Making a poor hire can be extremely costly for businesses and other organisations. The cumulative costs can include money wasted on training new recruits, lost productivity and the cost of having to go through it all again if there is an increased staff turnover or ‘churn’.

Employers know how important it is to get it right first time when it comes to hiring new people. A recruitment agency can help to speed things up and reduce the workload when it comes to initial selection processes like reviewing CVs. The job interview remains integral to the final decision, however, and this has evolved a lot, especially over recent years. Technology has had a big impact, but so have other factors like an increasing awareness of the importance of company culture.

Video Interviews Are Now Hugely Important
Video interviews are now a huge part of the hiring process and the prevalence of video chat and conferencing services such as Skype are generally accessible to hirers and candidates alike. Video interviews generally take place early in the process and screen candidates prior to a face-to-face interview, rather than replacing them.

It is still an extremely important part of getting the job though and should be treated as seriously as attending an interview in person. If you are preparing for a video interview you should prepare thoroughly and perhaps have a few dry runs. Make sure you know how the technology works, prepare a quiet place with nothing that looks unprofessional in the background and on the day dress as you would for a face-to-face interview.

The Internet Has Opened up the Scope For Research
It’s always been good advice for a candidate to research their prospective employer before attending an interview. This is still the case, but with the wealth of research opportunities now available via the internet, it’s even more important. There is no excuse not to know about the organisation’s history, culture, goals, products, services and achievements. Prepare your own questions for the employer but also be prepared for them to ask you the odd probing question to check whether you have been doing your homework and really want to work for them.

It’s worth remembering that the employer can also find out more about you. There are questions about whether it’s right to do so, particularly when it comes to social media, but it’s generally recognised that employers will often take a look at your online presence. Be careful what you make publicly accessible and be prepared to answer questions on anything that is out there.

Interview Testing Takes Many Different Forms
Testing has been a part of the interview process for a long time but the nature of these tests has frequently changed. You might find yourself faced with a role-play of a difficult situation or asked to demonstrate technical skills if you are applying for a position that calls for this sort of testing.

The big tech companies used to throw out surprise brain-teasers, although Microsoft recently abandoned this approach. According to John Montgomery, partner director of program management, they now let candidates know in advance the sort of challenges they will face, as this more accurately reflects the working environment.

There’s More Focus on Cultural Fit
Finding the right person for the job involves a lot more than simply matching experience and qualifications, otherwise the hiring process could be done using CVs alone. These days, more and more organisations are coming to realise that it’s also important to make sure the candidate fits in with the company culture.

This works both ways and candidates are also increasingly interested in the ‘peripherals’. They will still want to know about pay and benefits but might also care about an organisation’s ethical position and aspects such as flexible and collaborative working.