The increase in remote work is also causing the increase in remote interviews.
Interviewing remote candidates for jobs can be difficult. You may not know what they are like in person, and you will most likely never meet them face-to-face.
So, how can you ensure that you are conducting productive interviews with the remote candidates you’re interested in?
Remote interviews can be challenging not only for the interviewer but also for interviewees, but following the right tips can make a big difference in your hiring process! There are many ways you can make the process easier on both yourself and the potential employee.
This article will discuss how to conduct productive interviews remotely, so you can get the most out of this hiring process.
What is a remote interview?
Remote interviews are conducted by phone or video chat and are done primarily because the candidates are located outside of the city, state, or country of the employer.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, many companies also began interviewing local talent remotely, due to safety guidelines and security measures.
A remote interview is just like any other job interview; however, there are some factors that set it apart from the in-person interview.
Meeting a potential employee face-to-face is critical to have an accurate idea of their character and personality. However, in the case of remote interviews, it is more likely that you are conducting them with someone who has never met you before, or who has not even spoken with you on the phone.
This can make both of you feel nervous and the process a bit more challenging.
However, conducting productive interviews with remote candidates does not have to be difficult if you follow the following tips.
1. Choose communication tools wisely
From getting in touch for the first time to the final interview – there are many points of contact with your remote candidate throughout the hiring process.
Make sure the tools you use for communication are reliable, easy to use, and help you get as much information as you need about the candidates.
Emails are often the first point of contact when candidates get in touch with you and submit their CV and motivation letter. However, make sure that your next interview steps include phone or video chat.
Recommended tools for voice or video calls are :
Be aware of some limitations when choosing platforms. For example, Zoom and Google offer 1 to 1 video chats for 24 hours, but the duration of the video call is limited to less than 40 minutes when there are more than 2 participants.
Generally, video interviews are better than phone calls because both you and the candidate can see each other, making the process more personal and less awkward.
Additionally, video interviews give you the opportunity to assess candidates’ body language and understand if they are confident and represent themselves accordingly.
2. Consider skill tests
To ensure that candidates’ knowledge and skills match those of your company and the open position, consider including skill tests in the interview process.
Skills tests are a great way to get to know remote candidates and see how they work. It also saves recruiters a lot of time as it filters out all irrelevant candidates or those who do not qualify for the job.
There are many skill test platforms like:
Alternatively, you can also create your own in-house skill-testing platform where you test your potential employees.
3. Give information about the interview process
Informing your remote candidates about what the interview process looks like and how many steps it will take is essential as it is likely that they do not know what to expect.
When you give them a clear expectation, you increase the chance that candidates who agree to the procedures will stay until the end of the interview process.
It’s really uncomfortable to lose good candidates during the hiring process midway because you didn’t communicate enough and didn’t give clear expectations.
Let your candidates know how many steps the hiring process consists of and what each step will include (practical assignments, video interviews, etc.).
4. Note the time zone difference
Hiring remotely means having candidates from different parts of the world. This could mean that when the sun rises for you, your candidate could be going to sleep.
That’s why, when scheduling interview meetings with remote candidates, make sure that it’s convenient for both of you.
It is a good idea to ask your candidates about their timezone and preferred interview times in advance so that they can plan accordingly.
Although most of the online calendars automatically convert meeting times to local timezone, when you decide to send the interview invitation, be sure to put the time zone in parentheses so your candidate doesn’t wonder if the 4:00 p.m. meeting is in your time zone or theirs.
5. Test the process
Be sure to go over the entire interview process with your team before conducting it with candidates.
It is vital to make sure that the process flows well and there aren’t any obstacles or problems in the hiring process.
Double-check if the tools you use for the interview work properly. This goes both for software and hardware.
Is your camera working fine? Or do you have to renew your Zoom subscription so the call doesn’t end after 40 minutes?
Test everything before interviewing remote candidates so that you don’t lose good candidates because of minor issues.
6. Prepare questions
Having your questions ready for the interview is not unique to remote recruiting. However, when it comes to hiring remotely, there are different challenges and therefore, your questions need to be much more specific than usual.
Remember that you can’t see your candidates face to face and the only source of information about them is what they provide online. Consequently, it’s important not just to ask questions but also to prepare follow-up ones so you get as much information as possible from candidates’ answers.
Make sure your questions also include questions about remote work, such as:
- Have you worked remotely before?
- How do you manage your time when working remotely?
- How often do you communicate with your team?
- What communication tools do you use?
- How do you overcome the challenge of lack of face-to-face contact?
The answers to these questions will give you a better idea of whether the candidate has had previous experience with remote working and if they are ready for this type of employment.
7. Thank your candidates
Make your candidates feel valued. The end of an interview is a great time to say thank you and let candidates know how much their participation was appreciated.
It shows that your company values professional work and dedication, which will make remote candidates want to be part of it even more!
8. Provide feedback
Regardless of whether the candidate was hired or not, it is important to provide them with feedback.
They took their time and made an effort to participate in the hiring process, so let them know how it went even if they didn’t get a job at your company.
This will make candidates feel valued for their participation and happy, as they will receive feedback that they can use to improve in the future.
Answering all of the participants is difficult and a real challenge, but keep in mind that it is useful not only for candidates but also for your company. Responding to candidates and reporting your decision and the reasons behind it provides a positive hiring experience.
People use websites like Glassdoor to provide feedback on the company’s interview process. Having positive reviews that attract more potential employees will increase your chances of hiring the right talent for your next open position.
For any company looking to hire remote employees, it is important that you have a process in place that can be followed by both the recruiter and the candidate.
The most successful companies are those who have prepared their questions ahead of time so they know what information they need from candidates when conducting an interview remotely.
It’s also vital for recruiters to test their tools before interviewing potential hires so there aren’t any hiccups or problems during the interview process.
By following our advice, you will improve the remote interview process and increase your chances of hiring the perfect candidate in a way that is practical and beneficial to you.