A Gartner HR survey in spring of 2020 showed that 86% of organizations had made the transition to virtual interviews in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, there are many advantages to conducting a virtual interview, safety being the biggest one under the current circumstances. However, there are also challenges involved. How can recruitment teams successfully adapt to virtual interviews?
In the following information, we’ll discuss 5 tips to help you conduct an exceptional virtual interview; in other words, one that will help you understand the interviewee better while also presenting your company in the best possible light.
1. Dress Like a Professional
If you are conducting a virtual interview, then odds are that you’re doing so from home, or from another remote location other than your company’s office. No matter where you are located, however, it’s important that you dress professionally for the interview. There are a number of reasons why this is a vital consideration. For example:
- A professional appearance indicates to the interviewee that you are taking the virtual interview seriously — as seriously as you would an in-person interview.
- Your professional dress reflects well on your organization, and can build confidence in the interviewee that he/she is pursuing the right position.
- Your commitment to professionalism also sets an example for the applicant, who could start with your company in the near future.
2. Maintain Focus
In the world of videoconferencing, it’s all too easy to become distracted. For instance, if you are at home with your family, then it may be difficult to “tune out” what’s happening in another room.
Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain your focus throughout the interview. You need to treat a virtual interview the same way you would treat one being conducted in-person. That means that you should use professional language and appropriate body language. You should also turn off or silence your phone and computer notifications, and make advance preparations so that nothing else will distract you. Finally, don’t forget that “eye contact” with the interviewee is maintained by looking into the camera, not at the screen.
3. Ask Standardized Questions and Listen Attentively
Most corporate recruiters have a set of standard questions that they ask each job candidate. Make sure that you stick to these predefined questions in your virtual interview. Then, listen carefully to the interviewee’s answers. Take plenty of notes, if needed.
Moreover, give the interviewee plenty of time to answer each question. If there is a time lag or the candidate temporarily “freezes” on screen, don’t hesitate to ask him to repeat himself.
4. Provide Information on Your Company
It is more difficult for job applicants to “get a feel” for your organization’s culture, values, and mission in a virtual setting, compared to an in-office visit. For that reason, set aside some time during the interview to talk about these aspects of your company. Let the candidate know what he or she can expect if hired. Describe what a typical day may involve for someone in the position under consideration.
5. Outline Next Steps
Finally, towards the end of the interview make sure to include a brief outline of next steps for the company and candidate moving forward. For example, give the candidate an approximate time frame as to when he can expect a response regarding the interview (i.e., a job offer vs. a rejection). Let him know how he’ll receive this response.
If you need any additional information or documentation from the candidate, be sure to make that clear before ending the interview, and discuss how he can provide that info. Also, be prepared to address any concerns the candidate may have about COVID-19 precautions going forward.
If you need any help in conducting a virtual interview, such as technical assistance, reach out to our team of experts at DevReady today!