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Ben Farber represents the 3rd generation of proud family ownership of Bristol Associates, a boutique executive search firm. In this article, he shares his top strategies to stand out in the modern recruitment landscape as a recruitment agency firm.

As modern work continues to adapt to the impact of Covid-19, we’ve seen more and more digital collaboration. Will the in-person “normalcy” that used to define our 9-5 ever return? According to this Seattle-based survey, the answer is a resounding NO –– and we’re already seeing the signs of a long-term shift in our offices and neighborhoods.

Video chats are not the same as an in-person coffee: I know that you know that. But the streamlined support we gain from digital tech is powerful, and it’s rapidly redefining the way we connect with new talent. The tools we once used to kick off an interview and make a great first impression have become obsolete. The game has changed. Now what?

Here are my top tips for making the most of a modern first impression, no matter the distance or what side of the interview “table” you’re on.

1.) Do a digital declutter.

Fact: even if you’ve scheduled an in-person interview, it’s most likely not your first impression. 

Both companies and candidates are subject to digital searches. Bet on it. Google offers a first glimpse of who you are, whether that’s a polished LinkedIn profile, exceptional news stories, or a great-looking website. On the downside, it reveals the bad with the good: out-of-date profiles, unsavory social media, you name it. 

Take control of your information to ensure a sparkling first impression –– get started with these great tips. Remember to keep private material protected, and be sure that your presence is polished and up-to-date. Put your best foot forward: you have the opportunity to present yourself here, so make it happen.

2.) Evaluate yourself and your message for consistency. 

If your values, work, and tone align across the board, it all adds up to a memorable impact. For candidates, this means that their resume presentation, LinkedIn, and interview notes should all match. For clients, this means that websites, job posts, and mission statements should all make the same points. Yes, every time!

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between oversimplifying and maintaining consistency, too. Of course, embrace all of your incredible facets and nuances! The devil is often in the details, right? But if a website lists different professional specialties than a company’s social media, or a resume cites skills unmentioned in the interview, confusion results. To get inspired, check out this cool roundup from 99designs for examples of how some big brands capture consistency.

3.) Embrace the video interview. 

As recruiters, we cannot afford to dismiss the complexities of new digital communication tools: specifically, video. It’s the elephant in the room here. Recent challenges have found both employers and talent navigating the hiring process without in-person experience, and that can prove daunting. Don’t be intimidated! Video helps us keep things personal.

Seize video interviews with the same commitment as traditional interviews, and take advantage of making them more: for example, it’s a simple way for a company to introduce talent to a full range of team members, and offer a real-time glimpse of the office. Don’t be afraid to be you! Video applications, video introductions, and even video thank-yous are a direct way to capture authenticity, no filter or resume formatting is needed. I love these video interviewing tips from Wired: they apply equally to both candidates and companies, just replace “dogs and kids” with “coworkers and direct reports.”

Also, check our blog on Top Video Interview Software

4.) Respect everyone’s time.

Calls, video meetings, and digital exchanges all take precious time. Be mindful and prepare accordingly for each and every one. Your full attention is more noticeable than you might think, and your preparation speaks volumes about your commitment to the conversation and the way you do business.

Polish your presentation. Whether it’s making sure to grab a snack beforehand, taking time to adjust your camera settings, or putting out that “Do Not Disturb” notice to ensure a quiet background environment, simple steps add up to big impacts. It makes you, and your team, look great. Check out these additional tips from TED for pro tips on making people feel valued, even outside of the interview.

5.) Don’t forget your enthusiasm!

Is there anything more compelling than someone with genuine passion and excitement? Whether it’s a specific project, a company value, or even a new technology in your field, bring those details that spark joy and inspire interest to a first conversation. Genuine, positive energy sparks both connection and inspiration and lays the framework for finding common ground. 

Remember that even in times when you may not have the advantage of in-person energy, your body language and speaking style will still carry a message –– make sure it’s a good one!


Ready to move on to the next round of interviews? Here are some critical questions we like to ask.

See how Recruiterflow can improve your hiring pipeline and elevate your recruitment process by offering you powerful automation tools, enhanced visibility into your performance, and rich visual reports.

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