Conducting Virtual Interviews
Here are some tips on how to prepare for and conduct a successful virtual interview.
Communicate with the Candidate
Ahead of the interview, make sure to send some information to the candidate to help them prepare and feel at ease for the interview.
- Let them know how to access the platform you intend to use for the video interview.
- Give them some idea of the format of the interview – especially if they will be asked to provide a work sample or do any kind of problem-solving exercise.
- Provide a brief schedule: when the interview will start and finish, how much time they might be expected to spend answering questions from different team members, and who they can expect to meet on the call.
Double Check the Details
Make sure that everyone who needs to join your video interview has the correct date, time, and access details for the call. If you are working across time zones with a global team, this is particularly prudent.
Set the Tone – Be Professional
You should conduct yourself in just as formal and professional a manner on a video interview call as you would for an in-person interview. Remember to smile and make good eye contact from the start. Be an active listener and speak clearly.
At the same time as setting a professional tone, be compassionate and tolerant of the challenges of virtual working. For example, a candidate – despite their best efforts to create a calm and quiet space for the video interview – may be unavoidably interrupted by a family member or some disruption happening in their environment. Reassure them if this happens and take a minute to get focused again before continuing.
Do Your Homework
Make sure that you have read the application form and resume for each candidate and are familiar with the job description and person specification. Make sure you, and everyone involved in the interview, also know who the candidate will report to if successfully hired. If you can, prepare some questions in advance that you might want to ask the candidate. Remember they will have questions for you as well, so be prepared.
Prepare Your Tech and Environment
Make sure you have a quiet, well-lit space with good internet connection to conduct the video interview. Interruptions and poor signal will affect the quality of exchange between you and the candidate, which may contribute to a poor impression first impression. Check in advance that the candidate is also comfortable with your chosen platform for the interview. Make sure that your space is clear and looking professional. Often virtual team members are working from home, so try to set the scene as professionally as possible as you would in a face-to-face interview
Follow Up and Set Expectations
At the end of the interview, make sure to clearly set out and manage expectations for the next steps and follow-up. Let the candidate know who will contact them and by when they can expect to hear back. Let them know how you will contact them – a phone call or an email – and whether there will be any further rounds of interviews for successful candidates. It is considerate to let candidates know when this might be, or give plenty of notice, so that they can set the time aside to be available.