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How To Conduct Virtual Interviews

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Your Candidates Might Be Nervous

Chamber@Home – How to Conduct Virtual Interviews

Alright, so candidates are probably going to be nervous whether that interview is happening via phone, video, or in-person. The hiring process itself is nerve-wracking.

But, the element of being on camera so to speak introduces a lot of different anxieties for people. Candidates might not present themselves as well on video as they would if you met in-person.

What Are Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews are screenings that happen via video conferencing software such as Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Google Meet. Sometimes, these interviews involve supplementary tasks such as practice assignments, online assessments, and virtual shadowing. Typically, all rounds of the virtual interview happen online, though occasionally candidates will have to travel for an in-person interview in the final rounds.

You Can Take Your Phone Screenings To The Next Level

Perhaps you arent considering replacing all of your in-person interviews with virtual ones. Instead, youre just looking for an alternative to the dreaded phone screenings.

Sure, phone screenings are a decent starting point to weed out candidates who simply arent qualified.

But, when it comes to giving you greater insight into a candidate, its tough to learn too much beyond whether or not they meet the basic requirements.

This is why more and more companies are forgoing those phone screenings of the past and using virtual video interviews instead.

When its estimated that 55% of communication is body language, using virtual interviews as the first step in the hiring process is enabling hiring managers to get a better sense of what candidates bring to the tableand, as a result, create a much stronger shortlist for second-round interviews.

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Tip : Project A Positive Attitude

Promoting a positive attitude is paramount for showing that you can fit into a companys culture.

Avoid speaking negatively about your past employers or any of the less exciting aspects of your previous jobs. The interviewer will already know youre leaving for a reason, so theres no need to be overly negative.

If you have any genuine good feelings about your current or previous position, speak openly about these. This will show respect and reflect your enthusiasm for work.

How To Be Successful In Your Next Remote Interview

How to Conduct a Virtual 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 todays tech-centric world. While many people prefer in-person interviews, remote interviews usually held over a video call on a software platform like Zoom are convenient for both hiring managers and candidates, and are sometimes necessary because of a candidates location or social distancing concerns.

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Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

  • Posted onMay 26, 2021

Youve conducted hundreds of face-to-face interviews in the past. A virtual interview simply involves doing the same thing but through a screen, right?

Not quite. Virtual interviews have a unique set of benefits and challenges. Conducting virtual interviews incorrectly can make them seem like a poor alternative to in-person interviews, but getting them right can lead to efficiency gains, reduced bias, and excellent hiring outcomes.

In this article we explore the following topics and share some virtual interview best practices for hiring managers, recruiters, and other interviewers:

Conduct Research On Candidates

Researching candidates is standard interview practice, and you should not skip this step in virtual interviews. Many online applications have fields for LinkedIn profiles, personal websites and portfolios, and Twitter or Instagram pages. Be sure to peruse the profiles and applications well before the interview, and give yourself a refresher before the call.

Another good idea is connecting on platforms like LinkedIn, whether by adding the candidate as a connection or encouraging them to follow the page. Even if you pass on the applicant for the current position, forging an ongoing online relationship can help you fill your recruiting pipeline for the future.

Most importantly, pull up the correct resume and application materials before the call starts. Having the resume on hand will help the interview flow more smoothly and will show that youve done your homework.

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Create A Proper Backdrop

The color of your backdrop is also important. Sometimes it can help to determine what to wear for a video meeting. Its a good idea to sit in front of a blank background to always remain the focal point. If there are no empty walls in your home office, set up in your living room for example, finding the most businesslike place in it.

Make sure your space is clean before embarking on a video call. The more complex the background, the harder it is to convince a person of how organized and detail-oriented you are. Finally, do not forget to check your lighting. The best way not to appear washed out is to keep the light in front of you, so try to find a place near a window.

Set Your Candidates Up For Success

Video Interview Tips for Virtual Interviews: How to Prepare Yourself

One client recently completed a successful job hunt that culminated in multiple offers. The company she chose distinguished itself in several ways, including its interview process. Each time she interviewed with someone, she received a detailed schedule with links to their bio. What was most impressive is that before the interview, they sent me a how to prepare for a virtual interview sheet, she told me. This included guidance on changing your Zoom background and how to troubleshoot. It really gave me the sense that they wanted me to do well and that they were rooting for me. Now that Im in the company, I understand that they send this out to every single candidate in order to create a more equitable process and give everyone a leg up.

