Hands down, the most informative interview is a face-to-face, live meeting, but with public health concerns regarding the spread of Covid-19, many talent acquisition professionals are using remote interviews as a key part of the hiring process. Whether you use Google Hangout, Zoom or Skype, the new normal is face time through a camera lens. As more clients use remote interviewing, we’ve learned some snags to avoid and tips to share to make sure your remote interview process goes smoothly:

  1. Exploit the Technology: Although not complex, there are technical issues that must be addressed, such as making sure you have secure Internet access, a quiet environment where your face is well lit, a decent Webcam and microphone system, and the required ID and password information. In most cases, candidates and employers must register to participate. Manage these details before the interview. Technical difficulties on your end will reflect poorly on you and the company you represent. Also, have a backup plan if the technology fails.
  2. Present Yourself Well: An interview is a two-way interaction. While you’re deciding whether the candidate is the right fit, you are also selling the role and your company. The “best foot forward” approach is important for every interview and vital with passive candidates, but video is different: You must speak clearly and quickly (slow talking is more pronounced), you look 20 pounds heavier (avoid loud prints), and you make eye contact by looking directly at the camera, NOT your computer screen! Also, without forcing it, be extra enthusiastic to counteract the media’s flatness. To perfect your online interviewing persona, practice by doing at least one taped, dry run with a colleague–and then review it to improve your delivery!
  3. Ask Good Questions: More than ever, be familiar with the candidate’s credentials because unprepared does not play well on the screen. Also, ask a mix of factual, general, and behavioral questions that will prompt candidates to give examples of demonstrated skills and relevant strengths. (See more about good interview questions in other post.) Do not interrupt–allow candidates to speak without feeling rushed by pausing after they finish before moving on to the next question.
  4. Get Consent Before Recording: In most cases, the technology enables you to record remote meetings, which can be useful to review details, compare candidates, and most importantly, be totally present at the actual interview. If you wish to record the interview, JCSI advises clients to seek the candidate’s express consent prior to doing so. The laws vary by jurisdiction (15 states require all parties must consent to being recording), but it is best to err on the side of caution by informing and asking for consent from all parties before you begin.

JCSI prescreens applicants to make sure they meet your requirements before sending them to you for the next step. Whether that step is a phone or remote video meeting, presenting yourself and your firm well and getting accurate information is a critical part of the hiring process.