As 2022 marches forward, we’re seeing record numbers of remote positions. The percentage of remote jobs is up 12% from 2020 to 2021, and it’s likely to increase as this year progresses.
Whether your company is fully remote or not, there may be instances where remote interviews are more appropriate. Conducting virtual interviews is entirely different, but getting it right is just as important as ever.
We’ll discuss 8 of the most practical remote interview tips your company can try today.
Tip 1: Constantly Reevaluate Your Remote Interview Technology
Since 2020 forced almost all of us to go remote, you’ve probably figured out what tech stack works best for your company. Conducting remote interviews the right way means using video conferencing software that works for your interview process. Is your current tech setup working, or could it be better? Reevaluate this regularly.
You can always use the basics such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, or Cisco’s WebEx to hold remote interviews. However, consider a different option if your company wants more dedicated software with functionalities such as embedded evaluation forms, easier interview recording, or tech that better integrates with your ATS.
Tip 2: Test All Your Technology Well in Advance
Once you’ve picked the best tech for your remote interviews, it’s time to make sure it works.
One common mistake is attempting to test your tools a few minutes before the interview; avoid doing this, as you won’t have time to address problems. Even the best software has issues sometimes, so you want to log on and test all your tools 30 to 60 minutes before the interview.
During your trial run, you should:
- Check your internet connection
- Test your microphone
- Test your camera
- Open up your software and make sure it’s running
Tip 3: Set Expectations Ahead of Time
You want to set candidates up for success during remote interviews. Doing this means setting clear expectations in advance. This includes:
- Telling candidates the names and titles of everyone they’ll be interviewing with.
- Providing an agenda.
- Telling candidates which software you’ll be using so they can download it and get familiar. You can also provide them with a basic troubleshooting guide based on your experience interviewing other candidates.
- Giving any take-home assignments well in advance with clear instructions.
- Sending an email with all these details, including the date & time of the interview. You can even create a calendar event for this and set a reminder. 54% of candidates highly value being able to schedule at a convenient time, so make sure you’re flexible.
Want some additional remote interview tips? Here’s one. 49% of candidates feel it would be valuable to have a video interview with an executive at your company during the interview process. Consider adding that to the schedule.
Tip 4: Know the Proper Etiquette
Hosting remote interviews may be slightly more formal than your traditional video meeting. One of our most crucial remote interview tips is to make sure you know the proper etiquette for conducting this interview style. Here’s all the etiquette you need to know:
- Maintain eye contact by looking into the camera. It’s tempting to stare at your screen, but you’re less connected that way.
- Have proper body language: sit up, be alert, maintain eye contact, and avoid spinning around in your chair or fidgeting.
- Dress professionally to make a great impression. Consider using neutral colors, as bright ones may distract the candidate.
- Use a professional background. Go for something tidy and not distracting. You can find backgrounds online as needed.
- Use proper lighting. This can include sitting in front of a window or using a ring light.
- Speak slower than you would otherwise. It can be harder to hear during remote interviews, or your connection may cut out. Talking slowly gives your interviewee a chance to take it all in.
- Smile and be positive. Interviews of any kind are scary, and it’s harder to convey your enthusiasm through the screen. Smile often and be as upbeat as you can.
Tip 5: Make Sure Your Remote Interviews are Structured
As with any formal process, your process for conducting remote interviews should be structured. It should also be standardized so that all candidates have the same experience.
Your structure could go something like this:
Phase 1: Introductions
Introduce who you are, what you do, and how the interview will go. Ask the candidate to state a little about themselves. Start with a bit of small talk; ask an engaging question: “what did you do this weekend?” or “what’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?” All of this is to get the candidate as comfortable as possible.
Phase 2: Ask your remote interview questions
Your remote interview questions should be thought of in advance and given to all candidates. These can include questions about work history, most significant successes and failures, behavioral questions, etc.
Phase 3: Wrapping up
Finally, wrap up the interview and give candidates the chance to ask their own remote interview questions. Do they ask insightful questions that can’t be figured out through basic internet research? Thank the candidate for their time and provide a timeline for what’s to happen next. Never ghost a candidate! Even if they won’t get the job, let them know and offer feedback.
Tip 6: Silence All Distractions
Video meetings are exhausting and require more concentration. For remote interviews, you need to prioritize paying close attention.
During regular meetings at work, it’s tempting to check your phone, go through Slack, or attempt to multitask if you aren’t speaking. Silence all notifications and turn off your phone. 110% of your focus should be on the candidate during remote interviews.
Roughly 55% of communication is nonverbal, while only around 10% of communication is the words spoken. Being distracted means you’ll miss the most critical communication points that can offer insight into the candidate.
Tip 7: Don’t Do Back-to-Back Interviews
Video calls are exhausting enough. Avoid conducting back-to-back interviews, as these can leave you drained and flustered.
Leave at least 10 to 15 minutes between interviews to jot down final thoughts, take a quick break, and prepare for the interview to come. You want to be the best version of yourself for each of your remote interviews.
Tip 8: Ask Remote-Work-Oriented Questions
Considering there are many benefits to flexible work, is your company planning on maintaining a remote or hybrid model?
If you are, you’ll want to use these remote interviews to ask questions pertaining to your work model. Ask them questions such as, “what was your biggest video call fail? How did you handle it?” or “while working remotely, what are some distractions that come up? How do you deal with them?”
You can also directly assess how candidates handle distractions that come with remote calls. What happens when the dog starts barking or someone bursts into the room? Does the candidate get flustered, or do they handle it with ease? This gives you direct insight into how they handle working remotely.
Need Help Finding Candidates?
America’s labor shortage hasn’t made hiring easy. If you’re looking to find the perfect senior-level candidate for your company, Jennings Executive can help. We have over two decades of combined experience matching outstanding candidates with outstanding companies. Learn more today!
We hope these tips help you conduct excellent remote interviews and make hiring that much easier.