Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional standards for job interviews began to change for the safety of employers and coworkers.
Virtual interviews are a popular process in today's world, but because it's new, most employers don't know the right approach.
This article will guide you through the practical tips you can implement to conduct a productive remote interview.
What Is a Remote Interview?
So, what does remote interview mean? Interviewing remotely involves the interviewer and potential employee discussing the open job position from different locations.
This type of interview relies heavily on the technical aspects of the screening process. It requires a strong internet connection to enter a scheduled video chat and discuss the role.
Similar to the in-person approach, the remote hiring process is another method for candidate screening.
What Are the Benefits of Interviewing Remotely?
The remote interview process is still new and unfamiliar to most employees. Despite the difficult times, many companies still prefer in-person interviews.
Prospective employees get an idea about the workplace culture and develop a tighter relationship with the hiring manager.
However, this doesn't mean an online interview is an inferior approach. On the contrary, there are many benefits to consider when conducting this kind of interview.
It's common for the hiring team to spend a little extra on in-person interviews to make the potential employee feel welcomed.
It can consist of a special lunch meeting or another welcoming gesture suitable for the moment.
Remote interviews are cost-effective, focus on the employee, and allow the employee to prioritize that money towards uniforms and orientation day.
One of the most common constraints for job interviews is deciding on a time that works for everyone.
Environmental factors like school, traffic, or unexpected events can postpone a date and waste time looking for another availability slot.
An interview through video chat eliminates the headaches of rescheduling. There is no rush to get ready, and both sides can perform the screening in a comfortable space.
Time-to-fill is a modern recruiting term that describes the time it takes to fill an open position. Depending on the open position, job hunting could take a while before the right employee comes along.
Virtual interviews can help reduce the number of possible candidates within a short amount of time. There's more of a guarantee for every job candidate to have their screen time.
The idea of interviewing remotely makes your company look modern and keeps up with the times. This next generation of workers has much experience with the latest technology, and any business that promotes this image is worth their time.
Investing in a good microphone and reliable video chat software can also make a good impression by showing off the advanced equipment.
With a list of candidates, it can be hard to keep track of everyone and their attributes. In most cases, the recruiting team will want to review the interviews and choose the fitting person.
With consent from the interviewee, the hiring manager can turn the remote interviews into digital video files for review. It gives more insight into the candidate and feedback on the entire process.
Interviewing remotely invites a level of convenience for everyone involved.
The hiring team has less to coordinate aside from checking if the wi-fi is working and finding a place where the interview can't be interrupted.
The candidate has control over the appointed time and the freedom to prepare their outfit and questions ahead of time.
If the job is open to a remote worker, there's a chance that the list of candidates will consist of people living outside the area.
Instead of flying out these candidates for interviews, the hiring manager can keep their options open with remote interviews.
This approach saves on unnecessary travel costs and avoids flight delays that could postpone the interview.
In-person interviews carry a lot of unconscious bias into the screening process.
From appearance to speech, the hiring team takes everything into account and looks into the candidate's behavior. Some candidates are perceptive of their surroundings and get nervous before the start of the interview.
Doing a video interview in a familiar environment reduces those feelings of nervousness and gives the team a better impression of their candidates.
Not only can in-person interviews make people nervous, but cause anxiety. The candidate might succumb to stuttering or lose their train of thought in portions of the interview.
With the current job market, finding a well-paid job creates tremendous pressure to make the first encounter perfect.
Remote interviewing takes away most of the stress for candidates by discussing the comfort of their own homes.
What Are Some of the Best Practices for Conducting a Remote Interview?
The coronavirus pandemic isn't dying down at any point, meaning that remote interviews will remain a frequent method for screening.
Almost 80 percent of recruiters have turned to online interviews, and there have been many ways to conduct them.
However, conducting the perfect screening takes more than an internet connection. Here are ten expert tips to follow when preparing for a remote interview.
Analyze Previous Interview Models
Before you switch to a remote interview, take a moment to review your first recruiting process.
Ask yourself these common questions:
- Is the current review process effective?
- Does the structure of your screening waste no time getting the information?
- What can you do better to improve the candidate experience?
This chance reinvents your methods in preparation for the virtual approach.
Brainstorm a Definitive Plan
The lead hiring manager should get together with the recruiting team and plan out the day of the interview.
Organize the people present during the call, prepare the list of questions to ask, and figure out if the candidate will need to finish an assessment test ahead of time.
Preparation and planning are always good tips for personal interviews.
Introduce the Company Culture
The hiring team should find opportunities to express the company's culture and values to create successful candidates.
This culture fit can happen during the interview or at the start of the application process.
It also helps to make the online presence accessible for candidates to do their research. Employee profiles, customer testimonials, and team photos can give newcomers an idea of the environment.
