Although many businesses plan to ask their employees to return onsite once the COVID vaccine is more readily available, others plan on staying fully remote or offering hybrid models in the wake of the pandemic. With a new acceptance and growing efficiency of virtual meetings and processes, many remote-work technologies that skyrocketed as a result of the work-from-home shift will continue to be utilized, even when meeting in person becomes more of a viable option.
With that said, many companies have come to appreciate the benefits and flexibility of virtual interviews. Instead of using these interviews as a solution to fix a temporary problem, hiring managers are now considering them a tool to streamline recruitment and create more opportunities in their organization. Rather than abandoning virtual interviews now that we are seeing glimpses of life beyond the pandemic, it might be time to dial them in and really take advantage of this productive hiring strategy. Here are some ways you can maximize your virtual interviews to ensure you hire the best candidate for the job.
Refine Your Resources
Whether you use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Hangouts, there are countless options for conducting a highly interactive and effective interview. Zoom, for example, has a feature built-in called “Whiteboard” that allows for participants to view and annotate a virtual whiteboard during the meeting. This is particularly helpful when interviewing for technical positions, such as software engineers or UX/UI design. No matter what digital platform and corresponding tools you determine are best for your organization’s needs, be sure all the glitches are worked out and you are fully prepared to conduct a smooth and successful interview.
In addition, understanding that technical difficulties do occur, it is important to consider your candidate’s comfort level in the interview. Allow the candidate to spend a few minutes alone in the meeting to get familiar with the environment ahead of time. If a candidate is struggling with the technology during the interview, they will likely be distracted and unable to make their best impression. This small courtesy can go a long way for a potential employee. Remember, candidates are assessing you just as much as you are them!
Define Your Agenda
The transition to virtual interviews should not take away from the structure of your interview process. If anything, more internal preparation and discussion should take place ahead of time to ensure the interview is as productive as it would be in person. If your business conducts panel interviews, plan who will be facilitating the interview and who is responsible for each question or topic. It is critical your group is on the same page and presents itself as a cohesive and professional team.
Defining your agenda saves time and money for your organization. Initial candidate screening can be onerous, but it doesn’t always have to be. By offering the convenience of virtual first interviews, your organization can optimize the hiring process by avoiding scheduling delays and by sticking with a strict structure.
Personalize the Experience
It’s easy to lose focus on personalizing an interview when you’re staring at a screen and are limited on non-verbal means of expression. However, failing to connect on a human level during an interview can create problems when determining whether a candidate fits your company’s culture and values. To help personalize the interview, consider virtually recreating experiences you would have in person, such as touring the office, having a cup of coffee, or meeting other members of the organization. Consider ways to leave your candidate feeling valued and connected to your team.
While in-person interviews seem ideal to best get to know a candidate and determine whether they would be a good fit, virtual interviews are becoming more routine and effective in the recruiting process. Whatever direction your business decides to go after the pandemic, virtual interviews might just be the solution to meet your hiring needs.