Pre-Interview Visits in Covid-19

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Author: Andrew Vincent

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Date: May 19, 2020

So, many Trusts are continuing to proceed with job posting and interviews, often with the interviews being held via Zoom or similar. But what about pre-interview visits?

The purpose of pre-interview visits was multi-factorial, including, but not limited to:

  • Developing an understanding of key issues facing department or Trust
  • Gain a better understanding of the individuals on the interview panel
  • Building some rapport
  • Accessing information that just isn’t in the public domain

The problem candidates face now is two-fold. Not only is physical visitation for this purpose shunned but also the very people you may wish to meet are run ragged with additional responsibilities. So what do you do? Do you just assume that all candidates face the same issue and abandon it, chalking it up to the times?

The quick advice is this:

  • The process must be replaced with heightened efforts of access information, requiring some creative detective work too sometimes
  • Attempt to access the same individuals digitally, but with a big proviso, expanded on below

Meeting you digitally is no less time consuming and may actually be more restrictive for the individuals involved, especially the higher up the Trust you go. You need to work hard to make it as easy as possible. That means, consider setting a time band in which you are available, instead of just a specific time – I’ll be ready when you are any time between 4pm and 8pm on Thursday… Give them multiple options to contact you; Skype, WhatsApp, Phone etc. Give them advance notice of what you want to learn from them, and give some thought as to what you really need versus nice to haves.

In summary, the candidate that forgets the importance of this part of preparation places themself at a disadvantage. However, simpoly converting the whole process online can be counterproductive without some thought. You don’t wanbt your lasting pre-interview impression to be one of adding to overwhelm in an already hectic, stressful period of time.

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