidates for these roles.

Interviewing Candidates Online

Covid 19 may also create additional challenges for your interviewers. They may feel they are less well supported. This may cause them to unintentionally cut some corners in terms of good practice and consistency of approach. This is especially true when they are conducting virtual job interviews with candidates by themselves at home. Therefore, providing them with a proven and well-structured approach will help them.

Also, the interview process may favour those who are skilled in playing the interview game and can really sell themselves. Sometimes we may appoint someone who promises the earth but, it turns out, clearly cannot deliver. As a result, interviewing can be rather hit and miss. Therefore, there is a need to gain more firm evidence that they possess the skills and qualities required for the job. The Identity® Interview Report helps us achieve this.

How Does the Identity® Interview Report Work?

This is based on Personality Assessment.


It is important to understand that we are not directly and immediately measuring people’s ability or performance. Rather, we are understanding an individual’s preferences.  That is to say that we are all unique and our behavioural preferences define our personality and the way we behave at work.

We also know that success at work is strongly linked to aspects of personality i.e. attitude, motivation, communication style, preferences of tackling tasks, etc. Effective recruitment (as well as job retention!) is getting a good fit between a person’s personality and a job role.  Therefore, certain behavioural preferences may fit a job role better. For example, a role in selling will suit a person who likes interacting with people, is persuasive, likes understanding people, etc,.  Whereas a person who does not enjoy persuading or interacting with people and is not interested in understanding people, maybe less suited to this role. 

This is how a personality assessment can add value to ensure that there is a good fit. A candidate who may have some ability but not the right fit personality-wise may struggle to sustain their performance and to enjoy their role. Therefore, it is not good for the individual or the organisation.

Work Place Competencies Support Virtual Job Interviews

To make the Identity® Interview Report work for many jobs we have based it on competences. These are based on well-established research. The 8 work competences are highly relevant for many roles, especially more senior roles.

For less senior roles some of the competences may be ignored as they may not be that relevant e.g., Leading Others, Change.

Work Place Competences Supporting Online Interviews

Then there is a ‘Quick-look’ summary page that identifies the competencies that might need further probing during the virtual job interview. You can quickly go to that page and explore that competence more:

‘Quick-look’ summary page that identifies the competencies that might need further probing.

For example, we can go to the ‘Team Working’ page and see how that can support us during the interview to explore their team working:

Team Working Competency Interview Tips

How They Help Your Online Interview Technique

There are four personality scales that load onto the Teamworking competence, from the results above you need to consider: 

  • The Empathy scale is quite low at 2, so that will be worth probing.
  • The Open scale is slightly low at 3 so may be worth exploring.
  • The Need to Win scale is relatively high at 8. Depending on the specific role, the ideal score for Need to Win may be higher or lower. Meaning that for most roles 8 is likely to be seen as a potential strength. However, this is the competence Teamworking
  • Therefore, when linked with Empathy 2, it might also raise some potential issues for effective teamworking e.g.
    • Might they be competing within the team?
    • Might they focus on their needs and not the teams? So this is worth exploring.


Virtual Job Interview Tips:

In order to help you probe and interview effectively, interview questions are also provided. The questions shown in bold are the questions that will be more relevant for the candidate – based on the personality profile scores.

[ Identity® in more detail ]

Possible Probing Questions:

Group Affiliation

Tell me about your involvement in a recent team project – what was your role and contribution?

What are your strengths in a team setting?

What do you see to be your weaknesses in a team setting?


Can you give me an example of when you had to deal with a personal problem with a colleague or staff member? What options did you consider? What did you do exactly? What was the outcome?

What support do you give others?

How do you feel about tackling sensitive issues?


To what extent do you express your feelings and concerns at work?

Tell me about a time when you have motivated others – what did you do exactly?

When have you shared feedback with a team?

Need to Win

How would you describe your competitiveness? What really motivates you? Tell me about an achievement that you are proud of.

Describe a time when you have worked as part of a team to achieve some demanding goals. what did you do specifically to achieve this?

The Identity® Interview Report Highlights the areas to focus on.

For example with Teamworking, this candidate has Empathy, Open, and Need to Win shown in bold.

Using the Interview Report provides a proven, clear and structured procedure. Therefore, it ensures fairness, greater objectivity, and accuracy of assessment in what is often a very inconsistent and subjective process. 

Being able to conduct highly effective interviews in a professional manner will leave a good impression for candidates. Now that the candidate’s main experience of interacting with the organisation they are wishing to join may be this virtual interview with the interviewer, it becomes important that this virtual interview is well supported. 

The Interview Report will provide a structured and professional approach. Also, it is based on robust research that demonstrates the method works.  Therefore, it helps you to achieve greater fairness, consistency of approach, objectivity, and accuracy for your interview.

We also provide a complimentary Identity® Candidate Feedback Report.  Widely seen as the Gold Standard within HR & Talent Development. This can be provided to candidates after selection decisions have been made. Demonstrating professionalism whilst looking after your candidates is vital. After all, the really good candidates may be selective in choosing the organisation they wish to work for.

How Can You Start Using the Identity® Interview Report?
We help your candidates complete the Identity® personality questionnaire online, and then you and your interviewers will have access to the Identity® Interview Report along with our virtual job interview tips. We are also available to provide support.
How Much Does It Cost?
£67 + VAT per candidate. It includes online set-up for candidate completion, the Identity® Interview Report and also a complimentary Candidate Feedback Report that can be emailed to the candidate after selection decisions have been made.

Watch out for Our Next Article:

“I cannot really run my face-to-face assessment centres any more – what options do I have?”