Top 10 tips for virtual interviews in 2023

Virtual interviews have become the new normal after COVID pandemic. In the post-pandemic era, more people are working remotely. Thus, many recruiters and employers are shifting to virtual interviews. Video conferencing tools are coming in handy to conduct virtual interviews. They not only save money and time, but also provide increased candidate experience. Virtual interviews can sometimes be troublesome due to technical difficulties on either side. As Virtual interviews have a plethora of benefits, so the right tools and tips should be used to conduct them. Below are the best virtual interview tips that employers should follow during interviews.

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What Is A Virtual Interview?

Job interviews that don’t take place in person are called virtual interviews. A virtual interview is an excellent way to hire people when the interviewer and interviewee are sitting in different locations. The interviewer uses either a phone call or video calls via video conferencing tools to communicate with the candidates. This is done online and helps both the parties to coordinate their schedules more easily.

Benefits Of Virtual Interviews

During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual interviews gained momentum. Now, they have become a popular way of connecting and hiring candidates. They not only save time and money, but also take away the stress of meeting in person. Some other benefits of virtual interviews are mentioned below:

  1. Saves time and money: Virtual interviews save time for employers to fill a vacant position. On the other hand, candidates are also spared the hassle of travelling to the location. Video conferencing tools are a cost-effective way of taking interviews and provide an ample amount of human interaction.
  2. Schedule flexibility: Virtual interviews provide schedule flexibility to both the candidates and the employers. Candidates do not need to take a day off from the work and their interview can be scheduled around the interviewer’s availability. This also reduces the burden of interview cancellations and interview no-shows.
  3. Taking notes: It is difficult to take notes during in-person interviews. In virtual interviews, you can easily take notes during the interview itself. These notes may help you to make a better decision.
  4. Eliminates bias: Virtual interviews are extremely structured. This makes all the interviews more consistent. Not meeting the candidate in person helps to eliminate various conscious and unconscious biases. This brings more transparency and fairness to the interview process.
  5. Less hassle to candidates: Virtual interviews are beneficial for candidates too. Candidates can join the interview from anywhere. It saves their time and effort to reach a specific location. Interviewees feel more comfortable in their familiar setting while giving interviews. This increases their chances of getting hired.

Best Practices For Virtual Interviews

During COVID-19 pandemic, many recruiters have switched to virtual interviews. Most employers now have well-established video conferencing capabilities. Some companies are new to this technology and process. In-person interview approaches and strategies work well in a virtual interview. Though, following the virtual interview tips below can help you prepare for an effective session:

1. Set up the process and test run

Virtual interviews are mostly conducted on video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. Thus, it is important to set up the whole process and inform everyone, including the talent acquisition team. Interviewees should be sent detailed instructions about the platform to be used. How to download the software? How to create an ID and password? Provide step-by-step instructions for using the platform for a seamless experience. Also, check the computer’s audio, camera, and internet connection. Poor connectivity can damage your company’s image. Therefore, it is important to test-run the technology to eliminate all possible issues during the interview.

2. Give preparation time to the interviewee

You should not schedule an interview on the same day you first discussed the job opening with the candidate. It is important to give preparation time to the candidate. Schedule an interview on a later date when it is convenient for both the hiring manager and the interviewee. Giving preparation time to the interviewee will boost their confidence, and they will perform their best at the interview. Showing professionalism to the candidates can lead to a positive interview experience.

3. Standardise your system

Virtual interviews allow you to connect with a wider candidate pool. This may lead to good hires for the vacant position. In this case, it is important to assess the candidate’s strengths and capabilities. Interviewers should develop a standardised format of interview questions and a rating system. This will help to eliminate unconscious bias and more likely to find the right talent. After the interview is completed, this rating system can be used to determine the most promising candidate based on the performance.

4. Choose your interview panel

Virtual interviews give you the freedom to have as many as people you may want to have on your interview panel. Choose the panel members with different roles and backgrounds to ensure smooth functioning of the process. Provide the members with interview questions beforehand. Make sure to provide panel members with an overview of the interview platform to conduct a seamless interview.

5. Choose a professional and quiet background

Conduct your virtual interviews in a quiet place with professional background. This increases the focus of the interviewer. Choose a quiet room if taking the interview from home. A professional or clean background will ensure that the candidate is not distracted by your background. Use various professional backgrounds available in the video conferencing tools to minimise distractions.

6. Be professional

In order to make virtual interviews more serious in nature, it is important to make everything professional. Dress professionally as you would do for an in-person interview. Make sure to turn off the ringer and notifications on your phone. These may cause a distraction while conducting interviews. Make sure to make the candidate professional. Smile more often, talk clearly and nod your head to show that you are listening to the candidate. Take notes to track the performance of the candidates.

7. Research about candidates

Research candidates before the interview process. You may look into the candidate’s LinkedIn profiles, personal websites, portfolios and social media pages. Make sure to refresh yourself with the candidate’s profile before the interview starts. Encourage candidates to join your LinkedIn pages. Being in touch with them can help you to fill your future vacancies.

8. Be patient

You may have to face technical snags and disconnections during a virtual interview. Show compassion to the candidates if they don’t have an ideal situation to take interview calls. Be patient and wait for a few minutes if the candidate faces a disconnection issue. This will add humanity to the situation and relax the candidates.

9. Follow up with a thank-you email

After completing a virtual interview, thank the candidate for sparing their valuable time for you. Send an email with a thank-you note. Also, tell the candidate about any next steps involved in the interview if they are selected in this stage of interview.

10. Provide feedback

Most of the candidates complain about not receiving any feedback from the interviewers. Sharing your detailed feedback with the candidate will improve the image of your company. You can also take feedback from the candidate. This will help you to improve your processes.

How To Conduct A Virtual Interview

Here are some virtual interview tips for conducting an effective and seamless session:

1. Introduction and making the candidate comfortable

Begin the interview by confirming if the internet connection of the candidate is working fine. It is important to make the candidate feel comfortable during the interview. Introduce your company and talk about the role you are hiring for. Discuss the interview agenda with the candidate. This can reduce their anxiety and calm them down.

2. Stay on track when asking questions

Use the standard questions prepared to stay on track. Ask relevant questions from the candidate to gain information about their strengths and weaknesses. Consider asking follow-up questions on a specific topic to know if the jobseekers can think critically. Do not ask irrelevant questions, as these may cause distraction.

3. Give time to think and answer

There may be internet connection disruptions during virtual interviews. To account for this technical problem, provide the candidate with an ample amount of time to respond. If there is a disconnection during the interview, ask the candidate to repeat their answers. This is to ensure you have heard everything the candidate said.

4. Discuss company values

Virtual interviews do not give the candidate an opportunity to understand the values and work culture of the company. You should describe the workplace environment and work culture to the candidates. Discuss with them the environment they would work in if they are hired. Also, find out about the candidate’s background and the values they will bring.

5. Provide the opportunity to ask questions

Always give enough opportunity to the candidates to ask questions. Candidates may have questions about the company, role, workplace environment, and HR policies. Try to answer as many questions as you can. For others, you can guide them to HR or specific teams.

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