With the pandemic still going strong in many places across the world, many people have taken to the internet in terms of work. Not just those who are looking for a job remotely, but those who are looking to hire remotely.
The current world situation has caused many people to make that shift for safety concerns. After all, remote jobs are very much safe when you don’t have to worry about encountering people and not knowing whether they are infected or not.
For those who are looking for new hires via the internet, however, it can be a bit different. Interviews online using tools like Skype or Zoom are now the new norm, mostly to avoid face-to-face contact and the risks associated with it as much as possible.
But while it might seem similar at first glance to a regular interview, considering that you can see each other’s faces, a remote interview very much feels quite different.
If you’re unsure on how to go about a remote interview, don’t worry, that’s what this article is here to help you for.
Double check your equipment before you begin.
Face-to-face interviews have the potential candidates come inside the office and sit down in front of you while you ask them questions, possibly from a questionnaire prepared beforehand.
Remote interviews are mostly the same but with extra steps included. You need to have equipment prepared, which means a video camera and a laptop or a PC. You would also need to ensure that you have a stable internet connection. Indeed, it’s not just the candidate, but you as well that should have proper equipment and ready to go.
Ideally, you will also have some sort of contingency, such as using a different device as backup if, for whatever reason, the device you are using stops working properly in the middle of the interview, or your internet randomly cuts. Having a system in place to reschedule a future interview or having the candidate’s phone number to call and continue the interview from there instead can help things keep going instead of abruptly ending the process altogether.
Finally, if you wish to ensure that things are in working order, you can ask a friend or co-worker to do a video call with your setup as a way to test it.
Ensure proper video call etiquette.
Even if you’re not at the office anymore, that doesn’t mean that you should stop being a professional during work hours, especially when looking for new candidates. Dress appropriately, like you would do for work, to show your interviewees that you do very much take your job as well as the hiring process seriously.
You’d be surprised at how much first impressions can do, and an interviewer who looks like he just got out of bed with a lot of clutter and trash in the background, while not even wearing a shirt properly isn’t as appealing as someone who has their room as clean as possible (or at the very least, the part where the camera sees.)
While it’s true that you can give a potential candidate a job offer at the end if you think they’re right for the job, they still have the power to refuse if they don’t think that you would be a good employer.
That’s why presentation is so important, not just on their side, but yours. Keep your workspace clean dress appropriately.
Video calls: The next best thing to face-to-face meetups.
Just because you can’t meet your candidates in real life doesn’t mean you can’t see them. Video calls, while not as good as meeting someone in real life, are still very helpful in making you understand your candidate better.
Things like tone and nuance can be completely lost over simple messaging tools, and an interview that only uses messaging can come across as cold, not by your fault, mind you.
A video call will be about the two of you speaking, and it would feel much more personal to be able to attach the text to the person who is actually speaking it, than a disembodied chat message with a profile picture attached to it.
To add on to that, body language and facial expression is an integral part of the conversation, and you just won’t get any of that if you simply stick to text, especially if the candidate isn’t as proficient in English (or whatever language you primarily use for work) as you are.
Ensure that you have privacy in the middle of the interview.
Nothing breaks the flow of a professional interview regarding work like a child entering the door wanting attention or a friend loudly shouting in the room about wanting to deliver pizza. It ruins the environment of both the interviewer and the interviewee and potentially causes the interviewer a lot of embarrassment in the process.
You don’t want this to ever happen to you, so make sure that you pick a place in the house where you won’t be disturbed. It would also do you good to inform those who are in your house of your intentions, and to lock the door to ensure that uninvited guests don’t just enter randomly.
It would also be wise to suggest that your candidate do the same. This way, communication on both sides can be as clear and concise as possible.
The conversation should go both ways.
Like in a regular interview, the entire process shouldn’t just be you egging the interviewee on with your own questions.
Just like you, the candidate likely has no idea how well they are going to fit into your company, especially when they know nothing about it yet, so prompting them to ask questions and/or giving them information that can help them consider if they are a good fit is vital in ensuring mutual understanding.
Give them a lot of opportunities to ask as well, and you’ll both be able to learn about each other in the process!