As a hiring manager, you probably know all the pros of moving to conduct remote interviews (even if it’s just for a first round of interviewing). But sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Or, if you already do it, do you know the most up-to-date practices?
At RecruitmentJunky, we live and breathe remote working as a company. Plus, as a top recruitment agency, we work with our brilliant partners on constantly improving face-to-face and video interview practices. We thought we’d share some practical tips for any companies out there wishing to make their remote interviews a smoother process, as well as help on how to hire the right remote talent for your business.
From picking the right video software, to knowing when to give feedback to candidates, we’ve got you covered in this handy guide. We’ve even broken this blog into two sections – the first section has easy wins you can implement RIGHT NOW. We’ve then followed up with some of our favourite tools, hacks and processes.
(And if you’re a jobseeker who accidentally stumbled onto this blog – you may find our top tips on acing remote interviews more helpful!)
Easy remote interview tips you can implement right away:RecruitmentJunky - Conduct virtual remote interivews - tips - Social media - LinkedIn slide shares
Ready for more?
The best tech and tools to conduct remote interviews
Not all tools are created equal! Plus: interview software is often a company decision. We’ve put together a list of commonly used tools for conducting remote interviews as a starting point if you’re looking to start video calls, or just wanting to explore a few other options. These are not an exhaustive list, but a great starting point.
First step first, you need to think about how you will schedule your remote interviews! Here are a few tools you could use:
- Your standard email software (Outlook, Gmail, etc.)
- Calendly (free and pro versions available. Pro plan allows you to share up to six of your calendars through email).
Here are some of the most used tech tools for video interviews:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet (our fav!)
- eSkill (see next section for more info on this tool)
And here are a few online applicant assessment software tools, you may also want to use in your recruiting process:
- pymetrics (offers behavioural assessments through games, determining cognitive strengths and risk aversion factors).
- eSkill (offers tests and behavioural assessments AND doubles as a video interview tool).
- HackerRank (a technical interview platform, designed for screening developers with technical skills assessments).
It’s important to pick software that will suit your company’s needs. For instance, we’re big fans of Google Meet for our remote interviews (both for booking interviews, and conducting the video calls), as we also use Google for storing our documents. However, we don’t use it as an internal communication tool. If your company is already using Teams for an internal comms tool – it makes sense to keep with that for remote interviewing too.
Given that tech is constantly evolving, you may find you have to update your tech choice as you continue to conduct remote interviews. What’s important is that you know how to use it, and it is easy for candidates to use when they come to an interview.
How to conduct remote interviews effectively
- Practice EVERYTHING.
Practice setting up your tech, sending out your interview requests, and with your fellow hiring managers if you have multiple interviewers on the call. Nothing is more awkward for a candidate than seeing hiring managers struggling to use the video platform, or no one knowing who is asking the first question. Practice makes it professional.
Want to go the extra mile?
- Send a ‘how to prepare for a virtual interview’ guide to set a candidate up for success.
- When sending out your interview invites, ALWAYS include instructions on how to use the tech platform. It’s useful not just for your fellow hiring managers, but for your candidates as well. Include info on troubleshooting and how to change backgrounds.
- Send a detailed schedule, with links to hiring managers bios/LinkedIn pages, so candidates can really swat up.
- Do this for all your interviewees!
- Look for emotional intelligence, not just skills.
Just because someone is interviewing through a screen doesn’t mean you can’t get to know their character and emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ can be critical to success at work after all! Although it feels like it’s easier to consider in person, you can do an equally good job when conducting your remote interviews.
For instance, it’s easy to skate over the small talk at the start of a remote interview – but don’t! Not only does it ease the nerves for your candidate, but it can open up conversation about what EQ a person has. Immediately dive into their story and find out what makes them tick.
A few good questions that opens up conversations around a person’s EQ can be:
- What or who inspires you? / What motivates you to succeed?
- Tell me about a workplace conflict you were in, and how you managed the conflict? Did you resolve it? (If they don’t have one, you can ask how they would resolve a dispute between two colleagues.)
- Tell me about a time you received criticism about your work. How did you respond and what did you learn?
- What is something you’re proud of achieving, and why?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work as a team with people you didn’t know, or didn’t like. How did you handle the situation?
- What would your colleagues say is the best thing about working with you? And what would they say is the most challenging?
Then do as you would in a face-to-face interview. Look at their body language, listen to the emotion in their voice, and ask questions to elaborate on their answers and personal experiences.
- Ban back-to-backs.
It feels easy to schedule back-to-back remote interviews. Especially as you don’t even have to leave your seat. But don’t do it to yourself! You need at least 10 minutes between interviews to get up, stretch (or get another drink from all that talking), and note down your thoughts and impressions.
- Open your candidate pool.
Remote interviewing also means you can open your candidate pool a lot further. Especially if you’re also open to your employees working remotely. Use it to your advantage – try throwing in some unconventional candidates or applications in the mix. You could try inviting someone moving from a different industry, someone who sent in an incredible cover letter (even if their CV was average), someone you spotted on TikTok Resumes, or even someone who lives in another country.
Following up after the interview.
This step is vital, but all too regularly, gets overlooked. Prompt feedback should be issued quickly – whether you’re making an offer or not.
- Make a big decision during the interview, and job offer on the spot.
- Accidentally ghost your candidate, by not telling them what to expect next in the process.
- Not give any valuable feedback. Don’t go with generic “Didn’t feel right” – be specific in answers that were lacking, so candidates know for their future job applications. And so your recruiter can ensure the next candidate does have those qualities you’re looking for.
- Always tell a candidate at the end of an interview about when they can expect to hear back from you, with your decision. If there are any delays, let them (and your recruiter) know!
- Take time to decide. Read over your criteria list and how you scored their answers. Discuss with your colleagues too.
- Talk to your recruiter about how you found the candidate. Then ask if there is any feedback from the candidate on their experience, so you can improve conducting remote interviews going forward.
- Review the whole process – could you have a smoother introduction when on a video call? Do you need a template for sending out invites? Be honest and look at ways it can be improved!
A final word of warning.
Once upon a time, remote interviews were uncommon, but now they are here to stay. There are many skills you can take from face-to-face interviews to remote interviews, but as technology develops, it’s important to keep improving your virtual interview skills.
Ultimately, interviews are just one well-established part of the recruitment process. If you are looking to attract top talent, you need to conduct remote interviews effectively – but also look at other ways you can improve your whole recruiting strategy and process. An inefficient process could mean you miss out on excellent candidates, or worse – damage your employer brand.
If you are looking to hire remote workers or want some help on improving your remote interviews, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.
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