Remote job interviews have been an existing trend since the previous decade. The most recent FlexJobs report showed that this trend has accelerated by 91% due to COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home has become the new routine. All recruitment agencies must master the art of conducting remote interviews.
One crucial fact to remember is that remote interviews are not the same as the commonly-conducted face-to-face interviews. Contrary to one-on-one interviews, remote interviews do not provide you with the option of meeting candidates and interacting with them.
However, this does not mean that remote interviews are less effective than face-to-face ones. You can still achieve the same best results with remote interviews as with face-to-face ones.
Yet, to acquire the best candidates, recruitment agencies should be effective in how they conduct the interviews. The following are six simple tips that can help any recruitment agency conduct remote interviews more effectively.
Six Simple Tips For Recruitment Agency Conducting Remote Interviews
1. Prepare The Candidates Beforehand
From the candidate’s standpoint, job interviews tend to be uncertain. Due to these uncertainties, most candidates usually find the entire experience very stressful. And it goes without saying that; candidates in a stressed state cannot deliver their best.
Therefore, to make the candidates more comfortable and less stressed, recruitment agencies are encouraged to share enough information with the interview candidates. Also, the information should be shared before the interview date so that candidates can have enough time to process the information.
Information that you can share with your candidates includes:
- The interview schedule.
- Tips that can help the candidates succeed.
- Instructions on using the video conferencing software.
Such information will not only help the candidates understand what to expect from the interview, but it will also help them relax such that they give their best during the interview process.
2. Prepare Yourself Beforehand
Obviously, you expect that your candidates will show up on time and give their best performance. However, candidates cannot do this if you don’t provide them with a good platform where they can make their case.
Therefore, before the remote interview date, it is crucial that you prepare well. Test your technology, such as the video conferencing platforms that will be used to conduct remote interviews. Ensure that everything works properly and sort any issues that may occur.
Also, preparing yourself beforehand means finding the right location to conduct the interviews. Recruitment agencies can find a quiet room for each interviewer, a room free of any distractions. Preparing yourself beforehand ensures that your agency retains a good reputation, and you also increase your chances of finding the best candidates.
3. Only Focus On What Matters
It is true that all candidates should also take proper measures to prepare for a remote interview. However, recruitment agents should also remember one thing: unexpected issues and problems occur on video calls.
Therefore, during the interview process, do not allow your opinions of the candidates to be influenced by irrelevant factors. For instance, the video interview may be interrupted by the sound of a neighbour mowing the lawn or a dog barking. Also, the candidates may experience Wi-Fi issues, causing them to disconnect from time to time.
Do not let such inconveniences influence how you view the candidates. Remember that these are just temporary distractions. However annoying they may be, they do not indicate or affect the job qualifications of the candidates.
After all, the fact that you shortlisted them for an interview is enough proof that the candidates deserve an opportunity to show that they are the right fit for the job. Hence, when the remote interview is disrupted, recruitment agencies can consider rescheduling the interview or finishing it over the phone.
4. Avoid Team Interviews
A panel usually conducts most face-to-face interviews. Having multiple team members conduct the interviews helps to shorten the hiring process. Besides, it makes the interviewing experience feel more comfortable and conversational for the candidates.
However, a panel of interviewers may not be as effective with remote job interviews. Video calls that involve too many people are more likely to experience problems and unexpected issues. Therefore, to minimize such problems and tech issues, recruitment agents should have candidates interviewed by only one person.
And the good things about remote interviews is that you can schedule as many interviews as you prefer. Therefore, you need not worry about not being able to finish an interview that a panel would’ve conducted.
5. Remember The Value Of ‘Small Talk’
One mistake that most interviewers make is jumping right into the interview. However, when a shortlisted candidate comes in for the interview, it is very important that you take a little time to engage in small talk. Why is such small talk vital?
First, engaging in a short casual conversation helps both you and the candidate relax and get comfortable. Also, in addition to establishing a good rapport with the candidates, small talk can help you form a good initial impression of them.
Therefore, instead of going straight to asking questions, take a minute to get to know your candidates. For instance, you can talk about an interesting factoid that the candidate has included in the resume. Try to get acquainted first before you start the formal interview.
6. Take Advantage Of Screen Sharing
Questions asked in traditional job interviews are usually generic and hypothetical, such as ‘what would you do if…’ On the contrary, remote job interviews provide you with an opportunity to show candidates real projects and situations.
For instance, you can use screen-sharing technology to show candidates what the company is working on. Then, you can ask them how they would contribute to these projects or what they would do in a different way. Hearing shortlisted candidates’ opinions can help recruitment agencies choose the most suitable candidates for a job vacancy.
Just because we live in an era where working from home and physical distance are the new normal, it doesn’t mean that you let your hiring process go down. It is high time you made remote job interviews a regular part of your recruitment agency.
However, remote interviews can only be compelling if conducted well. The above six tips can help you hire the best candidates remotely and build a good reputation for your agency.