5 Tips for Conducting Virtual Interviews

female sitting in front of a laptop on a virtual meeting

2020 has changed the way we think about many things, from masks to social gatherings to toilet paper inventories. In the recruiting world, this reassessment has had the most dramatic impact on the way companies gather information from job candidates. Suddenly, good HR efforts are defined by how well they conduct virtual interviews.   

The spread of COVID has accelerated a move toward virtual interviews. One study indicated that 86% of organizations are using the technique in their hiring process. Clearly, this method of talking to candidates has become a central part of every HR toolkit.  

Even as virtual interviews rise in popularity, many firms are still getting used to their benefits and drawbacks. The process differs in many key ways from traditional candidate meetings. It’s important to recognize these differences and hone your ability to get the most out of the remote format.  

With that in mind, here are five tips for conducting stellar virtual interviews:  

Give Clear Instructions  

You might conduct virtual interviews as a routine matter. But keep your candidates in mind as well. For someone applying for your job, this might literally represent their first-ever virtual interview.   

As a result, the technology might not be immediately clear to them. At the same time, they might not be as practiced in this format. Don’t let these factors cause you to miss out on a great candidate.   

As you schedule the virtual interview, provide as many details as you can. Walk candidates through the technical program, and let them know your expectations. Providing this info will get you better results and make the process more efficient, ensuring everything unfolds smoothly.  

Keep It Professional   

Virtual discussions sometimes feel more casual than in-person interviews. In some ways, removing some of the stuffier trappings can get you a truer picture of your candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. However, this lack of formality can also undermine the interview process.  

If the conversations lack structure, you might not get all the information you need. At the same time, you might communicate the wrong message to potential employees. To avoid these traps, encourage a professional demeanor throughout the process.  

Have a Plan   

Virtual interviews are often harder to choreograph than the in-person variety. When you have multiple people on the call, the process can become a disorganized mess of people talking over each other. It can lead to wasted time and effort.  

Avoid this pitfall. Coordinate with everyone else who is going to be on the call. Make sure everyone knows their role and when they are expected to speak. As much as possible, keep the focus on the candidate. Structure your conversation so that you can get as much valuable information as possible.  

Standardize the Process   

Comparing candidates requires that you have similar information for each of them. For that reason, you should try to make each interview follow the same format. Leave a little room for free flow discussion, but, for the most part, stick to a plan.   

This involves laying out a detailed process ahead of time and staying disciplined during the interview. Know what questions you were going to ask and have a checklist detailing what information you need to discover.  

Create Follow-up Procedures   

The virtual interview should represent only part of the hiring process. You’ll need additional steps to pick the ideal candidate. Have these in mind as you conduct the interview.   

The online conversation should flow seamlessly into the next stages, whether these be follow-up interviews, practical tests, reference checks, internal discussions, or any other steps you deem necessary. Inform your candidates what to expect next and layout a timeline. This way, they will stay engaged in the process.  

There’s an Easier way to Hire 

COVID complicated the process of finding quality hires. It helps to have the right support network in place. By partnering with a strong staffing agency, like LaborMAX, you ensure that you discover the best candidates each time you have an open position.  

Contact LaborMAX Staffing today to learn more.