In this article we offer tips on how to make the best of an online interview.
Online interviewing has been, and will continue to be, very much a part of the norm and so it is really important that when you do recruit for new people you manage the process well. Whilst some people might have had lots of experience in online / video interviews, it can definitely be quite daunting for a future employee. Meeting a potential new employer via video and having to face the possibility that the start of your relationship will be based on video and online communication for the foreseeable future can be nerve racking.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Make sure everyone involved is prepared
Make sure that you have sent out clear details of which platform you will be using (Zoom, Microsoft meetings, hangouts,…) and if there is anything the interviewee will need to download or be aware of (on a technical basis), before they start. It would be worth advising them to log in a few minutes earlier than the agreed interview time, to check their video and audio outputs. You should do the same to avoid any initial glitches which will delay the interview.
Who will be involved in the interview and what are their roles in the company.
Let the interviewee know if they need to prepare anything and explain what the format of the interview will be, and what will happen, if this round is successful. This should include information such as how much time you have set aside for the actual interview, how much time you have allocated for any questions and what the various stages might be in the selection process including a description of any tests or timelines.
Let them know how quickly you expect to be able to give them feedback after the interview.
Do you have a dress code or expect them to be dressed formally?
Giving the applicant as much information as you can, before the actual interview, will be really helpful in managing expectations and organising the actual interview itself to make sure it is productive in the time you have.
During the interview.
Be aware of your body language. It’s good to be relaxed but try not to let yourself feel too laid back and relaxed. There’s a fine line between looking laid back and relaxed to seeming not bothered or unenthusiastic. It’s so easy to relax when you are working remotely at home so be careful. You still are promoting your company and the job you are looking to fill.
Let them know that if they are interrupted (e.g. by children, dogs, the doorbell) that it is ok but at the same time make sure you have turned your phone to silent and aren’t interrupted by a pop up message which will distract you. We’ve all had zoom meetings when someone at some point has been interrupted. If they are approached by a family member then give them the chance to deal with the disruption if it helps them feel more settled.
Introduce your colleagues who may be present at the start and give them all the chance to say hello and even ask questions.
Prepare questions in advance so that you can make sure you cover all the relevant topics. It will give you confidence. Make sure you have reread the cv a few minutes before the interview to re-familiarize yourself with the candidate and their background.
When you greet them, be enthusiastic and welcoming. First impressions are so important. We know that eye contact can be tricky, as everyone works with different technology and it isn’t always clear if they are looking at you on screen or at a camera. A warm welcome can make such a difference to someone who is nervous and unsure.
At the end of an interview
And finally, give the interviewee the chance to ask you questions at the end. This can be so revealing about a person to be able to understand what they can do and what is important to them in their next move.
It is always helpful to let the interviewee know if you have any immediate reservations. This will give them the chance to clarify their position and your thoughts.
Tell them when they should expect to hear back from you realistically, so that they can manage their expectations, and explain to then what they should expect if they are invited to the next stage of the interview process.
If you would like any further help or advice about interviewing or administering tests online then please get in touch.