In-person job interviews are going out of style.
In a recent poll of 1,100 US employers, 82% of respondents said they adopted virtual interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 93% expect to continue using them.
Online interviews have become an essential part of recruitment strategy, and now they’re here to stay.
This comes as no surprise. After all, hiring with video:
- Saves time and money. Job candidates don’t have to travel on-site to be interviewed anymore.
- Is more convenient. Job candidates can do the interview from the comfort of their homes.
- Is more flexible. Schedule the interview at more times. In fact, if it’s asynchronous (aka prerecorded), candidates can do the interview at any time.
So if you haven’t switched to hiring with video already, here are 7 steps to make your first virtual interview a success:
1. Get the right setup
Ensure you have the right setup. First of all, make sure you have the right computer and webcam for the interview, and position the camera so that it’s at eye level.
Next, create a professional background. The interviewee shouldn’t be able to see into a messy house, see lots of people, or see anything that could be distracting. A plain wall is best. If that’s not possible, consider blurring your background with a video conferencing software like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
As for lighting, try to get natural light on your face. You don’t want it to be backlit or covered by shadows. That’ll make you hard to see.
2. Do a test run
Once you’ve set up your equipment, background, and lighting, do a test run. Start a mock interview to check that all of the following work:
- Internet connection
- Computer audio
- Screen sharing
Anything that you’ll be using during the interview should be tested to help prevent technical issues later on. You wouldn’t want an avoidable problem to ruin the interview, so a test run is a good routine practice to have.
3. Remove distractions
Before the actual interview begins, remove any distractions. This might mean closing doors and windows to silence noise from outside. But it can also mean closing unnecessary programs and web browser tabs on your computer.
Remember, the person you are interviewing deserves your full and undivided attention. So get rid of anything that could potentially turn into a distraction.
4. Be professional
Next, show up to the interview in a professional manner. That means being punctual and dressing as you would for a regular interview.
You should also look directly into the camera lens (or close to it) so that you make eye contact with the interviewee. Be present and engaged.
Give some brief guidelines for the interview at the outset. This helps the candidate know what to expect.
And lastly, set the right tone for the interview by keeping it relaxed but on task. Show your personality and encourage the candidate to show theirs, but don’t joke too much or let the interview get too off-track.
5. Stay organized
Good organization is key to a good virtual interview.
Come prepared with questions and never wing an interview. In fact, give the job candidate clear instructions ahead of time so that they come prepared as well. Tell them what the interview will cover and what video conferencing software they’ll need to participate (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.).
You also want to schedule the interview with ample buffer time in case it goes longer than expected. Use a scheduling app like Calendly to quickly find a time that works for both parties.
6. Don’t rush
Don’t rush the interview. Show that you value and appreciate the job candidate’s time and answer any questions they might have. For example, if they’re confused about what a regular workday would look like, paint them a picture.
Make the interviewee feel like they are welcome to ask questions throughout so you can help clarify expectations. And always speak loudly and clearly, so that they don’t have trouble understanding you.
7. Follow up on the next steps
At the end of the interview, thank the job candidate for their time and let them know when they can expect to hear back.
As soon as you know whether the candidate will move forward in the hiring process, let them know. You should never leave them hanging. Even just a friendly status update is better than nothing. It shows basic respect for them and their time.
Well, there you have it! You now know what it takes to conduct a successful online job interview. Whether you’re recruiting right now or not, this is a crucial skill to have for long-term success. Without it, finding and attracting top talent will be extremely difficult.
And if you allow remote work, virtual job interviews give you access to a much larger talent pool so you only hire the best of the best.
That said, if you’re looking to outsource any software development work, we can help. At Dev.co, we provide custom software development for websites, mobile apps, project management, APIs, and much more. Contact us today for a free consultation!
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