Remote job interviews can be a significant time and money saver, especially for out of area candidates, and in the midst of COVID-19, they are also a valuable safety precaution. When you interview candidates remotely, your preparation needs to be different than your standard in-person interview format. Conduct an effective remote job interview with these tips:
1. Test Out All Technology Thoroughly
Perform a trial run of whatever technology you will be using for your remote interview so you can troubleshoot any issues beforehand. Test out your video conferencing software, as well as your webcam and microphone to ensure they are working properly and you feel comfortable using them.
2. Plan Interview Structure Ahead of Time
Remote interviews may not flow as naturally as in-person ones, so winging it can make for an awkward interaction and may not portray your organization in a positive manner. Plan your interview structure ahead of time, from introduction to questions to conclusion, so you can effectively transition.
3. Communicate Details to Candidates Prior
Prevent catching your candidate off-guard, which can make them flustered and unable to perform as well as they normally would. Communicate details of the remote interview ahead of time so candidates know what to expect. Let them know what platform you will be planning to use, the access information, the length of time, who they will be speaking with, and any other relevant information.
4. Limit the Number of Participants
Narrow down only the crucial decision-makers to be included in a remote interview. Limiting the number of participants will prevent the interview from getting too chaotic with people talking over one another, which can cause lagging in your video conference software and make it difficult for the candidate to understand everyone. If additional feedback is needed from other stakeholders, you can always (with the candidate’s knowledge and permission) record the video interview for review at a later time.
5. Focus on Nonverbal Communication
With remote interviewing, you lose the opportunity for the nonverbal communication that puts candidates at ease and helps establish rapport, such as a friendly handshake, open body language, and eye contact. During the remote interview, focus on your nonverbal communication as much as possible. Smile, look directly into the webcam when the candidate is talking, and nod to demonstrate you are listening.
6. Pause Before and After Speaking
Video conference software picks up the mic of one speaker at a time, which means there can be lag time between when a person speaks and others can hear them. Make it a point to pause before and after you talk so you can be sure the candidate can hear everything you said, so you don’t inadvertently cut them off if they start to speak.
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