How to Take the Guesswork Out of Virtual Interviews

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These days there are so many ways to conduct candidate interviews. Since COVID, we all got a crash course in hosting virtual interviews.

These recent changes to the interview process might present further challenges in a process that was already difficult enough – both in making concrete assertions about a candidate and ensuring a candidate’s experience in the process is positive.

We have some useful tips to help create an even field for all interviewees. These insights will help create a more positive interview process and will help you and your team make more confident and fully informed hires. 

Establish a Firm Interview Process and Stick To It

Virtual interviews weren’t anything new before COVID. But with the pandemic, hiring managers had no other option but to switch from in-person interviewing to conducting almost all interviews virtually.

When businesses realized how easy virtual interviews could be, suddenly job seekers saw an increase in the number of interviews they’d have for a new position. The thinking was, if the candidate didn’t need to take the time to drive to an in-person interview, that would free up more time to meet online.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just hiring managers who were doing interviews. There was a rise in culture fit conversations with the HR team. Or there were tech-talk interviews with the IT department. Nowadays, many job seekers might expect two or more interviews for a single position. 

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this approach. Actually, hiring managers are excited to have more input from other departments. They can hire with more confidence when more of the team is on board with a candidate.

But for many job seekers, the experience was different. Many candidates felt like they were just bouncing around between interviews. They felt like there wasn’t much of a process and that anyone who might want to schedule an interview could request one. 

Imagine answering “Why do you want to work here?” three or four times over. 

Here are some tips to eliminate the feeling of repetition and an ad-hoc process:

  1. Create a clear interview schedule for candidates and hiring staff. This will help the candidate know what to expect, and your staff will be able to see who has or who hasn’t conducted interviews.
  2. Internally, it also helps to keep a running document of the questions and answers covered in each interview. This will be helpful to avoid asking repeat questions but will allow other interviewers to read through the responses and ask the candidate to elaborate on their reply if needed. 
  3. Schedule time internally to unpack the interviews with the team.
  4. Schedule a time to respond and notify the candidate of your decision. 

With a firm process in place, and clarity around that process, both interviewees and the staff interviewing them understand what to expect and will be prepped with the right questions and procedural flow.  

Explore the Virtual Interviewing Tool that Best Fits Your Organization

There’s a lot of virtual conferencing technology out there. From Zoom to Skype, they all bring something to the table.

Ask yourself if what you’re currently using is giving candidates a fair shake during interviews. Moreover, examine whether it’s causing hiring personnel any frustration. The higher functioning the software and easier it is to use, the more you’ll get an accurate reading of candidates and their skills.

If you’ve recently switched to virtual conferencing software, it helps to perform a couple test runs. Ensure that there are no problems and that you’re comfortable with the functions and features. In doing so, conducting interviews and guiding candidates through the process will be more straightforward.  

Convey Professionalism During Virtual Interviews 

The shift to remote work has created an increase in what many people refer to as “sweatpants culture.”

Internally, a relaxed atmosphere could be a big part of your company culture. But be discerning about whether you want to project that casual atmosphere externally – it may not be the image many organizations want to foster. Furthermore, there’s nothing wrong with keeping an interview fun and casual. But it also helps to keep virtual interviews as professional as an in-person interview.

It all starts with the interviewer. An interviewer sets the tone and leads the way by being professionally dressed, keeping their phone ringer off, and speaking with the right mix of casual formality.

Be sure to smile, make eye contact, and nod when the candidate speaks while taking notes. These efforts signal to interviewees that you’re engaged and keeping the conversation on the right track. It might also help candidates to provide more honest, insightful answers instead of feeling like they’re being ignored. 

Work With JobFinders Employment Services

Following these tips is a great start to ensuring your candidates are treated well through interviews and will help you and your team feel more confident in your process. Creating this structure around your interviews could also help to eliminate the guesswork in hiring candidates as well. Your team will ultimately have more information and will be more on-board with new hires as well.  

JobFinders Employment Services works with companies of all sizes to ensure they are investing in recruiting and retaining employees who will be with them for years. We take care of the steps listed above (and more), saving you time and money searching for and interviewing potential new hires. Let JobFinders separate the best from the rest for your next open position—contact us today!