How to conduct virtual interviews

Tuesday July 28th, 2020

Extract: Virtual interviews are beneficial during many situations, including our current situation. Here are answers to common questions companies have when trying this technique out for the first time.

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

They’re 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, we’ll answer some common questions that companies have about virtual interviews:

1. What technology do we need for virtual interviews?

The two basic requirements for virtual interviews are an internet connection and a video conferencing platform. 

You likely already have the former. For the latter, you have plenty of options. Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are common platforms. 

Test the platform out ahead of time to become familiar with it. Troubleshoot any problems you encounter ahead of time so you can begin the interview without hassle.

2. How do I prepare interviewers for virtual interviews?

Here are some tips for preparing to conduct a worthwhile interview:

Let interviewers ask questions 

Be sure all interviewers have the opportunity to voice concerns and questions. Consider creating a forum where people can post questions and read answers.

Practice your company culture pitch

Often, company culture pitches during in-person interviews involve a tour of the office and meeting employees face-to-face.

You may have to be a bit more creative in explaining the culture during a virtual interview. LinkedIn suggested collecting visuals you can show the candidate, including photos, social media posts and employee testimonials.

Plan questions for the interviewee

In many ways, virtual interviews are no different than in-person interviews. Prepare questions ahead of time to ensure the candidate is a good fit for the position and the team.

If you’ll have multiple interviewers on the call, assign specific areas of competency that each should focus on, Glassdoor recommended. This allows each interviewer to plan questions that will not overlap with others. Assign each interviewer a time to ask their questions to prevent individuals speaking over one another.

3. What should I provide job candidates ahead of time?

First and foremost, make clear that the interview will be conducted virtually. Tell the candidate which platform you’ll use to give them time to become familiar with it. Additionally, send the candidate an invitation to the interview with all the information they’ll need, including access codes and the exact time the interview will take place, Indeed recommended.

4. Where should we conduct virtual interviews?

Choose a distraction-free and well-lit area to conduct the interview. Check the internet connection ahead of time to ensure it is strong enough to last the entire interview.

If you’ll be conducting these meetings from your home, choose a low-traffic area where others in the house will not interrupt during the interview. Check to make sure the background of the video is neat, tidy and professional.

With these tips in place, you’ll be ready to conduct virtual interviews and find the perfect candidates for your open positions. Applicant tracking and onboarding, built into the iSolved platform, also helps you get your job postings in front of a wider audience and onboard new employees electronically for a more efficient, user-friendly experience.