Top tips for virtual interviewing from companies that have actually done it.


Are you considering incorporating virtual interview techniques into your recruitment process for the first time?

Or perhaps you interview online already but would like to improve?

As a recruitment agency, we’re well accustomed to receiving feedback about interviews. Feedback from clients about their candidates for us to pass on, but also feedback from our candidates about how they felt the interview was conducted.

We have been speaking to our clients who have recently received excellent feedback from candidates throughout the lockdown period about their virtual interviewing techniques. Take a look at some of their top tips below. 


Treat it as though it’s a normal face-to-face interview.

Minus the handshake, of course, but still plan your questions and agenda as you would for a usual interview. Some clients reported that interviewing this way actually required a little more planning and structure, as they found that while in person, the interview conversation flowed naturally, this was more difficult to achieve virtually.


Always have the camera on.

Being able to see the candidate, to read their body language and other cues during a face-to-face interview is essential, and this is no different in a virtual interview. Be sure to set this expectation when booking the interview with the candidate and to set the dress code as you would usually so that everybody can be prepared. 


Get to know the technology you’re going to be using.

It’s important to understand the technology your using for the interview. Practice beforehand if necessary, but it’s important for you to feel in control during the interview process.
For example, if you need the candidate to screen-share to present a document, make sure you know how to give them permission to do this.
Although sometimes costly, consider looking into premium features available on your account. Some features make you (and your company) look more professional and could be the difference between being cut off after 40 minutes and having to attempt to reconnect the panel and candidate whilst making endless apologies, and having a smooth, professional session that’s fully recorded for you to review later.


Still involve the wider team where you can.

Adding people into a video call can be quite simple. Some companies find that allowing the interviewee to meet the team and ask informal questions is a vital part of their interview process, and therefore this should be incorporated into online interviews too. Once again, this comes back to the importance of knowing your tech and how to add people, as well as perhaps how to leave/re-enter the call. 


Add in a social aspect to the interview.

With the candidate not physically being in your office space, it’s important to take time to include information about the social aspects of the team they’d be joining and their usual working habits. Discussing this may help you decide on whether they’re going to be a good team-fit for the position too. 


Be prepared to make allowances.

One company we spoke to cited a recent example where the doorbell had rung unexpectedly during an interview and needed to be answered by the candidate, and another where a candidates’ family member had walked through the back of the shot.
It’s easy to project your own expectations for how this situation should be handled, but in light of the current lockdown circumstances you must ask yourself if there is some room to be flexible and make allowances.
It is obviously to your own discretion, but they advised that remembering that everyone is trying their best at the moment under (sometimes) less than ideal circumstances could go a long way.

If you’d like to discuss virtual interviewing any further, please get in touch. 

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