Going to your first job interview is often both thrilling and nerve-wracking. You would dress your best and practise your handshake in front of a mirror, making sure everything runs smoothly. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely transformed the interview process. In a Zoom interview, instead of shaking hands, the first thing you hear is the interviewer checking if they can hear you. This unfamiliar new setting has called for adaptation from both the interviewer and the interviewee. As a result, HR departments and company leaders had to start from scratch, figuring out new ways to conduct interviews with remote candidates.
In our current age of individualism and the growing trend towards hybrid and remote work, remote interviews have become a crucial tool for companies seeking top talent from all around the world. Prior to the pandemic, remote interviews were frequently used for screening purposes, but now they are often the only viable option available. By conversing with potential job candidates over the phone or through video chat, businesses can conveniently evaluate a candidate’s skills and abilities without needing a face-to-face meeting.
When seeking a remote worker, it is crucial to look beyond the job requirements and concentrate on the person. You should be on the lookout for more than just a competent specialist; instead, you need an individual who is self-driven, able to work independently, and capable of making a positive impact on the team even when physically absent from the office.
While recruiting remotely offers numerous benefits, identifying the most suitable candidate for a job can be challenging. To ensure the right person is selected, it is vital to have a precise notion of the necessary qualities and qualifications. Furthermore, having an efficient interviewing process that can be conducted remotely is essential. Thus, employing advanced remote interview techniques can be considerably advantageous. To learn more about effective strategies for remote interviews, continue reading.
A Guide for Conducting Online Interviews with Remote Candidates
- Get Acquainted with Your Company’s Culture
- Assess Your Current Interviewing Methods
- Don’t Underestimate the Value of Video Interviews
- Ensure You Have the Proper Equipment
- Generate Enthusiasm by Sharing Interview Details
- Familiarize Yourself with Phone Interview Etiquette
- Prepare Your Assessment Plan
- Stay Focused!
- Talk About the Organization’s Principles and Beliefs
- Invite Other Team Members to Participate in the Online Meeting
- Don’t Rush Your Decision.
- Establish a Contingency Plan
1. Get to Know the Culture of Your Company
To maximize the productivity of your remote workforce, it is crucial to establish clear expectations before conducting interviews. Where can I access the company’s policies on remote work? Also, how often will progress be assessed and what communication methods are anticipated from employees and during which scenarios?
Defining the type of remote manager you aspire to be will facilitate assessing if the candidate you are engaging with is compatible with your team.
2. Assess Your Current Interview Process
Virtual interviews differ significantly from face-to-face interviews as both the interviewer and interviewee are not physically present in the same location. This disparity can lead to a feeling of detachment between both sides, and recreating the in-person interview atmosphere in a virtual environment is frequently challenging. Trying to replicate face-to-face interviewing through a virtual platform is unlikely to be effective since the experience cannot be entirely duplicated.
Before contemplating any remote work options, it’s crucial to first analyze and optimize your existing hiring process. How can you enhance your application procedure? We welcome any feedback or suggestions you may have that could streamline and accelerate the recruitment process for candidates.
Numerous companies neglect to give adequate thought to the recruitment process, merely interviewing candidates until they identify someone they deem capable of fulfilling the role. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to bear in mind that this decision has the potential to significantly influence the future of your enterprise. Failing to meticulously assess each candidate could result in a squandered investment of time, money and resources.
3. Never Miss a Video Interview
Do you have reservations on how to proceed with a virtual interview? Do you prefer conducting the interview by phone or is video conferencing technology your preferred option?
In certain scenarios, a phone interview with a candidate may be a more time-efficient option; however, it may not necessarily be the most optimal approach. During a phone interview, there is a greater physical distance between interviewer and interviewee, leading to a less effective interpretation of the candidate’s body language compared to an in-person meeting. On the other hand, a video conference enables the interviewer to see the candidate’s face clearly, creating a more personal connection. This can help the interviewer to establish a better rapport with the candidate and potentially welcome them into the team.
As per Software Advice, an astonishing 60% of Human Resources (HR) managers and recruiters indicated a preference for conducting remote video interviews. Additionally, Jobvite reported that 80% of recruiters have been leveraging video technology for remote interviews during the pandemic.
4. Acquire the Appropriate Tools
Have you ever encountered situations where you find it hard to understand the person on the other end during a video conference? Perhaps, their microphone made it appear as if they were on a commercial flight with Darth Vader as the pilot.