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Easily Schedule And Join Meetings

As a recruiter, its important to stay organized while you are hosting numerous interviews a day. Leverage scheduling integrations with , Outlook, and Calendly when setting up a Zoom Meeting. These plugins allow you to easily schedule and start your meetings so you and your interviewee can join without any problems.

For more ways to simplify scheduling and joining meetings right from your calendar, check out the full list of scheduling integrations offered on the Zoom App Marketplace.

Prepare Your Space For A Virtual Job Interview

While you dont need to have a dedicated space for the virtual job interview, you do need to make sure that the space you are using shows off your best side and reflects your personality. This means finding, or creating, a spot that is clean and uncluttered. You can then dress the space to create a lasting impression. For instance, if you have a hobby thats relevant to the position youre interviewing for, you might discreetly place evidence of this in view. You could even go the extra mile and use XSplit VCam to create a background that relates to your work or interests. How about a virtual conference room to demonstrate your professional outlook, or producing your own bespoke image to showcase your creativity?

You also want to make sure the interviewer can see you clearly. Light yourself from the front to avoid displaying as a faceless silhouette. If you have pale or plain walls, you can soften their effect by lighting them with lamps rather than overhead lights. Try to use cool as opposed to warm lighting, as this will give a cleaner, brighter look.

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Position Yourself In A Well

It’s essential to choose a quiet, well-lit, neutral, and clean space to conduct your interview, especially if you’re taking the virtual interview from home to limit distractions. Unlike interviewing in the office or a public space, virtual interviews provide an intimate glimpse into your personal life. Be sure to give a great first impression by keeping your area clean and limit any interruptions from family members, pets, partners, and roommates.

Dont plan to have your remote interview just anywhere. Its important to choose a location that is free of distractions and noises when participating in a video interview, as these interruptions can leave an interviewer with a negative impression of you. Take stock of your space and choose a location that is far from potential noises and distractions, such as a ringing doorbell, a childs room, or near a TV that could be turned on. And if you can select a room with a door, make a sign to hang on the door that asks not to be disturbed.

Set A Process For How Interviews Will Be Run And Communicate Clearly And Thoroughly With Your Teammates And Candidates

How To Conduct A Virtual Interview

As your policies and procedures gel while you draft your return-to-office plans, make sure you and your talent acquisition teammates are all on the same page about how youre going to conduct interviews moving forward when will they be in-person and when will they be done remotely.

One of the most sizable challenges when going remote, says Darren Murph, head of remote at GitLab, which is 100% remote, is keeping everyone in the loop in an efficient way. Put concerted effort around systematically documenting important process changes in a central place to minimize confusion and dysfunction.

After LinkedIn announced that all of our job interviews would go virtual at the beginning of the pandemic, our talent acquisition team created a shared document where team members from around the world could post questions about the interview process and leadership could post answers and share links to resources.

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Adapting Your Interview To A Remote Virtual Format

While the previous section covers some best practices for interviews more generally, in light of recent events, many companies have had to transition to virtual interviews.

In fact, a recent survey found that 86% of companies are using video conferencing software to conduct interviews. While these programs are beneficial in that they allow companies to adapt to unforeseen changes, they still pose several challenges for the interview process.

Here is a list of ways to help ensure your online interviews approximate the success of your in-person ones as closely as possible.

Getting The Most Out Of A Virtual Interview

Typically, most of an interview is spent attempting to determine if a candidate has the skills required to do the job.

Get more out of your interview time by pinpointing top performers before the interview by using a skills assessment. This will give you the confidence that all shortlisted interviewees have the skills required. It will also free up the interview time to focus on other issues such as cultural fit, telling the candidate about the workplace culture, or determining what the candidate can bring to the team.

While it can be easy to get sidetracked, be sure to stick to standardized interview questions to make sure everything is covered and to reduce bias.

Use the tools and functionality available to you. For example, some virtual interviewing platforms have functionality including automated subtitles , automated note-taking, screen-sharing, and more.

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Conducting A Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews, including telephone interviews, can be an effective method of assessing a candidates competencies as they relate to the position for which they are being considered. As a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak, managers are encouraged to follow best practices when scheduling virtual interviews in place of in-person interviews.

