With the current pandemic, many hiring managers have been encouraged to continue social distancing and conduct interviews via video conferencing. There are some best practices to observe when you need to interview a candidate virtually, instead of in-person interviews, in order to effectively make an assessment of the candidate’s competencies.  

1.    Pre-Interview Preparation 

Prepare and test: 

Set up tests with colleagues to familiarise yourself with the video-conferencing platform. Ensure that the interviews are conducted in quiet, well-lit rooms and mute all incoming notifications to minimise disruptions.

Give your candidates a heads-up: 

Be as detailed in your calendar invites as possible. Is the time zone accurate? Do they need to download additional apps/programs? If all else fails, have an audio line available as backup.

Go the extra mile: 

Some candidates find virtual interviews intimidating. To ease their fears, share technical guidelines or tips on how they can best prepare themselves – even if it’s just a well-written article on the internet.

Schedule back-to-back interviews: 

Meeting multiple candidates for the same position? Consider scheduling, for example, two-hour interview sessions with 30-minute intervals. That way, all candidates can join the virtual meeting using the same link. Also, let them know the precise timing to dial in or leave some buffer time between interviews to minimise disruptions. 

2.    Mid-Interview Tips & Tricks

Focus on what truly matters: 

Not all candidates are good with small talk or non-verbal cues in virtual environments. Rather than picking up on these characteristics, focus on the traits that actually matter, like their compatibility for the role and how they fit into existing teams.

Enforce employer branding wherever you can: 

Done with the formal part of the interview with some extra time left? Think about how you can share office pictures or snippets of the team culture via a quick tour, videos, screen sharing or social media. Since they are not physically in the office, this is a good opportunity to show candidates what they are missing out on.

3.    Post-Engagement Interview

Have a template ready:

Make arrangements for an email to be sent to the candidates after the interviews are done. Let them know when they can expect to hear back from you, as well as collect feedback on how the virtual sessions could be improved.

Share experiences internally:

As your organisation becomes more accustomed to virtual interviews, it’s helpful to speak openly with your colleagues, discuss challenges along the way and highlight best practices. 

Approaching virtual interviews differently or have questions about other best practices? We’d love to hear it – start a conversation with us anytime!

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