How To Conduct A Virtual Interview: Tips For Employers
Even though the landscape of work has changed drastically over the last 12 months, certain things never change. One of them is the importance of taking the time to properly recruit the best possible staff and that can rest heavily on the effectiveness of your interview procedures.
With so many people working from home, and with many interviews now taking place online, it pays to adapt business as usual to reflect the new challenges. You need to quickly determine just how well a candidate fits not just the job description, but the company culture in general a tall order when all you get is a pixelated image of them over Skype or Zoom!
A survey found that a whopping 86% of companies are electing to do virtual interviews during the Corona virus pandemic. Though its true you cant get that firm handshake in a virtual interview, theres a lot you can do to find out more about the person on the other side of the screen. Here are three practical tips to get you started.
Tips For Conducting A Remote Interview
Most importantly, and especially in this very challenging labor market, the remote interview allows you to meet your top candidates and make a hiring decision before many old-school competitors can even finalize arrangements for an on-site meet-and-greet.
Still, the remote interview presents a few complications. Details you never had to consider when interviewing at the office your background, screen presence and technology, for example must now be part of any well-planned meeting. Otherwise, you risk mishaps that can distract and frustrate you and the candidate.
Following are seven basic tips for carrying out a smooth and efficient remote interview process that will help ensure you, the candidate and anyone else involved has a positive experience:
Prepare For The Unexpected
Unlike traditional face-to-face interviews, virtual interviews can be conducted from the comfort of your home. Despite the familiar setting, you may still encounter some unexpected situations.
Master the platform: Become an expert on whatever platform is chosen for your interview . If you have not used it before, download the interface and practice the features by doing some mock calls with a family member or a friend. In 41% of interviews we studied, technology caused breakdowns. In one interview, the candidate appeared upside down the entire time, as they couldnt figure out the camera. In 22% of successful interviews, the candidates offered their interviewer tips for video call shortcuts.
Keep notes handy, but dont refer to them too often: During job interviews, its standard for recruiters to ask candidates for examples of their most impactful work. Dont let this unnerve you in the moment. Create a printout or Word document of notes with crisp bullet points highlighting a few projects you want to share. Sort your projects under two or three headers: accomplishments, research, and voluntary work.
We suggest no more than one page of notes. Forty-two percent of unsuccessful job candidates appeared overwhelmed by their notes, and were obvious when reading from them. They scrolled through documents on their laptops or continuously looked down at their desks. The goal is to refer to your notes minimally. Use them only to remind you of points you have already practiced.
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Have A Defined Job Interview Process
Your video interview process will probably be very similar to your in-person interview process. If youâve had success hiring in the past, there is no need for major changes. You just need a consistent video interview process to ensure you are assessing candidates effectively and that you can easily compare candidates to make the best hiring decisions. Make tweaks based on the changes a virtual environment presents. If you have a rubric or some means of comparing or assessing candidates, you can continue to use it.
Tip : Communicate Confidence
Its natural to feel nervous during an important interview, but try to communicate confidence as best you can. One way of achieving this is through your body language.
To appear as confident as possible, smile, sit up straight and make sure the camera level with your eyes.
Of course, when fielding virtual interview questions, youre not looking directly into the interviewers eye. Instead, it can be tempting to look at their image on the screen when youre talking, so that you can gauge their reactions.
Instead, try to keep your focus on the camera so that it appears that youre giving eye contact, as this will help you to come across as confident and composed.
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Appear As Professional And Personable As You Would In Person
From what you wear to what you say to how you act, there shouldnt be much difference in how you would conduct a video interview versus one thats face-to-face. Even if its just your top half, dress appropriately like you would if you were meeting the candidate in person. When listening, smile, nod, and sit up straight to show the candidate that you are engaged in the conversation.
Eye contact is key here, too. When making eye contact during a video interview, you should look directly into the webcam, not at the candidate on your screen.
Baskin also recommends, Pausing to ensure the candidate has finished his or her response before moving on to the next question is also crucial when remote since the same cues that a candidate uses to show he or she has answered a question arent often available during a video interview.
Additionally, Walden says its important to realize that you wont be communicating as freely via video as you would in person. There are subtle gestures we do in person and a certain presence we carry that doesnt translate to a camera, she says. Because of this, your tone can easily be misconstrued. Choose your words even more carefully, and keep jokes to a minimum. The last thing you want is for a prospective hire to interpret in a way you didnt intend.
