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Perfecting Virtual Interviewing

As we continue to navigate hiring during these challenging times, we have all had to pivot and learn to adapt to new strategies and techniques. While virtual interviewing was an option some companies used prior to the pandemic, it has now become the most prevalent form of conducting an interview, and it is here to stay.

Virtual interviewing offers an effective way to meet with candidates initially and saves time for both the candidate and the employer/recruiter. Getting “good” at virtual interviewing will be vital to attracting the best candidates.

Conducting the Interview

  • Conduct an initial screening either via phone or virtual interview to assess communication skills, level of interest and salary expectations. If the candidate proceeds to the next round, follow up interviews should be arranged via video.
    • Most virtual meeting platforms are compatible with a laptop webcam, handheld device or smart phone.
    • Some popular options include Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, RingCentral Meetings and Cisco Webex.
  • When scheduling interviews via video conference, remember these tips:
    • Verify with the candidate that he/she has the ability to participate in a video conference and identify a platform that suits both the interviewer and candidate needs.
    • Review the vendor information to ensure there are no time limits or other things to consider. Some of the free versions have limits and abruptly end the call once the limit has been reached.
    • Offer contact information in case the candidate has trouble logging on to the interview.
  • Should a candidate be unable to video conference, consider free mobile friendly conference line options.
  • Offer the candidate guidance, when available, on how to use the software so that the interview goes as smoothly as possible.

Virtual Recruiting Tips for HR and the Hiring Manager

It’s important to be just as prepared for a virtual interview as you would be for a face-to-face interview. This means having questions prepared ahead of time and beginning your interview on time. In addition to these normal preparation activities, you will also want to consider the following:

  • Location - Identify an appropriate space to conduct the interview where you can be alone and not have any distractions. Be sure your space is uncluttered and exudes a professional appearance; remember that the candidate will be able to see what is behind you and that will reflect on the company.
  • Attire - While some people may have resorted to some unconventional apparel during the height of the COVID-19 crisis (ball caps, sweatshirts, pajamas and more), interviewers are encouraged to maintain a professional appearance. Remember that solids and neutrals are usually the safest bets.
  • Internet Connection – Prior to the interview, ensure that the video connection is strong enough to stream video without interruption. If you find you are “freezing” or “crashing”, contact your internet provider to determine if a faster connection is possible. If you already subscribe to the fastest connection, ask about options to “boost” your signal. Always have a “Plan B” in place (such as a conference line for a phone call) in case the connection becomes unstable.
  • Video - Good lighting is key to ensuring candidates can see you. Experts recommend that the light source be in front of the location you are recording from. Try to avoid having a lamp beside or behind you as that will often create shadows or distortion.
  • Sound - Remember to conduct a sound check to ensure your audio is crisp and clear. Table microphones should be properly positioned 1 to 2 feet away and special attention should be given to eliminate any noise that could come from household appliances, shuffling papers or clicking pens.

We encourage you to move forward with your hiring needs; candidates are ready, have adapted and virtual interviewing can be done successfully. Virtual interviewing is here to stay!

For more guidance on improving your virtual recruiting practices, join us for our webinar on February 23, 2pm EST Virtual Recruiting and Onboarding