How do you conduct remote interviews during lockdown? Here are some tips for hiring managers.
As a result of the COVID19 outbreak and a worldwide pandemic, we will be conducting more interviews via Skype, Microsoft teams or Zoom than ever before. As the hiring manager, how can you prepare effectively to make the most of a remote interview? This little guide should help you work out the essential parts of the process and what questions you really need to ask and be able to answer!
Send them a virtual tour
Your buildings maybe the clinching factor for the best candidate. Showing them where they will be working and what the space is like, is a key factor in people’s decision making. A virtual tour sent to all the candidates before the interview can help them understand the logistics and the processes of your organisation. I know it’s difficult to do right now, but having a plan in place will show the candidates how professional and organised you are.
Be zoom ready
Obviously, you need to be in a space that allows the interviewee the best chance of success. That means, you need to be in a quiet room with good internet connection. There are hundreds of online tutorials about lighting, placing your camera and microphone in the right place so make sure you are ready. This could be the difference in someone wanting to work for you or not!
Prepare your questions
Like any good recruiting process, you need a standard set of questions to ask your candidates. You are trying to gauge their strengths and skills as clearly as possible, so ask questions based on the job description and give them scope to explain their answers. Without visual body language clues, you need to make sure the candidates know if they are on the right track with their answers. Don’t allow them to keep going if they aren’t answering your question – give them more prompts.
Prepare you answers
The candidates will be interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them! Make sure you are ready with the answers to their questions. I would be preparing for: What is it like to work in your office? What are your preparations for going back to work? What professional development do you offer? How would your entry level employees describe your business? What makes your business unique? How will you onboard me if I take the job?
Note taking, Listening and Watching
Be prepared to look at the camera when you ask questions, see the person’s body language, how engaging they are and take notes. I believe that good note taking is crucial in a good recruitment process. The candidates deserve to get good feedback so make sure you can read your notes and can give the unsuccessful candidates constructive advice.
You could even attempt a test run so you learn what the candidate is experiencing online. This should set you apart from the competition
Offer all the candidates a chat with a colleague
Once you set the interview questions, you can offer the candidates an informal chat with someone working within the team. This is a great way to get a second opinion on the candidates and make sure the candidate will fit into the organisation.
Showing your culture as fully as possible is important. We have all experienced people who don’t fit into the culture – being clear with people at this early stage can make the most difference later on. Joanna Travis Roberts discusses this in the her interview here
Plan to have this in place now.
Offering interviews in a global pandemic is hard but not impossible. So think through what your candidates need and what you need as an organisation.
Follow good recruitment processes with added value in video tours and extra informal chats. It is critical that you start thinking about remote recruitment ideas now.