woman sitting at computer for job interview

 

THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS POST

  • Your virtual job interview setup is important for candidates with impairments and in representing your company

  • Your interview process should be clear, concise and include post-interview follow-up steps

  • Pre-interview video submissions may serve to help expedite the process 

The last year has led us all to become very comfortable with virtual interactions. Now, as businesses are returning to a “normal” work environment, online meetings are being incorporated as a standard practice for many – and that includes job interviews.

While the practice of conducting a virtual job interview might seem essentially the same as an in-person one, the nuances are distinct enough to warrant review. Mastering these nuances will allow you to conduct an interview that will not only allow you to meet top candidates but provide them an opportunity to deliver the best version of themselves virtually. In a world filled with talented candidates who are more selective about where they work, a good first impression can help ensure they choose you.

Create a virtually perfect environment with these strategies for online job interviews.

 

PREP YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Would you have a prospective candidate come to interview for a job in a messy, cramped conference room full of distractions? What about in a setting where it may be hard to hear critical information or lit poorly making visibility difficult? Is there a chance you’d just leave your technology to chance without knowing whether it would work? The obvious answer to these questions is “no.” Your virtual environment should be prepped the same way as your physical space. 

Be sure to address potential difficulties ahead of time so that candidates that may be visually or audio impaired are able to see and hear clearly throughout the interview. This can include providing questions in a written format via email, using closed captioning services and making sure speakers are well-lit so that lip readers are able to comprehend what they are being asked. 

Some virtual meeting services like Zoom even offer transcription features, which can also help provide a record of the interview against which you can compare notes with your team. Also, be sure to have a list of questions prepared. This will help ensure that if you run into technical difficulties – which should be avoided by testing technology in advance – you can pick up where you left off with ease.

 

TRUST THE PROCESS

Being in a virtual setting might tempt one to go off script during an interview – don’t. Your list of questions should stick to two primary topics: (1) The candidate’s previous experience that can identify their ability to do the job based on the requirements of the position and (2) Open-ended behavioral questions that will reveal whether or not they will excel within the confines of your organization’s culture.

Don’t forego your professionalism just because one or both of you are speaking outside an office setting. Be sure to let your candidate know (if applicable) in advance of what they will be asked/expected of them to allow them time to properly prepare to present their best version of themselves. 

Just like in an in-person interview, be sure to end the interview by letting them know when they can expect to hear back from you. Clearly map out what the process will be moving forward so they do not feel like they have wasted their time and can plan proper follow up. 

 

CONSIDER A PRE-INTERVIEW VIDEO

One thing your company may want to consider is using a pre-interview where potential candidates all answer a set of questions ahead of an actual interview with the key players of your organization. Watching people articulate their responses without being interrupted in an independent setting will help give you a feel for their personality and how they handle workplace tasks (like meeting a deadline, follow instructions, research a project, etc.). 

Sometimes called one-way interviews, these still require all the same care you would put into a standard virtual interview. However, it provides several advantages. This includes saving the time you’d use for traditional pre-screening practices, offers greater scheduling flexibility and allows more stakeholders the opportunity to review the candidate if they are unable to be present for the live interview. One must be careful, however, not to fall victim to “background bias,” which includes judging a candidate based on their home environment or glitches that may occur as opposed to their qualifications.

Need more strategies to help you find the best prospective candidates for your open positions? Contact the experts at Erigo Employment Solutions today and learn how we can help provide solutions to your employment inquiries.