The five best practices for conducting hiring interviews online

The COVID-19 crisis significantly impacted how companies operate. Remote work has become the new normal to minimize face-to-face interactions and curb the spread of the virus.

And while government restrictions may have started to ease in many major cities and provinces, several virtual business processes will most likely continue after social distancing ends. 

If you work in recruitment, your team is probably thinking of making video call interviews a permanent part of your hiring process, even post-COVID. After all, this interview type offers numerous advantages for both you and the applicants.

Maybe the most significant advantage is that you can interview more candidates, regardless of their location. Let’s say your company is in Central Visayas. With face-to-face interviews, you can only entertain applicants within the area. However, when you opt for virtual means, you can accommodate quality candidates looking for jobs in Cebu even if they live in faraway places like Luzon or Mindanao. 

Virtual interviews are also more cost and time-efficient than the traditional method. They are also popular among applicants primarily due to convenience. Whether you plan to conduct hiring interviews online for a couple more years only or make it a part of your recruitment procedures from here on, it will help if you master the process.

Resumes are crucial in the hiring process, providing a summary of an applicant’s qualifications. In virtual interviews, resume parsing technology automates the extraction of information from digital resumes, saving time and effort for recruiters. It allows for easy comparison of candidates and helps standardize the screening process, minimizing biases.

So being able to parse information from resumes can be really helpful. So getting the right info from the resume next to the virtual interview will provide an opportunity to evaluate candidates comprehensively. Balancing resume parsing with interviews ensures informed decision-making.

To help you get the most from virtual interviews – and find the best candidates, here are five of the best practices worth adopting.

1) Create a clear and structured online interview process

One of the most important things you need to do to successfully conduct online interviews, is to ensure that everyone in your company is on the same page about what to do (and not to do). To this end, it is important to develop a clear and structured virtual interview practice from beginning to end. Define your policies, procedures, and accountable persons, and put them in writing. 

You may also need to develop standard interview questions focused on assessing the applicant’s capabilities and potentials to minimize unconscious bias. Having an interview scorecard is also helpful. Helpfully, software that combines all of this in one program is available, with the Aeon Interview Platform being a good example of how you can use technology to your benefit. With tools like these, interviewers can objectively evaluate and rate every candidate using the same parameters.

When all of these things are in place, conducting virtual interviews and comparing applicants will be more systematic and hassle-free.

2) Make it a habit to test video conferencing tools before interviews

Modern technology can be unreliable, which is why you should never be complacent about using it. So always check your video interview software, camera, microphone, and other tools before an interview to ensure they work well.

More importantly, test your internet connection for speed and stability before the interview. The last thing you want is to give the candidate a negative impression of your company because of technical malfunctions and delays. 

If you have a video or slide presentation to share during the interview, practice using that feature to make the transition effortless. You may also try video conferencing with a colleague beforehand to ensure that your technology is functioning without a hitch. 

3) Give candidates an overview of the virtual interview process

When meetings are conducted, attendees normally have an idea of what the agenda will be so that everyone can set their expectations and cooperate with the process. The same goes for virtual job interviews. Ensure that the candidates you will be interviewing are briefed about relevant details so they can properly prepare for your meeting. 

For example, you can send the link to the video conferencing tool you will be using in advance. That way, the candidates have enough time to download and acquaint themselves with it. Perhaps you can give them a heads-up if you think that one of the interviewers will request work samples from them so they can get ready. Sending them the names and positions of interviewers and materials about your company are helpful as well. 

4) Stay professional

Virtual interviews are every bit as serious and essential as face-to-face meetings. Make sure you communicate this fact to your candidates by keeping your appearance and demeanor professional.

Dress appropriately and be careful with your words. Do not forget to put your mobile phone in silent mode to prevent distractions. If you are doing the interview from your own home, make sure to ask your housemates to leave you undisturbed.

Give the candidate time to adjust and ease their nerves by asking non-threatening questions at the start. Smile or nod when the candidate is talking to make them feel comfortable. Be sure to refer to your prepared questions and remember to take notes about the candidate’s behavior and the entire process.

Moreover, you may want to be more forgiving of unintended interruptions like various neighborhood noises from cars and animals since these are out of the interviewee’s control.  

5) Ask for feedback to improve your virtual interview process

After the interview, thank the candidates and inform them of the succeeding steps via email. You may want to take this opportunity to ask for their feedback about the virtual interview as well. Inquire about their experience with the different aspects of the interview and be open to suggestions for how you can make the process better.

Their responses will help you assess the effectiveness of your strategies and develop new ways to improve your online interviews.

Make sure to master the art of conducting hiring interviews online by being mindful of the best practices outlined in this article. As you may have noticed, these pointers can guide you in making the process work for your company’s benefit- whether you want to adopt virtual interviews temporarily or permanently.

By ensuring you adhere to best practice you can create a positive first impression on candidates and make the process more convenient for you and your team.