Tips for interviewing potential employees remotely

Tips for interviewing potential employees remotely

Thanks to advancements in telecommunications technology, more and more companies are able to tap talent from all over the world — provided that these firms overcome language barriers. This shift in the job market has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since workers had to shelter in place, much of the hiring process had to happen remotely, too, so why not look beyond one’s local talent pool?

As of this writing, despite the country returning to pre-COVID normalcy, businesses that have seen the value of having remote workers will continue to hire them because of the following benefits:

  • The availability of skilled and trainable workers increases.
  • Staff from different time zones can cover night and early morning shifts to enable 24-hour operations.
  • Salaries that may be high in one region may be more affordable in another.
  • Diverse cultures and experiences contribute to diversity in points of view and ways of thinking, which foster ingenuity and innovation.

Companies that are new to remote hiring will find its interview process to be a bit different from in-person interviews. To make the most of your time and that of your applicants, apply these tried-and-tested tips:

Prior to interviewing them, screen candidates by testing their skills

Interviews require time and effort from both the hiring staff and the applicant, so assessing candidates’ skills with online tests helps determine those who are fit to be interviewed.

After applicants who passed the test have been determined, some businesses take the extra steps of anonymizing applicants’ resumes, cover letters, and test submissions, as well as removing details that may indicate race and gender. Called blind resume screening, this practice helps prevent HR personnel from blocking applicants for reasons other than lack of merit and potential with the company.

Be transparent and set applicants up for success

Before commencing the interview stage of the hiring process, tell applicants how the overall process will go. Share how many rounds of interviews they’ll have to go through, and relay the following details prior to beginning each round:

  • The skills or qualities you are going to assess for that round
  • Items the applicants will need for the interview, be it a video camera, strong Wi-Fi connection, pen and paper, and what-have-you

In other words, give applicants the information they need and time to prepare. This will reduce their anxiety and make them feel supported by you.

Furthermore, if an applicant doesn’t qualify for the next round, do not hesitate to communicate this to them. Don’t leave applicants hanging as they may have adjusted their schedule to prioritize applying for your company. Applicants appreciate businesses that take the time to do this and tend to hold a better opinion of these firms over those that made them wait indefinitely for nothing.

Standardize each interview

In-person interviews are more dynamic than online video interviews because people get to obtain much more information from each other’s non-verbal cues when they’re physically together. Video interview participants are often limited to just seeing one another’s faces and upper torsos at the most, so it’s naturally more difficult to build rapport.

However, less dynamism means more rigidity — i.e., interviewers can keep to the structure of the interview more uniformly across all applicants. For each interview round, have your assessment criteria set in scorecards beforehand. Form an interview panel composed of people from different backgrounds to mitigate implicit bias, and teach them how to use the scorecards properly.

During the interview process, the panelists must write down their scores and comments immediately while the memory of their interaction with the applicant is still fresh in their minds. And, to avoid conformity bias (i.e., the unconscious tendency to act in a similar manner as one’s peers to avoid being removed from the safety the group provides), panelists must not see their fellows’ assessments before writing down their own scores.

Give the candidate your undivided attention

Turn off or set your phone on silent mode, and turn off app notifications so that you won’t get distracted. If you’re working from home, conduct the interview in a secluded place and ask housemates and family members for privacy.

Additionally, make sure that all of your tech is working properly. Test your camera and audio before every round, and if your internet connection at home is unreliable, go to a co-working space with private booths or ask your company for a pocket Wi-Fi. Keep in mind that the evaluation process goes both ways, and that if you leave a bad impression on good applicants, your company may just end up losing them to your competitors.

Having the right tech setup allows you to conduct remote job interviews without a hitch. We at Founders Technology Group will go further and say that having the right IT partner makes your business operate smoothly and gear it toward growth. Drop us a line at (860) 256 8197 or schedule a free consultation today.