Rockstar candidates aren’t always the most obvious contenders in a group of applicants. Every hiring pro wishes there was a spotlight shining directly on diamonds in the rough, signifying their greatness.
Of course, it’s never this easy. And while advancements in technology enable hiring pros to assess candidates near and far with greater convenience and lower costs, they also present new challenges.
In many cases, rockstar candidates possess subtle yet significant traits setting them apart from the crowd. Digital interviews provide hiring pros with the perfect opportunity to gain in-depth insight into these candidates. But to take full-advantage, interviewers must know what exactly singles out top talent during digital interviews.
Considering more than half (56 percent) of hiring and recruiting experts say new interviewing tools are very/extremely important for shaping how they will hire in the years to come, according to a recent LinkedIn report, there’s no better time to discover what top talent does differently in digital interviews:
1. They put extra effort into staging
In-person interviews don’t require quite as much attention from a candidate’s standpoint. They’re simply expected to dress professionally and show up on time. When a candidate participates in digital interviews, however, it’s up to them to set the stage.
“You can assess rockstar qualities based on a candidate’s level of preparation and professionalism during digital interviews,” shares Susan Power, Owner & CEO of Power HR Inc. “Consider how much thought they put into the lighting, sound quality, and background before virtually meeting you.”
If a candidate did their homework and reviewed all the best practices for digital interviews, you will quickly note their rockstar attention to detail.
2. They exhibit confident visual cues
You can’t reach through a screen and physically shake a candidate’s hand to establish a feel for their confidence. But this type of interaction isn’t necessary for identifying top candidates.
Rockstar candidates remain focused and calm on screen during both one-way and live digital interviews. These are the people who will remain in control through difficult situations at work and evolve into effective leaders, a trait Susan Power looks for during digital interviews.
“To me, most rockstar employees demonstrate high leadership potential,” she said. “You can assess this by asking questions that showcase how they handle difficult situations and workplace challenges.”
As candidates respond to these challenging questions, watch for visual cues showing their level of self-awareness and collected-ness. Focus on the candidate’s ability to look directly into the camera, posture, and how often they touch their face or hair.
During in-person interviews, most candidates are hyper-aware of nervous habits, such as fidgeting and looking around the room. However, because an interviewer isn’t physically in the room during digital interviews, candidates more easily forget to control these reactions.
3. They’re naturally conversational
Some job seekers look at digital interviews as opportunities to present their best selves by being overly prepared. They compose bulleted talking points to make sure they focus on what you’re looking for in the job description.
Preparation is a positive quality, but the true test comes when it’s time to actually converse with recruiters. Candidates who are overly nervous or have soft skills that still need polished lean heavily on their notes too, speak in short phrases, and have a harder time responding to questions that caught them off-guard.
Top candidates, however, will respond to questions genuinely and conversationally. They’ll be able to share a relevant story, tie in their experience, and be candid throughout the interview.
“The candidates that really stand out have their own flare on the basic experience narrative,” Nate Masterson, HR Manager of Maple Holistics told us. “They understand the gap in the market that we are hiring and are able to state their skills contextually. That’s what makes the difference between a competent candidate and a rockstar.”