Many top staffing companies have made the transition to remote working and even remote hiring. While this process may be new to you, it is nothing your agency cannot handle. In the content below, we will walk through some of the best virtual interview tips, strategies, and practices.
Preparing for a Live Video Interview
Prepare a Process with the Entire Hiring Team
If most of your hiring team is remote, it pays to communicate as clearly and with as much detail as possible. If virtual interviews are still a relatively new practice for you, make sure to include information that may seem obvious, and create a process that can be used for all of your virtual candidates.
For example, what steps should a candidate complete before the interview process? What will you do if the internet connection is less than ideal? There are many new questions you will have to answer to be properly prepared ahead of time for this new style of interview.
Make Sure You Are Familiar with Your Equipment/ Video Software
Does your candidate need login credentials for your video software? Make sure everyone on your interview team knows how to set up the video and audio, as well as how to work the various tools you will need to conduct a successful interview.
There are many easy-to-use options out there, all but guaranteeing that you will have everything you need.
Prepare Your Interview Space
It is critical to have a designated, functional area in which to conduct your interviews. Ensure that the place you choose is quiet and well-lit. If the candidate has trouble seeing or hearing you, it will add unnecessary obstacles to the quality of the interview. If there was an issue with your space for one interview, be sure to address the problem for future interviews.
Test Your Equipment
A great way to make sure your equipment and processes are working the way you want them to is to conduct practice interviews with your team! These do not necessarily have to be full-scale interviews. Instead, use these “test runs” to make sure your video, audio, internet connection, and process go smoothly. Spend time exploring your software to see what functionality it has. You do not want to be learning about your software during an interview. Make any changes or updates you need and test those as well.
Make Sure Candidates Know the Interview is Virtual in Advance
Virtual interviews can be an amazing technological tool; however, that tool still takes practice and preparation time. Provide your candidates with instructions on everything they will need for their interview. Potential inclusions could be the type of tech they will need, as well as clear expectations for the interview process. This way, the candidate will be well-prepared and ready for any adjustments, if the need should arise.
Dress Like You Are Performing an In-Person Interview
Even if you are conducting an interview from home, dressing appropriately is critical for the success of a virtual interview. By dressing how you normally would for a day of work, the candidate is able to gauge the company culture and importance of the interview.
Conducting a Live Video Interview
1. Pay attention to your body language
A huge part of our communication with others is nonverbal in nature. The way you present yourself, and in turn, your company, is extremely important, whether the interview is in-person or virtual. Sitting up straight, making eye contact, and acting engaged are all going to make the interview a more positive experience for both you and the candidate.
2. Try to make the interview personable
Even though it can be more difficult with a screen between you and the candidate, it is still possible to add personal elements to your interview. Start with questions that are easy to answer and get the conversation flowing. Stay relaxed and repeat yourself if it seems like the candidate is having a hard time hearing you. Be prepared for issues and handle them as best as you can.
3. Stick to the schedule, especially if coordinating with multiple staff members
It can be easy for an interview to go longer than expected if things are going well or if the candidate has a lot of questions. While it may not be important for your schedule, other members of your interview team may need to leave on time.
Create a timeline you can stick to and that works for everyone involved. Beyond keeping an eye on the clock, you can help yourself stick to a schedule by having a list of consistent, unbiased questions and deviating as little as possible. If you expect the candidate to ask many questions, dedicated the necessary time at the end of the interview, and start that session on time.
4. Consider that some candidates are unfamiliar with live video interviews
It would be a shame to lose an opportunity to work with a talented person because they are intimidated by a virtual interview. Try to be courteous and understanding. Ask the candidate about their experience with virtual interviews. If it is a relatively new experience for them, be sure to send some guidelines and tips so they understand what to expect.
5. Prepare a backup plan
Even if you tested your equipment an hour before your scheduled interview time, it is still possible that things will go wrong in some way. Whether the candidate has a weak internet connection or your audio stops working, it is important to have a few alternate methods of conducting the interview. If your plans don’t work, try to remain flexible and accommodating.
6. Consider using one-way (pre-recording) interviews for high-volume efficiency
Not everyone will have the time or access to the resources necessary for a live video interview. One solution is to accept pre-recorded interviews. Some platforms support this style, allowing you to ask a certain amount of questions and have the candidate record their responses. While this method may not be ideal for everyone, it can be a good start, especially when there are no other options. As usual, be sure to explain any format-specific expectations and over-communicate to help ensure the candidate is well prepared.
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