“Lights, camera, action” seems to be the new norm. Remote and hybrid interviews are expected to continue as hiring accelerates. As an employer, this means the remote interview is oftentimes the candidate’s first glimpse into your company. We’re sharing these five tips to help make sure your process is refined, consistent, and reliable.
Tip #1: Select your best team representatives
Decide when to introduce team members based on who will make the best first (and last) impression. Just as a candidate is trying to sell themselves, it’s important to be mindful that your team is also selling itself as a great people to work with. The serial position effect explains our human tendency to remember the first (primacy) and last (recency) occurrence of an event. This means candidates are less likely to recall a perceived negative reaction during the middle of their interview process. For instance, choose employees who exert positive energy, have welcoming personalities and love what they do. Save other team members for the middle of the interview process.
Tip #2: Outline the primary stages of your interview
It seems like such a simple concept; however, don’t wing it! Take 15 minutes and prepare an outline as part of your interview planning and preparation process. This will help guide your conversation in a timely and consistent manner amongst all candidates. For example, this source claims these five stages should be included in most interviews:
- The introductory stage to learn the basics about the candidate
- The information stage where you will share information about the position or company to the candidate
- The question stage where you will ask questions to the candidate
- The reverse question stage where it’s the candidates turn to ask questions
- The conclusion where the interview is wrapped up
If it’s not worth the 15 minutes of prep time, the interview is likely not worth having.
Tip #3: Prepare unique and thoughtful questions
After you have the outline squared away, strategically gather questions that are reflective of your company’s culture designed to help you bond with the candidate. Save the behavioral, situational, and general questions for the middle of the interview. Instead, focus on asking genuinely engaging opening and closing questions such as:
- Opening: “Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your resume.”
- Closing: “If hired, what would you need from me to succeed in this position?”
This is an excellent way to lighten the mood and gain a sense of what their personality is like. And, it will make the candidate feel more comfortable when presented with more challenging questions as the interview progresses.
Tip #4. Send clear directions and reminders ahead of time
Remote interviews can be inherently stressful for everyone – especially if there’s been a miscommunication or technical difficulty before the interview has even started. Get ahead of this by sending clear instructions, links, meeting IDs, and other important details to the candidate ahead of time. A calendar invite is a candidate’s best friend.
Most video conferencing platforms feature a built-in option to automatically generate meeting reminders. Using this feature will help preserve the integrity of your communications and improve the candidate experience.
Tip #5: Partner with an external recruiter to screen and qualify applicants
Screening and qualifying applicants can be a real quagmire, especially if you need to fill a position quickly. It’s time-consuming and there are several hidden costs associated with having a vacant seat, yet hiring the wrong person is expensive. Consider working with an external recruiter who can assist with the bulk of your screening activities, including the initial remote interview process.
Find a professional contingent recruiting firm that is only paid when a candidate they presented is hired. This means the recruiter earns a flat rate, or a percentage, based on the first-year salary of the candidate. Essentially, they are incentivized to achieve your hiring goals, keep your vacancy costs low, and hire top talent within budget. They will help you achieve speed without compromising quality – and greatly reduce your time commitment in the process.