Top tips on how to conduct an effective virtual interview
The covid pandemic has turned working lives upside down for many people both inside and outside of the workplace. Remote working is now becoming the norm and people and companies are slowly beginning to embrace a new way of working.
Businesses that are actively recruiting have turned to virtual interviews to support with their recruitment process and remote job interviews are becoming even more common than before. Not only do video interviews provide a feasible alternative when you are unable to meet in person, but they are also more convenient and less expensive than face to face interviews.
So how do you get it right? Here’s some advice to help you prepare, and make the most of, a remote interview.
Like with any interview make sure you are prepared ahead of time, have a candidates cv printed out along with relevant questions you want to ask.
As the interviewer, it’s up to you to set expectations with the candidate beforehand about the remote interview details. Figure out who will place the call, what online meeting platform you’ll use, and give the interviewee the names and titles of any other people who may be joining the interview. Clearly communicating the details of the meeting will put the candidate at ease and make the entire process run more smoothly.
Test your technology
There is nothing worse than failed technology, log in before hand to check everything is working, make sure you let the candidate know in advance what technology you will be using so they can test their own before the interview. Check your computer camera, microphone, and internet connection, and make sure you know your login information, especially if you haven’t used the videoconferencing application or tool in a while.
Have a backup plan
What if it does not work! – make sure you have the candidates email address and phone number ready so you can easily contact them should you need to, remember you could always revert to a telephone interview process if needed.
Create a distraction free zone
Ensure the room you choose is free of distraction and be aware of your background, is it professional, try to keep it as neutral as possible, a blank wall always works well and make sure you turn off your notifications and silence your phone whilst you are conducting the interview.
Look professional and pay attention to tone of voice and facial expressions
Dress as though you are going to work – remember first impressions count. Keep your voice calm and speak clearly but smile when appropriate just like you would in a face to face interview. Try to not talk over each other, leaving a few seconds at the end of each sentence helps and remember to look at the camera when you are not speaking.
It’s easy to feel more relaxed on a virtual interview and they do mean that your body language is restricted mainly to your face and shoulders so be conscious of this – remember sit up straight, don’t slouch, maintain eye contact, look directly at your camera without getting too close – and smile genuinely!
Clarifying the next steps and a strong close
Tell candidates what’s going to happen next in the process and ask them if they have any questions. Ultimately, you are representing your company during an online interview and remember, this is likely to be the first interaction they will have with a representative from your company so it is important to get off on the right foot and make a good impression.