Strategies for Businesses Looking to Conduct Professional and Thorough Interviews Remotely

Interview Tips

With remote work becoming more prevalent, businesses must adapt their recruitment processes to this new landscape.

While hiring remotely is not without its challenges, there are a few key strategies companies can use to ensure they conduct professional and thorough interviews while maximizing employee onboarding efficiency.

Learn Remote Interviewing Etiquette

Remote interviewing etiquette differs from in-person interviews, and it is essential to familiarize yourself with these differences to avoid awkward situations or misunderstandings.

Firstly, dress professionally from head to toe, even if you are only visible from the waist up. Make sure to sit in a quiet and well-lit room with a neutral or professional background during the interview.

Make eye contact as much as possible by looking at the camera rather than the interviewee on your screen.

Secondly, remember that there may be a slight delay in audio or video transmission, so allow the interviewee to finish speaking before responding. This small gesture helps prevent overlapping conversations and ensures the interview runs smoothly.

Lastly, test the equipment and internet connection beforehand to avoid any technical hitches during the interview.

Choose the Right Platform

Many video conferencing software options are available, and you should choose one that meets your needs and preferences.

Some examples of commonly used platforms for remote interviews include Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype.

However, it is vital to have a backup platform in case of technical issues or incompatibilities.

Before the interview, test both platforms to ensure they work correctly. Ensure that both you and the interviewee have a stable and fast internet connection and that the computer or device being used meets the minimum requirements for the software.

Another thing you should consider is the privacy and security of the platform. The platform should have strong encryption to protect sensitive data, and it should also have features that allow you to control who can join or view the interview.

This will help ensure that the conversation remains private and help the candidates feel more comfortable during the process.

Communicate Instructions Clearly

Clear communication is crucial for a successful remote interview. Make sure to send detailed instructions to the interviewee well in advance, including the date and time of the interview, the platform you will use, and any additional instructions, such as how to join the call or what to prepare.

To avoid any confusion, make sure also to specify the time zone that you are referring to in case there are interviewees from different time zones. It is advisable to send a reminder email or message a few hours before the interview.

Include Remote-Specific Questions

Remote work requires different skills and qualities than in-office work, so the interview must include remote-specific questions.

For example, ask how the interviewee deals with distractions at home or how they communicate effectively with remote teammates.

Another crucial factor in remote work is self-discipline and time management. You could ask the interviewee how they prioritize tasks when working from home or how they avoid procrastination.

Such questions will give insights into how the interviewee perceives and tackles remote work challenges.

Set Up Expectations for Remote Teams

Setting expectations for remote teams means creating guidelines for remote workers to function effectively while working remotely.

It’s natural for remote employees to feel somewhat disconnected, lack motivation or direction, and need more guidance than those in a physical workspace.

Creating guidelines for remote work doesn’t have to be difficult, but it must make clear standards for work, communication, and professionalism.

Some expectations you can consider include expected communication timelines when teammates should be available, basic rules on communicating with one another, and how frequently you’ll hold meetings.

Furthermore, training and development are essential in facilitating effective remote work environments.

Providing tutorials, online workshops, or interactive portals that mirror workplace dynamics is a healthy way to retain, develop, and upgrade your remote team’s skills.

Allow a Two-Way Conversation

Allowing the interviewee to ask questions and have a two-way conversation during the interview is essential.

This sends a positive message and assures the interviewee they are being taken seriously, which can help build trust between the business and the interviewee.

A two-way conversation can also help you understand the interviewee’s communication style and their level of interest and enthusiasm for the role.

This is particularly important when evaluating soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Use Gift Cards to Show Appreciation and Stand Out from Other Organizations

It’s important to remember that the interview process can be a stressful experience for candidates regardless of the position they’re applying for.

And while not all candidates may be the best fit for your organization, showing your appreciation for all your candidates time and attention during the process can leave them with a great impression—whether they end up working with you or find employment elsewhere.

A really effective, but many times underutilized strategy, for achieving this is by sending thank you gift cards to all of the candidates who took the time to interview for the position.

While the monetary value of these gift cards can vary, this gesture shows that you truly value the candidates willingness to make themselves available and leaves a lasting impression about the core values the organization upholds.

Start Conducting More Effective Interviews With Remote Candidates

Conducting remote interviews effectively requires preparation and forethought. Consider the privacy and security of the platform, communicate instructions clearly, include remote-specific questions, set up expectations for remote teams, and provide training opportunities so that candidates can develop their skills.

By following these steps during an interview process with remote candidates, you will be better positioned to make more informed hiring decisions that ultimately benefit both parties involved.

Author Name: Cindy Mielke

Author bio: Cindy is passionate about the incentive industry. In addition to her role as Vice President of Strategic Partners here at Tango, she is a Certified Professional of Incentive Management who proudly serves on two industry boards.

When she’s not working, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family—including three cats, two dogs, and a horse—and sharing her love of nature as a Nebraska Master Naturalist.

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