Prepare A Compelling Culture Pitch To Deliver During The Online Interview
Usually, candidates can get a feel for your culture and working environment when they come into the office for a face-to-face interview. But in the times of virtual interviews, their only experience of your business is with one or two members of staff. As a result, they dont get to experience the office space or meet the colleagues they could be working with.
To showcase your culture, spend some time preparing materials that demonstrate your company mission, your values and what it is like to work there. Share employee insights and links to your company social media channels that exemplify the spirit of your business.
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Reach Out To Global Talent
If you hire only locally, you risk missing out on great candidates. With video interviews, you can connect with remote employees and with people from different regions who are thinking to relocate. You can also overcome the barriers of different time zones, as one-way video interviews allow candidates and interviewers to answer questions and review recordings at their own convenience.
How To Overcome 4 Common Challenges Of Virtual Investigation Interviews
Connecting over video is tough, so emulate a face-to-face interview as best you can for a secure, effective and pleasant experience
When youre conducting virtual investigation interviews, its always about the interview subject, and they have information that you need,says employment attorney Allison West.
They have to discuss a sensitive subject from their safe space, their home. They might be using video calling technology for the first time. As an investigator, its your duty to make them feel comfortable so you can gather their valuable insights. Use these tips to ensure your video interviews are smooth and effective.
Can you spot deception from an interviewee?
Detecting deception is challenging in any investigation interview, but especially when you arent in the same room as your subject. Download our free eBook to learn about the signs of deception and how to hone your detection skills.
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How To Be Successful In Your Next Remote Interview
In efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19, many companies have adapted to remote work by leveraging video systems like Zoom to connect virtually with their employees. Employers, who are still actively hiring, like, are opting for virtual interactions to take the place of in-person job interviews. This shift in the career marketplace has changed the way we conduct our professional lives and hiring processes. So what’s a virtual interview? If you’ve never experienced a virtual interview before, a virtual interview is an interview that takes place remotely, often using technology like video conferencing.
Although the interviewer’s questions are likely to be similar to ones posed in an in-person interview, there will be differences between interviewing in-person versus interviewing virtually. For prospective employees, trying to make a pitch about their career qualifications and sharing their brand narrative via video conferencing software, such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, can feel a bit overwhelming.
Remote interviews for jobs are becoming very common, especially in todayâs tech-centric world. While many people prefer in-person interviews, remote interviews â usually held over a video call on a software platform like Zoom â are convenient for both hiring managers and candidates, and are sometimes necessary because of a candidateâs location or social distancing concerns.
Prepare Your Video Interview Questions Ahead Of Time
As with any interview, dont try to wing it. Its important to have the interview questionsyoud like to ask planned ahead of time. Have those questions in front of you to help keep the interview on track and ensure all your questions get answered.
During the video interview, consider starting with some icebreaker questions to help put the candidate at ease. Keep in mind that video interviews can be just as unusual for the job seeker as they are for you.
From there, you can move on to asking more in-depth interview questions. For example, you might ask some general questions about the candidates skills and prior work history, as well as a few behavioral-based interview questions that delve deeper into the way the job seeker has used critical skills in past positions.
Patel also recommends having an intro script prepared to help you start the interview off on the right note. Write down a few lines so that you can speak almost verbatim when the video interview starts, he says. This ensures a smooth start and that the optics are good.
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Ensure You Have A Fast Reliable Internet Connection
If a tree falls in the woods, does anyone hear it? If a new scientific breakthrough is shared on a crummy connection, is it still brilliant?
A poor connection means you risk unclear audio on the call, which is a real deal breaker. No matter what excellent preparation you do for the call, if your interviewers canât hear you or if your video freezes, youâre cooked.
In case youâre curious about your internet speed, sites like Speedtest are great for measuring your bandwidth. Itâs also a good idea to close out of any other programs that might be slowing down your computer or hogging data before your interview starts.
Communicate Intent To Record
Take advantage of the features in virtual interviewing technology, such as recording calls, but inform participants of your intent. Recording a video call can be an effective tool in narrowing down candidates after their interviews. Although Canadian law only requires one persons consent to record phone calls, it is courteous to inform the other party that the call is being recorded.
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Remember Your Body Language
As mentioned previously, it might be happening virtually, but this is still a job interviewwhich means you need to behave professionally.
