12 Essential Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 1 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Hiring managers conduct virtual interviews remotely to assess the suitability of candidates for open positions. Many recruiters prefer conducting virtual interviews as they can improve the accessibility, flexibility and efficiency of the hiring process. If you are a hiring manager and wish to start organising online interviews with potential candidates, learning about a few basic tips and suggestions can help you conduct them effectively. In this article, we share 12 important virtual interviewing tips for hiring managers to help you conduct interviews professionally.

12 Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

Here are 12 essential virtual interviewing tips for hiring managers to manage online interviews effectively:

1. Test all devices and equipment prior to the interview

The importance of technological devices and equipment to function correctly in virtual interviews is paramount. Before you conduct the interview, make sure to test every piece of equipment. This includes your laptop or computer system, the video conferencing software, the microphone and camera of the device, speakers, and the internet. You can conduct this test one day before the interview to ensure that all devices work as expected. Doing this test is particularly important if you are going to use a new device or video conferencing platform.

2. Provide clear instructions to job applicants

Depending on the video conferencing platform and nature of the interview, some candidates may be required to perform the additional step of creating an account or installing certain software. To help candidates feel relaxed, make sure you give them clear directions about how to join the video call. Ideally, prepare a step-by-step process that includes instructions and share it in an email well before the interview. This also ensures that candidates can refer to the instructions as many times as they require. Remember to write simple and short sentences, and clarify any technical term or acronym.

Related: How To Succeed In A Virtual Interview

3. Simplify your communication and calendar management

It is possible that the candidate is in a different location or time zone than yours. This makes it essential to keep track of interview dates and time slots to ensure your availability. Many video conference platforms have the option to share virtual invitations that get integrated with your preferred calendar management application.

Once the interview gets confirmed, share a virtual invitation with the candidate immediately after the call and clearly mention the date, time, and duration of the interview in the same. If the link to the meeting is not in the invitation, you can share the same when you send a reminder email one or two days before the scheduled interaction. Many smart hiring software and tools allow hiring managers to automate such communication, which saves time and optimises the process.

4. Frame critical questions before the interview

This is a common practice for hiring managers when organising in-person interviews, and it is equally essential to follow it during virtual interviews. Prepare a list of questions that are necessary to evaluate the soft and hard skills of the candidate beforehand. Make sure you review the questions once to see if they are easy to understand. You can also practice speaking them clearly and confidently before the interview. Also, decide the order of the questions to ensure that you can cover the most critical ones comfortably within the interview's time frame.

Related: Tips From A Recruiter: Mastering The Virtual Interview

5. Ensure transparency in your interactions

Make sure you inform the candidate of all the relevant details about the job and the company that can help them make an informed decision. It is the responsibility of the hiring manager to ensure transparency throughout the interview and convey only accurate information. For example, if a company expects all employees to visit the office at least two days a week even when they are working remotely, share this with the candidate.

Similarly, it is vital to share crucial information about the probation period, training and onboarding process. You can share all crucial information related to the job in a follow-up email that can serve as a reference document for the candidate. Doing so can help build trust between the company and the candidate.

6. Promote the company values and culture

The values and culture of an organisation can be an important factor in helping candidates decide whether to accept a job offer. As virtual interviews do not allow the candidate to visit the office premises, highlighting the company culture becomes extremely crucial. Make sure you describe the overall atmosphere and working environment at the company, explain the benefits and share personal anecdotes if required.

If the organisation offers some unique rewards or benefits, make sure you explain them adequately. Allocate some time towards the end of the discussion to allow the candidate to ask relevant questions about the company and role.

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview

7. Design a comprehensive rating system

Hiring managers typically schedule several virtual interviews during their workday to ensure that they can interact with as many candidates as possible. In such a scenario, it becomes critical to evaluate each candidate objectively on the same parameters and record your observations. You can devise a system that is most suitable for the position and award points based on the candidate's answer. For example, if you are hiring for the role of a salesperson, focusing on soft skills can be more prudent as compared to when you are interviewing a web developer.

A comprehensive and standard rating system can help you evaluate multiple candidates and compare their applications effectively. This can help you identify more talented applicants and shortlist them quickly.

8. Ensure minimal distractions

Select a quiet and distraction-free area to conduct interviews. Make sure you record your voice and listen to it during the test run. This can help you identify if your device picks up any distracting background noises. An ideal location can be a room with its doors closed. If your environment has loud noises or distractions, keep your device on mute when the candidate is responding to your questions.

You can also turn off the notifications from other devices and update your online status to reflect that you are busy conducting interviews. This can help minimise distractions and allow you to focus on interviewing.

Related: What Is Video Conferencing? (Definition, Benefits And Tips)

9. Select a suitable background

It is vital to ensure that your background is clean, tidy and professional-looking. If you are conducting the interview in your room, you can face the window so that your face gets adequate light. Make sure the framing is such that it focuses on your face. Your background can be a stack of books, plants or some other accessories. You can also consider using virtual desktops that many video conferencing platforms offer.

10. Maintain professionalism

Although hiring managers usually conduct virtual interviews from their homes or locations outside of the office, it is important to remember that they serve the same purpose and requirements remain the same, if not more, which is professionalism. Make sure you dress appropriately and conduct the interview in a respectful environment. Use professional language, listen attentively, maintain positive body language and ask relevant follow-up questions.

11. Seek feedback from candidates

Once the questions are over, spend a few minutes discussing the interviewee's experience. Ask about how comfortable they felt and whether they have any questions. Enquiring about these things can help you understand how to improve the interview process and also establish a positive rapport with the candidate. Seeking feedback can also be essential to establish transparency and convey that the organisation welcomes critical suggestions that help improve the process. You can also create a standard feedback form that has questions related to the candidate's experience, ease and comfort and share it with them in a follow-up email.

Related: Tips For A Successful Skype Interview

12. Discuss the next steps

Before concluding the interview, make sure you clearly explain the next steps. This is particularly important if the candidate has to take some action, such as sharing their work samples or any other relevant document. You can also explain the expected timeline of the remaining hiring process and how soon the candidate can expect to hear from you. This helps clarify candidate expectations and builds trust.

Once the interview is over, make sure you send a follow-up email thanking the candidate for participating in the interview, reminding them to share any documents and discussing the next step. You can request them to share their feedback or fill out the feedback form in this email.

The virtual interviewing tips for hiring managers mentioned above are the ideal ones and make the process a smooth one if followed appropriately.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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