Blog Candidate Quality How to Conduct a Remote Interview to Hire Top Candidates

How to Conduct a Remote Interview to Hire Top Candidates

remote job interview
Daniela McVicker Jul 13, 2020 Candidate Quality

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business world in general and the world of recruiting in particular. The number of remote jobs has increased, and now we need to learn how to interview and hire top candidates online.


Well, for some digital companies, virtual interviews with freelancers and remote professionals are a common thing. But for other companies – it’s a new challenge.


What about you? Are you ready to conduct interviews by following the ‘new normal’ rules? Here are a few handy tips for you.


Three things to do before starting a remote job interview

First of all, let’s talk about preparation for a remote job interview. Here are three important things you can’t skip.


1. Provide candidates with how-to guidelines

For some candidates, a remote job interview is a new thing. And your task is to help these candidates to get ready for a video interview and make them feel comfortable while talking to you through the screen:

  • Explain to the candidate what videoconferencing tool they should install. Provide step-by-step guidelines, if necessary.
  • Specify the day and time of the interview as well as the UTC zone.
  • Mention how many interviewers and job seekers will participate in one conference (in case if you are planning to conduct a group interview).
  • Make it clear how long a remote job interview will last.


2. Clean your environment

Whether you work from home or your office, you need to check what is in view of your camera before making a call. You should get rid of all the unnecessary items and make your ‘spot for interviews’ looks nice and tidy.


Also, you should check the lighting. Find a corner in your room that has indirect lighting as much as possible, with good coverage to show your face well. Avoid reflective blinds, glass tables, and other surfaces that may worsen the lighting.


balanced lighting


unbalanced lighting


Examples of balanced and unbalanced lighting settings. Source: Zoom Help Center


3. Join a test meeting

To prevent technical glitches, you need to check the work of your camera, microphone, and videoconferencing software beforehand. The simplest way to do it is to join a test meeting and see whether the system is ready for the upcoming interview.


We highly suggest you run system checks on a daily basis. It will help you to ensure that you will not face unexpected technical issues while interviewing top-rated candidates.


Four things to do during the remote job interview

Now let’s talk about three things you should do to make your remote job interview a success.


1. Ask the right questions

Some of the applicants who want to get a remote job have never worked remotely before. And you should ask the right questions to find out whether the chosen candidate is ready to start working from home.


Let’s say you are interviewing a person who wants to work remotely for an academic writing service. You need to ask the candidate what steps he will take to overcome creative blocks and stay productive while working from home. If a person has a vast experience in writing and knows how to find inspiration working from home – he is a perfect fit for the job.


Here are a few important questions you should ask every remote job applicant:

  • Why do you want to work remotely?
  • How can you describe your perfect workday? How are you going to schedule your work time?
  • Does your spouse or other family members also work remotely? What steps are you going to take to maintain a work-life balance?
  • What skills do you have to become a successful remote worker? Do you have any issues with time management and self-discipline?


working from home


2. Be polite and friendly

Do you usually conduct face to face interviews? It will be a wise idea to change your interviewing style when working with remote job seekers.


The thing is that when it comes to virtual interviews, you can’t control the situation. The conversation might be interrupted by a technical glitch or random internet disconnection at the most inopportune moment, and your ‘improper’ behaviour might scare away an ideal candidate. You don’t want that to happen, do you?


Keep a remote job interview simple. Smile, be polite and friendly. It will help you to build an emotional connection with the interviewee and get the most of the interviewing process.


3. Check the facts online

During the video interview, you sit in front of your laptop, and you can use that to your advantage. You can check different facts related to your interviewee in real-time.


Let’s say you are interviewing a copywriter. He says that he recently published a blog post that has created a lot of buzz online. You can check that blog post right during the interview and find out whether the candidate is as talented and qualified as he wants to seem.


4. Stop staring at yourself

Here is one of the biggest mistakes that interviewers usually make when using video conferencing software. They stare at their own little video box instead of paying attention to the speaker. That makes a terrible first impression on the candidates they are interviewing.


Do you want to make a positive first impression? You should fight with this kind of distraction. If you use Zoom, choose Speaker View instead of Gallery View. By doing this, you will put the video of candidate front-and-centre, and it will be easier for you to stop looking at yourself.


5. Embrace ‘the new normal’ and get ready to interview remote workers

If you are good at conducting traditional interviews, you will face no difficulties in conducting virtual interviews.  Just take your time to figure out how videoconferencing software works and use the tips given.


About the author: Daniela McVicker is a career advisor and an editor at the best writing service websites aggregator AllTopReviews.


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Daniela McVicker

Daniela McVicker is a career advisor and an editor at the best writing service websites aggregator AllTopReviews. She’s also a business communication coach, helping students and job applicants write business emails to help them achieve success on their career path.

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