Before embarking on the journey of hiring remote team members, it is crucial to ensure that you have the necessary resources within reach. Failing to do so can not only lead to frustration, but also make it challenging to understand what the potential candidate is saying. Thus, it’s imperative to make sure you are prepared with the appropriate tools to carry out the task effectively.
Here are the basics:
- Excellent microphones
- Top-notch in-ear monitors (noise-canceling ones are recommended)
- In simpler terms, a good camera
Apart from ensuring that you have a reliable internet connection, which is crucial for seamless remote working, selecting the appropriate programme or platform for your virtual interview is imperative. It is a common misconception to assume that all applications are the same, but it’s important to understand that some are better suited for facilitating remote communication due to the range of features they offer. It’s important to be mindful that a few alternatives may be too simplistic or may not possess a good quality camera, both of which could adversely impact the effectiveness of the interview.
Here are some of the best programs for conducting video calls:
- Google Meet
- Employing Skype for Business Communication
- WebEx by Cisco is a Video-Conferencing Platform.
5. Generate Interest by Communicating Interview Information
After you have shortlisted potential candidates for the role, it is crucial to prepare for the interviews in advance. Contacting a candidate the day before the interview is unlikely to secure their commitment. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that the applicant is well-informed about the interview process and the technology they will be required to use. Even if you are an experienced interviewer, the applicant might not be familiar with the tools they need to download and utilize during the interview.
The success of applicants is closely linked to the quantity of information provided to them. It is advantageous to furnish them with all essential information beforehand to ensure their awareness of the expected requirements. Prior to any interview, it’s crucial to ensure that the applicant gets the following information:
If a potential applicant is located within the same nation as you, scheduling an interview is not an issue. You only need to allocate time in your schedule, check their availability and proceed accordingly. However, when an applicant’s location is in a different time zone, like in another country, you may have to conduct the interview at an unusual time, such as the afternoon.
We would appreciate your confirmation of the interview details. Will the interview be conducted via video chat, phone call, or instant messenger? If it’s a video chat, which platform will you use (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Meet)? We recommend that candidates be prepared for any type of communication, as remote interviews can take place on multiple applications and platforms.
It’s advantageous for applicants to be aware of who is conducting the interview, whether it’s the human resources department or the CEO.
6. Be Familiar with the Protocol for a Phone Interview
As a representative of your organization during the interviewing process, maintaining a professional attitude is crucial, even when the interview is conducted remotely. Although feeling at ease in your home environment is understandable, adhering to the same level of professionalism as in an office setting is vital.
It’s vital to keep in mind that some applicants might feel uneasy about appearing on camera. Creating a relaxed and welcoming environment for them is important, so that they can provide candid responses to questions without feeling intimidated by the process.
When choosing a location for a remote interview, the environment should be considered. A calm and noise-free setting can significantly affect the outcome of the conversation. If you have children, it’s advisable to find a spot that’s far from their playroom. Alternatively, opting for a peaceful coffee shop with a reliable internet connection could be a viable option.
Here are some additional factors to consider when conducting interviews for members of a dispersed team:
- When the interview begins, please turn off all phones (or at least switch them to silent mode)
- Dress in business attire.
- If your backdrop isn’t plain, the candidate’s attention may drift.
- Choose a well-lit location so that the prospective employer can clearly see your face.
- Prior to the interview, it’s highly recommended to test your internet connection and equipment to ensure that they are functioning properly and won’t cause any interruptions during the interview.
7. Prepare Your Evaluation Strategy
Meeting a potential candidate in person can immediately give the interviewer an impression of the individual. Throughout the interview, the interviewer will either aim to confirm or modify this initial assessment. Among all the attributes that could sway the interviewer’s opinion, the candidate’s likeability is likely to be the most powerful. The initial impression is formed based on the candidate’s outward appearance and the opening conversations with the interviewer en route to the meeting.
During a video interview, the candidate has much more control over their appearance compared to a face-to-face interview. By following the guidance offered in the numerous resources on how to succeed in a Zoom interview, the interviewer will only be able to view the candidate’s head and shoulders against a plain background.
When evaluating a candidate, it’s advantageous to ask a variety of questions in order to determine if the individual is a good cultural match for the company. This is critical not only to ensure their ability to thrive in a remote role, but also to guarantee alignment with the organisation’s principles and values.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, it’s crucial for employers to evaluate the task prioritisation and time management habits of potential candidates. In interviews for remote positions, it’s customary to pose questions such as “How do you structure your day?” and “Can you describe your typical workday when working remotely?” as well as “Can you provide a description of your workspace?”. When recruiting for a remote position, it’s important to carefully consider which questions will best help to assess the skills and traits of the applicant. By thoughtfully reframing these questions, employers can gain a deeper understanding of their potential hire.
