Remote interviews have proven to be an efficient alternative, particularly in the first stage of the recruitment process when first interviews are conducted to pre-screen numerous candidates, or if an ideal candidate is too far away and the cost of flying them in for a preliminary conversation is hard to justify.
With hiring picking up, many employers are realizing they need to put their best foot forward just as much as the candidates, who now have even brighter job outlooks and more opportunities thanks to lower unemployment rates. So how do you ensure you make a positive impression on your remote interviewees while making sure that you effectively ask the right questions and look for the right cues? There are three things to remember to ensure your remote interview is as close to an in-person one as possible:
Do a Dry Run
As with most skills, practice makes perfect when it comes to conducting remote interviews. Practicing does three things: it helps you check if your equipment is working properly, it lets you hear your own list of questions more objectively – and helps you get more comfortable on camera. Have a colleague role play with you before you conduct actual interviews so you can see how you will look and sound to your interviewees.
Be Comfortable Yet Professional
While interviews can start off like most professional conversations, it can result in lot of awkward pauses and gaps. After pleasantries, provide your interviewee with an outline of what to expect: an estimate of how long you expect the interview to last, what they should have on hand (resume, references, previous work samples), and who else might be on the conversation and what you are expecting to cover and learn during the interview. Also allow time for the interviewee to ask questions, clarify, or even answer if there is a lag due to a fluctuating connection or software.
It’s Still an Interview
Remember that, while it’s a new format, you are still trying to find the best candidate, and so need to focus on asking questions that will help you identify the best fit for your organization. We have tools that help employers conduct successful interviews. Asking your hiring advisor for a copy of our Hiring Toolkit/SCALE.
As with in-person interviews, conclude the interview by allowing the candidate to ask any questions they may have, and then let the candidate know what the next steps are and when they can hear from you.