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10 Tips on How to Have an Effective Remote Job Interview

Sep 10, 2021
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In the modern world, hiring and recruitment have changed considerably, with far more interviews and candidate screening being done remotely. Improvements to internet access and technology, as well as limitations and convenience, have all led to these changes, and as people get more used to the idea of remote working and remote interviewing, it's becoming far more commonplace when conducting a job search.

Despite the growing trend of companies hiring without actually meeting their candidates face to face, there are still a lot of concerns over remote interviews. It can be more challenging for both the hiring managers and the remote workers themselves, as sometimes it's difficult to properly read someone through a video call. Some candidates find it more awkward to do a video chat interview, and while it's true that it can be difficult, there are lots of things you can do to have a more effective interview. Just as with interviewing in real life, it pays to practice, but we'll explain some of the most commonly used tips for remote roles here.

Use Effective Screening Before the Interview Stage

Interviewing should be reserved for the best possible candidates in order to save time and resources that could be better spent elsewhere. As a result, you should always aim to screen candidates carefully before starting the interview process. Simply reading and trying to assess the quality of each candidate through their CV is one of the least effective forms of screening. There's no standard format, and there's no way to know if the information is correct. Pre-employment evaluations offer a far better solution.

All of your prospects will be tested on the same parameters during pre-employment examinations. These tests assist you in quantifying the skills and abilities of each client that are most important to your open position. They also score them on the same scale so you can see who stands out when compared to other options. You can make use of a full product tour of employment screening evaluations before you make the next step.


Review Your Interview Process

Switching to fully remote interviewing is a big step and requires a lot of careful planning to ensure it goes to plan. If you're switching to remote interviewing, now is a good opportunity to review your current method. Think about how efficient and well-organised the current process is and whether anything can be improved at all.

The majority of businesses do not have a specific hiring process, which leads to hiring unqualified candidates. You need to plan the hiring process and how it looks, taking care to consider the following aspects:

  • From your team, who will they meet?
  • What should they do in advance?
  • Is it going to be an audio or visual call?
  • Do you want them to be able to share their screen with you at any point?

Prepare a Proper Introduction to the Company for All Candidates

Create a branded content package that candidates can read and view before the video interview to acquire a sense of the company's culture and values. When preparing the content, here are some things to consider adding that will help candidates get a picture of the company they're interviewing for:

  • Recent company announcements as well as any press or media coverage
  • Glassdoor evaluations and employee profiles
  • Client testimonials
  • Perks and benefits


Prepare the Technology

When interviewing remotely, the technology you use needs to be in proper working order for things to go well. Technology is the heart of any remote interview, and if it doesn't work properly, the amount of insight gained from the interview is going to be extremely lacking compared to a face to face interview. This will be one of the most time-consuming aspects of the remote hiring process.

Check for a good internet connection, as well as all other parts of technology that are used in the process. This includes webcams, microphones and a general sound setup for your video chat. Most video calling software offers a way for you to test out the call quality before calling, which is a good way to check if your setup produces a clear picture and sound. If internet problems are frequent, you should also be prepared with a backup way of communication in case the network's connectivity fails.


Plan Ahead

Just like with a real interview, it makes sense to book a time and date specifically ahead of time. Give the candidate plenty of time to respond to the appointment, so you're not asking them to attend an interview that day or the following day. You should also make sure to allow enough time for others to set up their equipment. Remember that not only you but also the candidate will be sitting through the interview. Lastly, you should make it clear that this is a formal interview and that, as such, it's important for the candidate to present themselves correctly, even if they're interviewing remotely.


Conduct the Interviews Where Disturbances Are Unlikely

If you're interviewing remotely, the chances are that you and your candidate are both working from home. If this is the case, ensure that you're in an area where you're unlikely to be disturbed. If possible, book an office out for the day while fitting multiple interviews into the same day and consider the acoustics and lighting of the room. You should also request that the candidate do the same to ensure the interview doesn't face disruptions. Body language and eye contact are just as important for virtual interviews as they are for the real thing.


Consider Changing Your Questions for the Remote Setting

While it's normally not advised to completely reinvent your interview questions, you might want to change them a bit for a remote interview. Consider asking questions specifically related to remote work, such as how much experience they have working from home and whether they have many distractions. Still, although these aspects are important, it's critical that you judge each candidate on their skills and merit.


Have a Backup Plan in Place

While you can test your setup and make sure it's working correctly, there can still be times when it doesn't work as it should be. In these cases, it's a good idea to have a backup plan that you can switch to. If your computer isn't working, you can switch to a phone interview or move to another device.


Make the Most of Software and Tools

Conducting an interview remotely is seen as a disadvantage to some, but if you make the most of the tools you have available, it can be a big advantage, saving time and resources as well as making it easier in certain aspects. There are plenty of free tools for video conferencing and interviewing that integrate into your existing apps such as calendars and more, to make interviewing much simpler.


Consider Using Virtual Hiring Events

For a slightly less conventional approach, you and your company can make the most of virtual hiring events and conferences, which offer a great way to reach new potential talent as well as network with other companies in the industry. There are now lots of these events taking place in all kinds of different industries, and they're usually very easy to find and join. Here you'll be able to get to know some candidates directly as well as learn more about current trends and industry insights.

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