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Interview Top Tips – Make the most of your virtual interviews with Dunbar

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author: Leah Baker

Here at Dunbar Education, we want to be helpful in all aspects of the recruitment process. The world has had to make many changes this year and we want to make sure you feel comfortable and achieve the best outcome from virtual interviews.

laptop next to book

We are currently testing ‘Odro’ here at Dunbar, so we can send our top-quality candidates through to schools and interview them for you – saving schools time and money!

And if you are a candidate looking to shine above the crowd…this blog can offer lots of tips and tricks. Ask one of our consultants today about ‘Odro’ if you are currently registered with us.

The following blog will offer advice for candidates, schools, and recruitment consultants.

Let us make it easy

We know some schools have their COVID-19 policy down and are ready to welcome external people through their doors with open arms (2 metres apart and no touching of course!)

But we are also aware this is still a very stressful time for many, and we want to make the interview process as simple as possible.

For some settings, face-to-face meetings are currently a thing of the past – however, business is still functioning as usual and schools still have recruitment needs to fulfil.

To support our schools finding new ways to interview, we have introduced virtual interviewing and software called ‘Odro’ to make it as easy as we can to ensure we are placing the perfect candidate into each school.

For schools:

It’s so important that agencies are able to manage the logistics of virtual interviews and take as much stress away from the schools as possible – we understand you have much more to think about in the current climate. And we would have experienced all the dreaded connection issues, candidates not knowing their login details, or their sound is on mute/not working on their device, so you don’t have to.

Our experienced consultants will run a recorded interview process with the candidates that they feel would be perfect for the role, discussing the candidate’s skills, experience and CV. This will then be sent through to the school to make the process much smoother! You can either request another interview with the candidate or hire from the interview we have completed for you. This process saves much more time and is beneficial for all parties involved. It allows you to get to know the candidate without having to make time to interview.

Dunbar wants to complete all the hard work for you, arranging the interview and get the meeting out the way – so it’s ready; waiting for you when you are ready and you can make your decision without any technical faults getting in the way.

For candidates:

If you would like to be seen above the rest, why not let Dunbar Education complete a pre-interview with you instead of sending your CV?

One of our consultants will run through pre-recorded interview-style questions with you; using the ‘Odro software’ and will discuss your experience, skills and CV and send it through to schools. This will give you a higher chance to be noticed and support with marketing your CV to find the perfect role for you.

The great thing about this software; it can be tested and re-recorded if you would like to try again to ensure you are confident as possible before sending through to schools.

Your CV will be sent through as well as your ‘Odro’ and the hiring manager may hire you as a result from your perfect interview or welcome you for a second interview. The more interview experience you have, the better, so this process will give you that experience and hopefully lower your nerves for the real thing.

Whether you are using our service of ‘Odro’ or not – we want to share some top tips to ensure your virtual interviews run as smoothly as possible.

The following information is related to both candidates and schools/interviewer.

Tips for virtual interviews


It may sound obvious, but you should be planning your interview the same way you would if you were making your way to the setting or seeing a candidate.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare and be ready for the interview to take place. Make sure you have researched the CV and the person you are interviewing if you are an employer.

If you are the candidate, ensure you have researched the school/setting you are interviewing with.

For an employer – using our system here at Dunbar with ‘Odro’, the CV has already been gone through for you and your candidate has had the chance to introduce themselves– how helpful!

Other tips to help; get that pen and paper ready to take notes so you do not get flustered looking for one mid-interview and make sure your phone is on silent. (we can always re-record on our end if you are a candidate – sounds perfect already, right?!)

We always will advise you to test your technology before the important finale interview to ensure there is as little risk as possible to any faults. This will save both the school and the candidates’ time. We understand some things cannot be helped – but we do not want this to reflect negatively on either party.

For schools – it is important to test your software prior to a virtual meeting as some schools IT systems may have firewall policies and block certain applications.

For candidates – please also check your internet connection and settings to ensure particular software can be used with your devices.

To minimize any potential pitfalls and delays, check your microphone on the laptop or headset/headphones you may be using and the application you are using such as Chromebook or Edge.

Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in and you are ready to go.

A lot to think about, right?

Make sure you are comfortable

Interviews are daunting at the best of times, but this is can be a completely new way of working for some. There is nothing worse than starting your interview and realising your uncomfortable and you do not want this to come across as fidgety.

Make sure you are in your own environment, so you feel as confident and comfortable as possible – this will make you feel much more positive and relaxed.

Interviewer – take the time to really connect with your candidate, building a rapport can be more difficult over technology than in person, but it is not impossible. Remember this is new for everyone.

Moving on from the above, when you are in your comfortable environment – consider your background and the area behind you.

If you are candidate, ensure your background is as appropriate and professional as possible. Consider the noise around you and try to prevent any distractions. Do not have music or the radio playing during the interview and try to be on your own.

If you are the interviewer – why not make your background as relatable and as engaging as you can? If you are recruiting for an Early Years position, why not be in the same setting to show off the classroom or learning space? Of if you are looking for a Science teacher, why not take the interview within a Science lab?

We know this is not always feasible, but it is positive to engage your candidate and for them to get to know their potential new place of work.

Timing is key

So, how long should an interview be?

You want to ensure that the correct amount of information is getting across, however, we all know how precious time is.

Ensure the balance is there of talking about the opportunity of the role so the candidate feels engaged and enthusiastic about the position available, but also give yourself enough time to get to know them as a person so they are the right fit for the school.

Building a rapport on both sides will set up the foundation of a future working relationship – this can still be done virtually.

Get to know each other’s skills and abilities and room for development on both sides so you find the right fit and be honest the whole way through. A candidate does not want to be miss-sold a position and end up leaving as the school sold something completely different.

And candidates – please do not give false experience and skills as the school needs to ensure you are fully capable of fulfilling the role.

Give the candidate enough time to feel like they have got to know you and the school. This will help move to the next steps and when it comes to giving feedback. If this conversation has not been had in the initial interview, it could leave the candidate unsure with lacking information when it comes to them making their decision.

New ways of working

None of us knows how long this pandemic is going to proceed for and all businesses are needing to adapt this change.

Dunbar Education has continued to work this year and find new processes to make life as simple as it can for both our schools and candidates. We are #proudofwhatwedo and the hard work our consultant has put in during this difficult time to ensure our teachers are continually finding their dream roles.

The ease of being able to interview virtually or complete the interview process for our schools has allowed the pressure being taken away for all parties and meet their prospective employers. We have still been able to support candidates find their next job in these uncertain times and give them the opportunity to interview with multiple schools in one day. This has allowed both parties to make informed decisions.

If you are a school and you are interested in our ‘Odro’ process and would like some further information, click hereto get in touch.

We are always aiming to make situations as smooth running as doable as we can, and our dedicated consultants are only a phone call… or virtual meeting away!

If you would like any further information get in touch today.