While the spread of COVID19 has been slowed, remote work continues to be the norm, and it is not going away anytime soon. This means that virtual meetings and chat rooms are here to stay and if you’re in the job market or looking to hire then this means virtual interviews! Virtual interviews can be clunky and awkward without pre-planning, so we’ve gathered our top tips for both conducting and participating in them. Hopefully, these tips will take your virtual hiring and job search process to the next level.
For the interviewer–
- Clear communication is KEY.
Work closely with your teammates and candidates on policies and procedures for interviews. Make sure the candidate knows if it’s a video or phone interview, how long it will be, and the format. Include any software they will need to download and make sure they know the name and title of who is interviewing them. Send a calendar invite with a link or phone number and always have a backup plan for tech failures.
- Test the Tech.
Give it a test run. Whichever software you are using– google hangouts, Microsoft teams, or Zoom, send a link to a colleague and make sure it works. Especially if you haven’t run one previously, make sure your WIFI strength is OK, your camera and audio work, and if you are planning to share your screen, try that out as well. A seamless candidate experience is vital to their interview and first impression of the company.
- Set expectations.
Candidates will need to absorb more information in a virtual interview than an in-person one. They can’t grasp company culture as well or take a tour, so over-communicating is good in this situation. After your initial introduction, give a rundown of how the interview will go and the expected length of time they will hear back afterward. Explain how the company has handled COVID and what to expect in the job, as well as ask the interviewee how they’ve been dealing with everything. This makes for an easy-going environment and leverages a more personal touch.
For the interviewee–
- Dress professionally
Dress like you would dress for an in-person interview, your best business attire. It will be appreciated that you are taking it seriously on the interviewer’s end as well as help you to feel like your best self.
- Prep & Plan
Research the company pre-interview and make sure to test whichever software the interview is being conducted on. Check audio, visual, and log on a few minutes early. Be aware of a backup plan if tech fails– who to email or call.
- Limit distractions
Make sure your notifications are turned off on your laptop and phone. Closeout all other tabs and pull up any notes you need to reference as well as a page to take notes. Block out a space in your house without any noise issues, and with the strongest WIFI, you can find!
- Be authentic
It’s difficult to fully convey yourself virtually. However, it’s a perk that you can interview in a familiar setting and show the company who you are and why you’re the right person for the job. Express yourself with body language and facial expressions, ask questions, and show your personality!
Virtual interviews take a bit of practice and prep, but as long as both the candidate and the interviewer pick a clean, quiet space and act professionally– it can be as normal as possible. The last piece of advice for both ends, make sure to send a follow-up email with a thank you note.
Best of luck out there!