Sit up straight. Make eye contact by looking directly at your camera. Dont get distracted by emails or social media notifications.
Remember, this person can still see you, which means your body language does matter. Plus, candidates will likely follow whatever example you set. So, the more professional you are, the more professional theyll be.
Line Up The Necessary Technology And Give It A Test Run
If you havent used videoconferencing tools before, dont worry. There are a lot of reliable options on the market: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Cisco Webex Meetings, and are some of the most widely used platforms.
To minimize technical hiccups and maximize candidate experience, do a video test run before your interviews. And remember that even if youve done video interviews from the office, its different if and when you do them from your couch or kitchen table.
Make sure your signal strength is adequate and the camera and microphone both work and are set up so the candidate can easily see and hear you. If you plan on sharing your screen, try that feature and make sure you can use it effortlessly by the time of the actual interview.
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Be Every Bit As Professional And Personable As You Would Be For An Onsite Interview
Its important to signal to candidates that the video interview theyre about to have is every bit as important and serious as an in-person interview would be. So, dress appropriately and bring your A game. Make sure the ringer is turned off on your phone as are the notifications on your email and instant messaging platform.
Once the interview starts, remember to smile. Make and sustain eye contact. Speak clearly. Nod when the candidate talks to show that youre tracking.
And take notes not only about what the candidate says and how they behave but about the process. Jot down reminders about what is working and what is not.
While you want to be as professional as you would be in any setting, also be forgiving of your candidate if life interrupts the interview. If the dog barks or the phone rings, candidates should not be penalized. Life is hard to contain, particularly when spouses and partners may be working from home too and children may not yet have returned to school.
How To Conduct A Virtual Interview With Eztalks Cloud Meeting
ezTalks Cloud Meeting is one of the best software that allows the businesses to host virtual interviews comfortably and conveniently with the candidates of their choice,regardless of their location.
Steps to do a good virtual interview:
First of all,download the application of this software on your device and register for its free or paid version.
Then click on Start Meeting to get into the virtual interview room to start inviting the candidates by sending them room ID or email address through email.
You can start taking the virtual interview as your invitation is accepted by the candidate. If there are many candidates,then you can also use this software to schedule the date and time for their virtual interview so that each one of them can attend the interview as per schedule.
In this way,ezTalks Cloud Meeting can help in conducting a virtual interview without asking the candidates to travel long distances to appear,unlike traditional interviews. This interview will save time as well as money spent in reaching the location of interview along with preparing a room suitable for an interview. Virtual interview through video conferencing software also allows the interviewer to study the personality of the candidates which was not possible in telephonic interviews.
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Communicate What To Prepare
When scheduling an interview via email, provide all the information the individual may require. If there is a pre-interview task, such as a quiz or an assignment, communicate to whom it needs to be sent and if it will be discussed during the interview. If you plan on using a video conferencing tool, inform the applicant which platform will be used and if there are any specific technical requirements. It can also be helpful to provide the names and positions of the individuals with whom the candidate will be speaking so they can prepare accordingly.
Stay Focused And Visibly Engaged
One way to show your interviewer that youre motivated and engaged is by practicing active listening. Consider nodding your head to give affirmations of understanding while they talk, and asking clarifying questions when necessary. Also, take hand-written notes! Keep a notebook nearby so that you can jot down questions or key takeaways from the interview without having to disrupt the flow of the conversation with loud typing.
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Preparation Is Crucial For A Smooth Virtual Interview
Like any interview, making sure you have fully prepared ahead of time is crucial. Check over a candidates CV, research the candidates, review precisely what skills and experience youre looking for, prepare relevant questions and discuss the role ahead of time with their line manager.
Give your candidates sufficient time to prepare too. This means that everybody will come to the virtual interview as at ease as possible and will present their best self.
Your Interview Will Seem Less Personal
Another potential drawback to consider is thateven though youre interacting via videovirtual interviews still arent as personal as in-person sit-downs.
You dont have the opportunity to shake hands or to pick up on any other nonverbal cues that might be happening below the shoulders.
Make no mistake, a virtual interview can tell you a lot . But, it will never be revealing as meeting that person face-to-face.
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Tip : Do Your Homework
Prepare for the job interview exactly as you would when meeting the hiring manager in person.
It might be tempting to search the web for answers mid-interview. But if youre seen to be clicking around, it might give the impression that youre not focused on the interviewer.
Be ready to answer any common interview questions without needing to use the internet.