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How To Host Virtual Interviews For Hiring New Employees Remotely

The Covid-19 virus has changed how the world works in a dramatic and widespread fashion. One of the most lasting impacts the virus has and will continue to have is on the interviewing process. Since the proliferation of the virus in March, more than eighty percent of companies are conducting virtual interviews to hire for new positions.

If you have to conduct one of these virtual interviews, don’t fear. There are a number of simple tricks and tips to keep the process smooth and simple, no matter how many candidates you need or the type and format of your interview.

  • Be acquainted with the technology and practice consistently
  • Make sure candidates know the details of the meeting beforehand
  • Present yourself professionally and eliminate any possible distractions

Know The Process

The toughest part of any new task is starting, and it’s no different for virtual interviews. Many recruiters find themselves at a loss at the beginning of the process, but the smartest thing to do if you’re feeling this uncertainty is to simply stand back and figure out a tight plan of action for each of the interviewees you have.

Plan ahead and know what you need from those you’re hiring and which questions you’re willing and prepared to ask, just like a regular, in-person interview. You’ll also want to know ahead of time which video platform you’ll be using and try to gain the necessary experience with that platform.

Know Your Technology

In-person interviews often go off without a hitch, but it’s not so simple with virtual meetings. Beyond the human element, there are a number of technological factors which could cause speed bumps during the process, and you need to be prepared for these if and when they occur.

If problems occur during the interview, like a botched connection or issues with the technical aspects on either your side or the side of the interviewee, you need to have a backup plan and be ready to implement it at a moment’s notice. A backup platform is always nice to have, as are directions to your interviewee, telling them what’s happening and what they should do in the event of a technological glitch.

Test Your Process

The number of individual problems possible during a virtual interview is not insignificant, but their presence can be substantially mitigated by testing out your process before conducting the official interview. Tests are important to make sure your platform and process can be conducted without experiencing any significant glitches.

When you go through your test run, be prepared for the worst, and keep on the lookout for any potential problems that could pop up during the official interview. Don’t ignore minor problems and concerns; instead, tackle them head on so they don’t arise when you’re using the platform for real. Any glitches you find should be sorted out by your I.T. department before the interview ever begins.

Give Your Candidates Additional Instruction

Technological problems can occur from both your end and your interviewees’ end, and it’s important to recognize this simple fact. If your interviewee is having technical problems on their end, you should be able to quickly walk them through your backup process while acknowledging that they have just as much control of glitches from their front as you do on yours.

You shouldn’t blame yourself for an unexpected technical error during the interview, and you should follow this reasoning through, demonstrating patience and understanding with interviewees who may be having difficulty.

Make sure to accurately convey every detail of the interview to your candidate, including the platform you’ll be using, the time and date, the link to the meeting room, a phone number to contact the interviewer, and any other helpful tips you’ve encountered after conducting several virtual interviews.

Make Sure There Are No Disruptions

One of the most stressful things about virtual meetings, both for the host and candidate, is finding a place where they will be totally alone and able to focus on the topics at hand. Distractions abound in our personal life and the office offers a sanctuary from these, but virtual interviews offer far less peace for both parties. You should know that your candidate is doing all they can to choose a location where there will be no distractions, and you should do the same.

Keep the interview just as professional as you would if it were taking place in your office. Additionally, you’ll want to find a place in your house that is well lit and won’t seem to stuffy or informal for your interview. Keeping up appearances isn’t always necessary with virtual meetings, but candidate interviews certainly require an air of formality to be conducted in an efficient and effective manner.

Always Be Practicing

Like any other area of life, virtual interviews become easier to conduct the more you practice. The most surefire way to present yourself professionally and ensure there are no major hiccups in the process is to practice early and often. You should be able to dictate every facet of the interview and know what to do if any problems spring up.

Just like an in-person interview, you should introduce yourself in a pleasant way, pitch your company to your candidate, and prepare several different kinds of questions to ask your candidates during the course of the interview.


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