Tips To Help Conduct Virtual Interviews

Virtual Interviewing Tips for Hiring Managers

As more businesses try to move procedures online due the increase of remote employees during the pandemic, one part of the hiring process that is almost always done face-to-face is the interview. But with the right tools and guidance, virtual interviews can be done successfully. isolved, our human capital management partner, offers this advice when interviewing online for the first time.

Its indisputable that virtual interviews are helpful during the novel coronavirus outbreak, but they are also excellent standbys during normal times as well.

Theyre a go-to method for conducting interviews for long-distance candidates who may move to accept a position or who are applying for remote work. Additionally, they allow both parties to carry out the conversation in comfortable settings.

Here, well answer some common questions that companies have about virtual interviews:

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Make Sure The Virtual Interview Is Distraction

Whether you are conducting an interview from home or in the office, ensure the room you choose is free of distractions, be it people or pets milling around in the background or loud noises from elsewhere on the property.

While many of us continue to work from home, you wont be able to obliterate every distraction. For example, you really cannot help the construction noise from your neighbours extension, dogs barking outside, or a siren blaring past but do what you can to minimise anything that will distract you or your candidate during the virtual interview.

Try to keep your background as neutral as possible a blank wall works well and steady your laptop and webcam on a flat surface.

Turn off your notifications, silence your phone and close your email for the duration of the interview to avoid any unwanted distractions.

Test Your Technology Beforehand

A virtual interview requires tools like a camera and microphone on your computer, a software program and a reliable internet connection. At least a day before your virtual interview, check all of your technology to ensure it works effectively and can be used to communicate effectively. That means having a functional computer that meets technical specifications, downloading any necessary software and ensuring the connection is strong enough to sustain streaming video.

In the 15 to 30 minutes before your interview, check your internet connection and sign in to the video or phone meeting provided by the HR representative or hiring manager. Turn on the sound and video to ensure everything is in working order in time for your conversation.

If you need a cost-effective option for connecting to the internet at home, consider Comcasts Internet Essentials package for $9.95 per month plus tax.

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Practice Some Basic Virtual Interview Etiquette

Yes, your interviewees are not likely far from their computer screens or even phones at any point during the day, but its good practice to give them enough time to prepare. Arrange an interview at least 24 hours in advance, and give them some guidance for example how long you expect to take, who theyll be talking to and what they can expect, broadly.

The interviewees will undoubtedly be taking the time to dress well and set up their cameras properly. Show the same courtesy by making sure that your audio and video are clear, and that your background is neutral and not distracting in any way. Make sure you wont be disturbed for the duration of the interview candidates can be thrown by an interviewer who interrupts the discussion to take a call or answer a message.

Make sure to send a formal invitation by email beforehand and take a few moments to test your connection before starting factor in a little more time for any technical difficulties.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Best Practices for Conducting Virtual Interviews

For both interviewer and the interviewee, its important to look and sound your best for all your meetings. Follow these preparation pointers to look professional and polished while joining interviews:

Interview preparation checklist:

  • Test your video and audio.
  • Try to join your meeting in a private and quiet space.
  • Wear a headset to help reduce background noise and leverage the background noise suppression feature.
  • Use the virtual background or blurred background feature to keep your space looking professional and clean.
  • Close your web browser tabs and pause notifications so youre not tempted to check email or acknowledge any disruptions.
  • Silence your phone and other devices.
  • Join your meeting a few minutes early to make sure your meeting link works and give yourself time to troubleshoot any possible issues.

New to Zoom? Check out this blog to learn what it takes to set your meetings up for success.

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Tip : Find A Quiet Location With Minimal Distractions

The interviewer is there to see and listen to you, so dont give them any chances to be distracted by anything in the background!

If you don’t have access to a dedicated office space you can still adapt.

Set yourself up in a room with good lighting so that you can be seen clearly on the computer screen.

Sitting in front of a blank wall will guarantee that youre the main point of the conversation. Some interview platforms give the option to choose an alternative background or blur yours out.

While potential employers wont judge you based on what your home looks like, it will be harder to convince them you have great organisational skills if you present yourself in an untidy corner of the room.

During your interview, you probably wont have many opportunities to mute your microphone as youll be answering a lot of questions.

Though its not always possible to limit distractions and remove external noises entirely, there are some steps you can take to ensure your room is as quiet as possible.

If you live with family members or roommates, let them know whats happening so they dont interrupt in the middle of your interview, or make any unnecessary noise. Its also a good idea to close windows to eliminate noises from outside, such as traffic or barking dogs.

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