View all posts
Graduate Recruitment Telephone Interviews – International Front
The trend for the telephone interview is one that is becoming increasingly global. In the last six months GradWeb's interview campaigns have spanned the globe from South America to Russia taking in the Middle East and South Africa along the way. In this feature we take a closer look at using telephone interviews in the Middle East.
The telephone interview has now become an accepted part of the UK graduate recruitment process as many of our clients will attest. This is due to the many benefits it provides for both employers and candidates, not least of which are the time efficiency, convenience and flexibility a telephone interview offers to both parties. Bearing in mind that each country in the Middle East does not usually run their own graduate recruitment campaign, it might well be steered from the HQ in the Middle East, it is convenient to conduct telephone interviews. It enables interviewers to factor in time differences, public holidays etc; rather than having to fly out to the respective country and dedicate a whole day or week to conducting face to face interviews.
The key benefits for candidates are convenience and flexibility, as the interviews could be scheduled to avoid conflict with any prior engagements and also causes minimal disruption as they would not be required to travel. For some face to face interviews candidates would have to put aside a whole day, to get from Dubai to Riyadh for example takes a complete day by road or is a two hour flight.
The provision of international telephone interview campaigns has brought some interesting challenges, Sabrina
Basheer one of our Assessment Consultants tells more.
"The challenge comes about through the fact that the Middle Eastern market is one where it is vital that the consumer has a 'look and feel' of the product before actually buying it, for example the concept of Argos will take time to set into the mind of a Middle Eastern consumer," explains Sabrina. This also applies to graduate recruitment; the region is relatively new to internships, summer placements and graduate programmes, and even more unaccustomed to the concept of using telephone interviews as part of the selection process.
The need to see a product extends to the need to see a company and meet its employees before accepting a job therefore for many candidates the idea of having a telephone conversation with someone is a strange one.
"It was essential to us that our interviewers had an awareness of the cultural issues of using telephone interviews, especially when being delivered by a third party outside of the Middle East. We had to ensure that they were aware of time differences, Islamic public holidays and prayer times and how strange an experience the candidates may view the telephone interview to be."
From the candidate’s perspective we provide convenient time slots which includes scheduling interviews in the UK early in the morning or late evenings and during the weekend and avoiding Fridays. We also send the candidates links to world clocks to reassure them of the correct time of their interview.
All of these benefits far outweigh the concern of losing the 'look and feel' of the interview experience. Our experienced interviewers are able to use this cultural insight to help build a rapport with candidates, putting them at ease and giving them the opportunity to express themselves just as they would in a face to face interview.
With the demand for overseas talent increasing all the time, the opportunities to provide telephone interviews for global programmes will continue apace and we look forward to finding out which time zone we will be operating in next!