Today, many managers are asking how to select effective employees online? Are all employees able to work remotely? What methods of assessing a candidate’s competencies should be used during a remote interview?
The online interview format has several advantages, primarily allowing you to save time and money. At the same time, the quality of the interview is affected by interruptions on the Internet, disconnection at the most inappropriate place for a conversation, a blurry image, and delayed sound or video.
All this affects communication and the psychological state of the interlocutors. Recently, this option has been used more and more often. According to research, 84% of recruiters have switched from traditional recruiting methods to completely remote ones. How to prepare for online interviews, and what are the secrets you should definitely know features?
Prepare for the interview in advance
A successful online interview requires careful preparation. It is vital to prepare the technical part, to ensure that the candidate knows how to use the program with which the interview will be conducted.
Sometimes it is helpful to send detailed instructions on connecting to a meeting and what to do in case of problems. You also need to prepare a list of essential questions, pre-employment suitability test and other screening procedures in advance. Since there are more distractions during an online interview, something can be missed.
Learn a little more about your remote candidate
Before scheduling a remote interview, the recruiter needs to carefully review the candidate’s resume and cover letter. At the same time, it is not at all necessary to know the life history of your interlocutor, only the most essential information. In this way, you will be able to compose more appropriate questions by getting to know the candidate and his biography in more detail.
Set interview time
After you have assessed the candidate for compliance with the formal requirements, presented the vacancy, understood the candidate’s interest and answered his primary questions in an introductory conversation, you need to schedule an online meeting.
As with a face-to-face interview, the online interview must take place at the agreed time. This is the first unpleasant marker if the candidate does not get in touch on time without valid circumstances. Studies have shown that 84% of candidates schedule an interview within 24 hours of receiving an invitation. Also, give advance notice that you will need to turn on the camera (unless it is a pre-interview by phone).
Share preliminary information
For the candidate to feel more prepared during the online interview, it is necessary to provide the names of the interviewers, the duration of the interview, and the general plan of the meeting: agendas, interactive components and skills tests.
Set up and test equipment
Checking technical tools is one of the most important aspects of preparing for an online interview. You need the latest tools such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or any other communication tools. Research has shown that 60% of hiring managers use video interviews in their hiring process.
If you do not use the communication method you agreed on for an online meeting every day, it is better to test it in advance – on the eve of the call and another 15 minutes before it, to have time to fix the problems, if any. Send the candidate a Google Meet or Zoom link at least 30 minutes before the interview. Most of these programs allow for both individual and group interviews.
Conduct a test run of the equipment, checking the camera, microphone, and other built-in equipment. If you are unfamiliar with the program used for the call, try to understand it beforehand. It’s better than rushing through a call or calling someone for help in the middle of a conversation.
Turn off colleagues’ third-party notifications, so they do not bother you during the interview. Interrupting calls, and answering colleagues, is regarded as unprofessional and disrespectful of the candidate’s time.
Provide a professional look and space
Choose a location for the online interview. You need to sit, so the light does not blind the camera. There is no echo, extraneous sounds, vibrations, or interference. A separate office with good insulation and a stable Internet connection is ideal. If you call from home, warn your loved ones that you cannot be disturbed at a specific time interval, and you need silence (everyday background sounds distract and spoil the impression).
Many popular online meeting software has settings that allow you to set a virtual background or blur your real background so that you can’t see details. Since you have an official meeting (albeit online), pajamas and other home clothes are unacceptable.
Even though the interview, which is conducted online, allows for some democracy, in the eyes of the applicant, it is better to look neat and businesslike, thus emphasizing that you represent a truly reputable employer.
Build a standardized process
The selection and interview process can become too complex without any standardization, primarily if you deal with dozens of candidates. You can be sure that you are avoiding any potential biases and correctly evaluating candidates if you have previously simplified processes with a streamlined screening process and formulated plan.
Organize your questions
You should collect a list of questions in advance. Reanalyze the resume and, if possible, review the candidate’s information on LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media. If you see inconsistencies, be sure to include them in the list of questions. Think of the interview part that will be dedicated to salary negotiation. To create a complete system of expectations and measurable results, it is also better to create a scheme that considers the candidates’ answers and additional questions.
Build a rating system
It will be helpful for the HR manager to rank candidates based on interview results and their qualifications as the interview progresses. In the future, this will help seed candidates with lower scores and consider interviewing the remaining candidates with the highest rankings.
For instance, even no-tech web3 jobs still require a deep understanding of the technologies. Therefore, even all screening procedures and initial interviews should take that into account.
Request for a feedback
For both parties, the interview process can also be educational. Managers can not only leave their feedback about candidates but also request feedback from them. This can help you better prepare for future interviews. Feedback can be requested in the form of an email or by asking the candidate a few questions at the end of the interview.
Establish a personal connection
According to research, 67% of recruiters believe eye contact is critical to making a good impression. During an online interview, it is vital to show that you are friendly to the applicant and listen to him carefully. Smile, speak calmly, and clarify any points that arouse your interest.
Pay considerable attention to the motivation of the applicant. If the candidate cannot explain it or resorts to too general phrases, take a closer look. Never interrupt during a conversation without a good reason. It is better to make a note and ask a clarifying question after a complete answer. After the interview, be sure to say in what timeframe the answer on the candidacy will be given. Remember to notify the applicant even in case of refusal.
The conversation must go both ways
The entire interview process should not look like only the manager bombards the candidate with questions. Candidates and managers need to understand how they can integrate into the company and the team.
It is essential that candidates also have the opportunity to ask questions of interest to them. Thus they can receive information that will later help them decide whether they are suitable for the company and vice versa. To ensure mutual understanding, a good match is vital. In such a conversation, candidates and the manager will get to know each other better during the interview process.
Tell about the culture and values of company
To interest and retain talented and qualified candidates for fastly developing and highly-competitive sphere like cybersecurity jobs, it is necessary to offer something more than just a job. Tell candidates about the overall vision of the business, thereby motivating them to join your company.
Also explain what attracts other qualified employees and what it means to work for your company. Highlight key components to define the company’s identity, such as:
- mission statement
- internal culture
- marketing positioning and branding
Without exaggeration, describe the company’s experience, hone in on the key factors, and highlight the positive aspects that distinguish your employer’s business.
During the interview process, it is crucial, to be frank about what you plan to improve in the company and ask candidates what they expect from the company. Also, one way to communicate to candidates about the values and culture of the company is to include them in the job description of the job posting.
The main task of an online interview is to replace a face-to-face meeting with it. Research has shown that 82% of hiring managers use virtual interviews today. The recruiter must understand how the candidate is suitable for the open vacancy and how well he will fit into the team.
The scenario for conducting a remote interview is similar to an offline interview. But it requires more careful preparation. You also need to prepare a short story and presentation of the company. A well-planned interview will help not only to get to know the candidate and conduct testing but also to simplify the whole procedure in general.