September 2021 – Five Tips on How to Conduct Interviews Remotely

September 2021 – Five Tips on How to Conduct Interviews Remotely

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When a remote interview goes wrong or feels awkward, both candidates and recruiters suffer. Conducting an efficient remote interview is far from easy, so how can hiring managers make the most of that screen time?

According to our popular recent LinkedIn poll, 75% of people are indeed enjoying working remotely. We are connected to a lot of internal recruiters, so we suspect that this sentiment will also be a common one in our profession.

So, given the challenges of communicating via video links, how do hiring managers make remote interviews as effective as possible?

EM Group have been conducting remote interviews for years. During the pandemic we have acted as advisors to our clients in many different ways, and conducting remote interviews was right up there. Here are five tips that we found ourselves sharing most frequently:

1. Hiring managers should provide ample resources before the remote interview

A great interview process allows for an efficient two-way flow of information to enable the best possible decisions. Every candidate will want to be as prepared as possible before an interview, but this is especially the case before a remote interview. Clients should share as much information as possible about the role, the company culture and anything else that you might consider important. The fewer tangential questions are bothering a candidate during an interview, the more they can focus on answering what matters.

2. Consider which information you can collect before the interview

Anything that will help to inform the direction of a remote interview will make it a smoother and more informative experience. Hiring managers may wish to consider covering off the simpler questions in a one-way recorded interview. Equally, asking candidates to complete psychometric testing before in-person interview can often shine a light on some specific areas for questioning.

3. Know and check all the functions of your technology

Recruiting departments might use Zoom and Teams all the time, but do not assume that every hiring manager will be as comfortable. Make sure that you update your company policies in terms of how to conduct a video interview and ensure that all of your recruiters are subject matter experts in terms of the technology. Choose the simplest possible video interviewing platform and send instructions to candidates as a matter of course.

4. Make sure that the interviewing team is focused and briefed

Many remote interviews involve more than one interviewer, so it is important that everyone is on the same page. Be clear with your colleagues beforehand about the objectives of the interview and brief them on the importance of active listening and brevity. Asking specific questions will lessen the chance of receiving a rambling answer and the candidate will find it easier if there is a flow to the interview.

5. Should you pay attention to body language?

Body language is only a useful communication medium if the person concerned is feeling relaxed. When you introduce an unfamiliar and stressful situation, physical cues can be exaggerated, suppressed or even eliminated altogether. The disconnect (and discomfort) that a listener experiences in a video call is often down to the speaker’s body language seeming different to what they are saying. In an interview situation, try to listen to their words and discount any strange mannerisms.

We discuss these questions and many more with our clients on a daily basis. If you would welcome a chat about any aspect of your remote interviewing process, feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to share our experiences.

EM can help. Please contact David Howell to discuss further: [email protected]