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Since the introduction of the first lockdown, many businesses and employees have been forced to adapt to new working environments and norms – including hiring managers. As such, it is now increasingly common for remote interviews to occur as opposed to meeting face to face. We have put together our best tips to consider when preparing for and conducting a successful remote interview to ensure both yourself and the interviewee receive all you need from the process.

Why is it important to run a successful remote interview?

The interviewing process is capable of leaving a lasting impression on all applicants. The manner in which your business conducts and presents itself throughout an interview gives the interviewee an insight into how it would be to work for you – and this isn’t exclusive to on-site interviews.

Building a rapport with interviewees and being able to engage and connect with them throughout a remote interview requires extra attention to detail in many ways you may not have considered. If this process is managed effectively then it may also provide a strong indication of how you can expect your business as a whole to operate remotely during the constantly changing landscape of today.

8 tips to running a successful remote interview

Both on-site and remote interviews share many similarities, however countless new crucial factors have taken centre-stage since the work-from-home transition, with several aspects becoming an afterthought to many. An interview is a crucial stage for both parties to get right, so here are some of our top tips to create a strong virtual recruitment process:

Step 1: Be Prepared

Just as you would expect from an on-site interview, remote interviews require high levels of preparation. It is your duty to inform the candidate, within a reasonable time, of the plans for the day and what is required and expected. Create an understanding of what platform you will be using to speak on, whether it will require them to create an account or need specific software/hardware etc. You should also ensure you communicate the names and titles of anyone who will be joining the interview, so the candidate knows what and who to expect.

Step 2: Remove Distractions

Being at home, or out of the office in general, can undoubtedly create some unavoidable distractions. You should analyse your surroundings and acknowledge which distractions can be reduced or completely removed – for example, avoid sitting in a communal area where foot traffic and noise pollution are most likely.

There are many interview faux pas that would change your perception of a candidate, so return the gesture of providing a distraction-free surrounding to create a professional and focused environment.

Step 3: Maintain Interviewing Etiquette

Whilst the interview process may be different, the principle of providing one another with respect and professionalism remains. Dress in appropriate attire, mute/turn off any electronics, keep a neutral/business-like background, and perform internal test runs to ensure you aren’t leaving the candidate waiting on the day as a result of technological oversights.

The interview you are providing will speak volumes about you and your business, and it will give the candidate an insight into working for such a company, so make sure you follow appropriate etiquette and create a professional setting.

Step 4: Plan a Backup

We all know too well that, sometimes, technology just doesn’t want to cooperate. Your platform of choice for the interview may not be working as intended on the day, or other unanticipated factors may occur such as internet issues creating stuttering and unclear communication. Should this occur, it is important to have a backup plan in place that you can revert to with ease.

For example, keep a record of the candidate’s phone number or email address so that should their internet fail, you can still get in touch with them to rearrange or migrate to a telephone conversation.

Step 5: Introduce Your Company Culture

Stepping foot into a business’ office space or facilities can give a candidate a good immediate sense of company culture, something which is difficult to translate over the internet. Don’t just tell them your values and goals, demonstrate these to them and give examples. Plan some anecdotal stories and provide the candidate with real examples of your business and the culture you have created.

Step 6: Engage with the Candidate

As with any interview, a remote interview is a two-way conversation. You should make a conscious effort to give your candidate opportunities to ask questions and be prepared to give answers. Referring to the candidate’s CV and making some notes of key talking points you want to address, alongside any potential questions you would like to direct towards them, can help in keeping the conversation flowing with a more natural feel.

Step 7: End Strongly

As the interview wraps up, be sure to tell candidates what the process looks like from here on out and what they can expect in regard to hearing back from you. Remote interviewing can be a struggle for many people, so ensure that you thank them for their time and that you are open to any questions they may have. At the end of the day, you are representing your company at all times, even over webcam.

Step 8: Learn & Adapt for the Future

Regardless of whether you’ve found the perfect candidate or not, the end of the interviewing process doesn’t signal the end of internal improvement within your business. With technology changing at an increasingly rapid rate, alongside the new work-from-home norms of today, it is important to analyse what went well, what needs changing and making steps towards addressing these issues to create a more efficient and effective process for the next time.

Speak to an Expert today

The interviewing process has seen a dramatic change in the past year and businesses have been forced to adapt. As an experienced business recruitment partner, we can help to guide and support you through your interview process.

Find out how our team can prepare you to run successful interviews with candidates. Speak to one of our experts today.