The video equipment is a vital portion of the remote interview. Most attention is spent getting everything in order.
Will the conversation be audio or video? What software retains good video quality over some time? How much should be spent on a microphone and a video camera?
Test the equipment in advance to check for issues.
Plan a Time Frame
When deciding on the availability, there should be enough ample time for both the hiring team and the job candidate.
Like any other interview, you should put in the time to lay out formal dress codes, practice recruitment questions, and double-check the equipment for technical issues.
Make the instructions clear for any candidate to follow without any problems.
Choose an Interview Space
When choosing the spot for the remote interview, it should be a location that won't be disturbed.
The workplace is always a good choice because there are separate conference rooms designed for private discussions.
If the hiring manager is working from home, the interview should take place in privacy where no kids or family can disrupt the screening process.
Gathering feedback after the interview should be a priority. It improves the quality of the candidate experience by learning which aspects worked.
The conversation can remain casual and remove any pressure for evaluation.
Keep these generic questions until the end of the interview:
- Did this interview answer all your questions about the job?
- Did you notice any technical issues?
- How can we improve this interview process?
Prepare a set of questions to ask the candidates and never improvise. It's one thing for the candidate to come ill-prepared, but not the hiring team.
Write down the questions on a notecard and review them until they lock into memory.
Improvisation leads to derailing from the professional conversation and causing confusion on both sides of the remote interview.
Create a Backup Plan
If the microphone is faulty or a power outage knocks out the internet, it's essential to have a backup plan.
If the internet goes out, reach out to the candidate and try to continue with a phone interview.
In any case, there is always the option to reschedule at a later time or day.
Only Interview Suitable Candidates
Make sure that the list of candidates has earned the right for a remote interview. About 75 percent of employers feel like they waste their time and money on the wrong choice of possible candidates.
Pre-employment screenings and assessment tests help choose the right employees by checking communication skills, work ethics, and experience levels.
Recruiters save the candidate experience for those who succeed in the first test.
What Are Some Common Challenges When Interviewing Remotely?
The idea of a remote interview sounds convenient, but that doesn't mean problems can't happen.
Even with employers trying to grasp a new concept to appeal to the next generation, a remote interview carries its fair share of technical issues and headaches.
Here are some common challenges you can encounter when conducting a remote interview.
Online ghosting is not a new concept on the internet. The term 'ghosting' means that the respondent will completely mask their online presence and disappear.
There are cases where the candidate might not show up to the interview. What's worse is when they start rejecting your calls, emails, and other means of contact.
Employers who get ghosted by their candidates will feel like their time was wasted.
Lack of Focus
There is no reason to treat a remote interview differently from any other review, which deserves undivided attention.
Some candidates feel too comfortable in their own space and try to multitask with other things while the interview is happening.
When a lot is going on in the background, the space becomes too distracting to concentrate, and the job will feel less of a priority.
No Internet Connection
One of the biggest hurdles for remote job interviews is losing the internet connection. It becomes more complicated when the candidate lives in a rural area with limited internet.
Even with the best equipment, the person on the other side might not have the same wealth and work with what he has.
Trying to do an interview is possible, but don't be surprised if it suddenly goes out.
During an in-person interview, the employer and candidate are sitting right across from each other in preparation to discuss the job.
During remote interviews, there are cases when the audio desyncs and becomes choppy from a bad connection.
This error results in the employer constantly repeating himself over questions and responses. It becomes a challenging time to interview with so many interruptions.
Lack of Context
It's hard to understand a candidate's character through an online interview. Explanations can only let you know so much, but there is a chance the candidate is lying.
Non-verbal communication is an essential tool during in-person interviews. Natural behavior can be seen through facial expressions, patterns of speech, and even hand placement.
Remote interviews disguise that aspect and make it hard to see a candidate's authenticity.
How Can You Overcome Potential Challenges and Make the Most of the Remote Interview Process?
With every problem comes a solution. In the case of remote interviews, there are quick fixes that make the process easy to grasp.
If you encounter a problem with virtual interviews, try these solutions to make the situation less stressful.
Always Give the Candidates a Heads-Up
If you are not confident in the equipment you own to conduct a stable interview, contact the candidate and let them know.
When everyone is in the loop, there will be no confusion when problems start to arise.
Make it accessible for recruits and potential employees to understand the company's culture.
If the company offers web seminars and lectures, it would be appealing for candidates to see that the business is always trying to improve.
Monitor Your Scheduling
Remote interviews make it easy to get through several candidates, but too much can get out of hand.
Be very strict on how many candidates are screened daily to avoid an overwhelming headache.
Keeping up with the technological changes is the responsibility of every business. When it comes to remote interviews, they are convenient, fast, and provide a lot of opportunities for the candidates.
Learning these tips for remote interviews puts you one step higher above the rest of the competition.