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HCMWorks Insights

8 Tips to Ensure Your Organization is Conducting Effective Remote Interviews

Posted by Julia Fournier on 17 Jun 2020

Remote work provides a number of benefits and advantages for both workers and employers. Like anything else, however, it comes with a range of challenges that need to be addressed properly if your organization is to implement an effective recruitment strategy

With more people than ever before working from home, and face-to-face meetings still out of the picture for most businesses, job interviews conducted either over the phone or online are becoming increasingly common.

It’s not just the candidate that needs to nail the interview, however, with 63 percent of job seekers likely to reject a job offer because of a bad candidate experience (Software Advice). Meanwhile, job applicants who do not receive a job offer are 80 percent more likely to apply again if they already had a positive candidate experience (IBM Smarter Workforce Institute).

Nailing the interview process is a crucial part of acquiring top talent and building your talent pool for future vacancies. In fact, a successful interview process will ensure your organization is able to implement effective recruitment strategies. 

To help your organization prepare for and conduct effective interviews that help your company reach workforce targets, HCMWorks has created a list of eight tips to ensure your remote interviews are a success. 

1 - Design a structured interview process

Interviews in the office can sometimes be hectic. Candidates come in at late notice, conversations spiral out of control and important documents are lost among your hiring team. Remote interviews give you the opportunity to structure that process better. 

If you’re not entirely comfortable conducting remote interviews just yet, remember that online conversations make it far easier to discreetly have a list of questions open or prompts that remind you of the structure of the interview. A few notes can be a fantastic reference for new interviewers.

2 - Communicate the details of the interview clearly

Since the interview process will be significantly different from what many have experienced in the past, make sure you communicate all of the details clearly to your candidates to avoid any confusion. Let them know who will be on the call, what time and date it will be, how many interviews will be involved in the process and what technologies they will need to participate.

By stating clearly what will be involved before the interview takes place, you will put your interviewees at ease and give them the opportunity to focus on what really matters - impressing you. 

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3 - Relieve any uncertainty your interviewee is feeling

Your organization may be stressed about the challenges that come with remote interviews, but don’t forget to be empathetic with the candidates you're interviewing either. This is probably completely new for them, and you want to put them at ease before you get started. 

Does the candidate have a weak internet connection? Do they have a dog that might bark? Do they have family members speaking in the background? Before starting the interview, make sure they’re aware that these are all par-for-the-course during a remote interview and any disruptions can be easily moved past. 

4 - Ask to be sent a candidate’s portfolio

A strong indicator of what an employee can achieve while working for your organization is what they have accomplished in the past. Candidates typically bring a portfolio to an interview, but showcasing past work through a webcam isn’t a great solution.

Instead, ask your candidates to send previous examples of work before you even interview them. Once in the interview, you can have specific pieces of work printed out in front of you and give your interviewees the opportunity to walk you through them. This will help you learn more about their knowledge and skills, as well as the way they have worked at previous companies.

5 - Use body language to build a connection

It can be hard to show your emotions through video. Sometimes you’ll need to exaggerate motions (only slightly) to get your point across and build a connection with your candidate. Don’t exaggerate your facial expressions, but at the same time make sure you’re smiling, nodding and emoting to effectively engage with your candidate. 

6 - Assign practical tasks 

Sometimes it’s not possible to fully measure the capabilities of a candidate through an online interview. If you believe this is the case, then why not consider setting them practical tasks and challenges instead? This could include giving them an assignment, asking them to do a presentation to your hiring team or any other task that will help them showcase their talent and skills for the role.

7 - Use the right technologies

Seeing a candidate is far more effective than just interviewing them on the phone. That’s why your organization should make the most of new innovative video conferencing technologies, such as Zoom, Skype and Go-to-Meeting, to truly make the most of the remote interview process.

In fact, use of these technologies has soared in recent months. According to CNBC, downloads of the Zoom app have increased 30 times year-over-year, with the software becoming the top free app for iPhones in the US since March 18, 2020. Not only that, but official data from Zoom claims that daily users spiked to 200 million in March 2020 - up from 10 million in December last year.

8 - Candidate experience is crucial

No matter how smooth an interview may go, and no matter how confident you are in a candidate being the right choice, there’s no denying it can be hard to make a final decision based on a video interview or two. 

To make sure you are making the right choice, pay particular attention to your candidate’s prior experience and how suited they are for the role. Take advantage of references from their previous employers and managers to gain some reliable insights into how they have performed in the past.

Are you looking for more tips and insights into effective talent acquisition strategies for remote workers, or simply want to transform your workforce management strategies? Get in touch with HCMWorks today. We have years of experience in ensuring that companies across North America are able to achieve their workforce targets, by using both full-time employees and independent contractors. 

HCMWorks Case Study on talent acquisition

Tags: Workforce Management, Contingent Workforce Management

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