By: Jennifer Chestnut on March 24th, 2020

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How to Run Successful Candidate Interviews in a Remote Environment

Talent Acquisition

As we find ourselves in strange times with COVID-19 that may last several more weeks or even months, it’s important to keep business moving forward. And for some organizations, that may mean continuing to build their talent pipeline and hire new employees to support talent needs.

Since this is the first time for a lot of organizations operating fully remote, the thought of interviewing and hiring virtually can be concerning. If virtual interviewing is a new process for you, here are a few recommendations I have shared with my recruiting clients on how to get the necessary insight you need to make a successful hire.

4 Tips for Virtual Interviewing

1) Utilize Video Technology

First, be sure to use the video feature of the technology platform you are using. There are several options to choose from such as Microsoft Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, WebEx, and Zoom. Many are low-cost and can be downloaded right to your phone, tablet or computer. Prior to any interview, ensure both the candidate and the hiring manager know how to use the technology. It’s critical to partner with your IT team to ensure success, and I strongly encourage you to do a trial run before the interview takes place. Failed technology will result in frustration for the hiring manager and the candidate.

2) Prepare Questions in Advance

Second, have your questions prepared ahead of time and include the same questions you would normally use for an in-person interview. Prepare several behavioral-based questions to help you get to the root of how people think and solve problems. Be sure to have their resume printed out in front of you to use as a guide for the discussion.

3) Dress for Success

Third, dress as you would for an in-person interview. While many of us are comfy in our PJ’s, drag that suit out of the closet, dust it off and put it on. Presentation and professionalism still matter - so does posture and composure. When listening to a response from a candidate, smile, and nod to show you are engaged. Also, look for this type of body language in your candidate.

4) Be Mindful of Remote Environments

Fourth, don’t judge candidates on their virtual surroundings. In our current world, there are likely multiple people in the home which can include spouses, partners, children, and pets. Sometimes hiding out in the basement closet is the only way to find privacy.

Interviewing virtually enables you to see how your future hire may communicate either successfully or unsuccessfully in a remote environment. This can be critical for organizations that operate globally. Don’t let some of the minor challenges of virtual interviewing slow down your recruitment process. Good candidates are still in high demand and companies who take advantage of virtual interviewing will have a greater chance of landing top candidates.