8. Be Attentive!
It’s crucial to bear in mind that remote interviews shouldn’t involve only one party speaking. Instead, they should be a two-way conversation where both the interviewer and interviewee have the chance to ask and answer questions. This allows both parties to gain a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the company and the job opportunity under discussion. Providing both parties with the opportunity to ask and answer questions is the optimal approach to ensure that the interview results in a successful and productive dialogue.
Participating in a video conference necessitates greater concentration compared to being present physically in the same room, owing to the added mental effort required to interpret non-verbal cues like facial expressions, vocal inflection, and body language. This has been confirmed by numerous specialists in the field.
After spending an hour in a video conference, it’s natural to start thinking about dinner. However, if you maintain a focused mindset, a clear goal, and a distraction-free setting, you can put aside these distractions. When the applicant is not physically present, it’s crucial to pay attention to their behaviour and emotions. Carefully listen to their conversation and take note of their speaking style. In most cases, it’s better to simply listen rather than attempting to take control of the call. Encourage the applicant to ask questions and provide detailed responses.
9. Talk About the Company’s Values and Philosophy
During interviews, it’s not just the candidate who has the privilege of potentially joining your company – it’s also an opportunity for you to discover someone with the skills and abilities that could be a valuable addition to your team. It’s an opportunity for you to collaborate with someone who could be an asset to your organisation.
Candidates who exhibit enthusiasm for the company, its values, and its culture are ideal for the position. Nonetheless, to verify that candidates are well-suited for the role, it’s critical for the company to convey its fundamental principles to prospective hires. By doing so, it will allow them to make an informed decision about whether the role aligns with their goals. This can provide more information about how to revitalize a stagnant project.
To demonstrate the company’s principles, it is crucial to offer a detailed overview rather than merely reiterating the mission and vision statements. To do so effectively, it’s necessary to establish that all team members are wholeheartedly committed to accomplishing these objectives by conveying the organisation’s core values through anecdotes and references. This will provide a comprehensive and engaging perspective on the company’s philosophy, enabling potential clients and stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of the organisation.
10. Involve Additional Team Members in the Virtual Meeting
To ensure you find the most suitable candidate for a role, it’s important to consider involving other team members in the recruitment process. This will enable you to evaluate how well the potential employee fits in with the current team and whether they can make positive contributions. Therefore, it’s suggested that you inform your employees about the recruitment process and consider having them present during the interview to assess the candidate’s suitability.
Considering the viewpoints of other team members when making a hiring decision is essential. This will help guarantee that the selection process is fair and that all relevant details and perspectives are taken into account. For instance, some may perceive that the applicant lacks specific skils, whereas others may have concerns about their integrity. Taking into account all perspectives will allow you to make a more well-rounded decision.
11. Don’t Rush Your Decision.
Regardless of the urgency of a situation, it’s crucial to take your time when making decisions. Failing to do so can result in significant financial losses. For example, according to CareerBuilder, businesses can incur a cost of around £15,000 for each poor hiring decision. Therefore, it’s vital to allocate sufficient time to ensure that you make the right choice.
By suggesting that you ‘take time’, it doesn’t necessarily mean taking a full month. However, it’s advisable to dedicate time to carefully evaluate the applicant’s CV, your interview notes, and feedback from other interviewers. Once you’ve made a decision, it’s vital to inform the applicant as soon as possible, whether you choose to hire them or not.
12. Develop a Contingency Plan
The much-anticipated interview day had finally arrived, scheduled for the afternoon, providing an opportunity to focus on other tasks while waiting. Unfortunately, the internet connection frequently disconnected and it became clear that there were regional issues with the internet service provider. As a result, there was nothing to do but wait for the situation to be resolved.
At times like this, having a backup plan is critical. As a solution, you may consider conducting the interview over the phone or rescheduling the meeting for a later date.
If the candidate is facing technical difficulties during the interview process, it’s reasonable to offer them another opportunity to attend. If that’s not feasible, it’s advisable to identify a creative way to ensure the interview process can continue.
Finally, Remember to Recruit Individuals Who Have Achieved Something Significant.
Here at Works, we put a lot of time and effort into conducting remote developer searches and preliminary screenings to provide you with the highest quality candidates for your open positions. This ensures that the remote interview process runs as smoothly as possible. With a pre-screened and vetted resume, you can be confident that the hard work has already been taken care of for you.
Contact us for help in finding remote IT specialists, and we will start working on it immediately.