Remote or remote-enabled teams are a growing trend in the modern workplace. This trend has brought new and unique challenges to companies when it comes to finding and retaining talent.
According to a study by Flexjobs, over half of U.S. respondents consider telecommuting options at one time or another during their careers. As more people discover the advantages of being able to work from anywhere with an internet connection, this number is anticipated to rise continuously.
Companies that have established remote work programs have found that the interview process is just as important. It’s essential for the candidate to feel like they can communicate well with the interviewer, regardless of whether it’s over video chat or in person.
It’s also important for recruiters and hiring managers to understand how to effectively handle these interviews. But can you really conduct a good interview over the phone or video chat? If so, how do you make sure that your interviews are as effective as possible?
Here are some best practices for conducting effective remote interviews:
It’s all about preparation
Before you even begin your interview process, be certain you’re prepared. You’ll want to clearly understand what the position entails, who you’re interviewing, and why they’re a good fit for the job.
If this isn’t already clearly defined in your company’s hiring process, take time to figure it out ahead of time so that when it comes time to interview candidates, everyone on your team knows exactly what they’re looking for.
Do your homework on your candidates beforehand. Before you conduct an interview with an applicant, take time to review their resume and cover letter in advance so that when they come on screen during their interview, you’ll already be familiar with their experience and qualifications.
This will also help ensure that your questions are relevant and on point throughout the entire interview process.
Connect with the candidates beforehand
Send an email with instructions and information about how to prepare for the call. Include any materials or resources that will help them prepare for the interview.
Be sure to set expectations. Ensure everyone knows what type of call it will be and how long it will last. Also, inform them if there are any technical requirements they need to participate in the call, such as a webcam or microphone on their end.
Create a professional virtual meeting space
When interviewing via phone or video, creating a professional meeting space is important. Don’t administer the interview from bed, in your pajamas, or on your couch. You should have a quiet room where you can focus on your candidate without distractions.
With virtual office platforms oVice, you can set up an interactive meeting room that offers everything you need to conduct a successful remote interview. The virtual office platform offers high-quality video conferencing, which is essential when talking to potential employees who are not physically present next to you.
oVice also allows users to share their screens. With this feature, both parties can see each other’s computers while talking — including any videos, presentations, or documents being shared during their discussion. This helps ensure that you and the candidate are on the same page.
Set a structure for the interview
Setting a structure for the interview is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind when conducting remote interviews. You don’t want a conversation to wander aimlessly.
In remote interviews, it can be difficult to establish a sense of authority and control over the conversation. But if you set out at the beginning what your goals are, and confirm that both parties understand those goals, then you’ll have a much more productive conversation.
Try to start by asking the candidate their goals and how they see their role in relation to the position they’re applying for. This will help them get into the right mindset, so they know exactly what’s expected of them during this process and how they can best contribute to ensuring everyone gets what they need from this interaction.
Prepare for technical issues
Sometimes the best-laid plans go awry—and that includes remote interviews. Several things could go wrong in a remote interview—including issues with the camera, the microphone, your Internet connection, or the audio/video quality of the connection between you and the interviewee.
Test out all of your technology beforehand so that nothing will surprise you when conducting a remote interview. Make certain that you have a microphone, speakers, and webcam set up correctly before you start the interview.
It’s beneficial to have a backup plan in place if you’re conducting remote interviews. Be sure all parties involved know how they can reach you if something happens during the call or video chat session.
Perfect your tone of voice
Your voice is how you connect with people. See to it that you’re using a friendly and open tone. You want to sound warm and inviting to the person on the other end of the line, not just like someone reading from a script.
The way you speak to a candidate can have a big impact on how they feel about you, their comfort level, and their willingness to accept or reject your offer.
Redirect with compassion
It’s easy to feel annoyed when someone has a hard time focusing on what you are saying, but remember that this person is nervous about this interview, just like you were when you first started interviewing for jobs.
Be patient and understanding. Redirect when the candidate starts talking about something else other than what you asked or expected. It is okay if they need to go off-topic once or twice during the interview.
People tend to do this when they get comfortable with someone but make sure they come back on the topic at some point so that you can gain insight into their skillset or personality traits.
Integration of technology and human
Technology can help us communicate with others in ways we never dreamed of before, but the human element makes the difference between a good interview and a bad one. The same applies to remote interviews.
With the right tech, preparation, and attitude, conducting a remote interview can be just as effective as an in-person one. oVice, for one, helps introduce candidates to the company by inviting them to a virtual office space where they can connect with the recruiter and the rest of the team.
The post is written by Jen Ongkit from Veed.io – a straightforward, easy-to-use video editor for individuals and teams.