When it became clear that early 2020 would be different, companies had to shift quickly to a new normal. To protect employees, and job seekers, from COVID-19 exposure, remote work skyrocketed. The pandemic also affected the interview process making not only virtual workplaces normal but also virtual interviews.
Even now, it’s expected that 25 to 30% of workers will remain remote and more people are entering the workforce as work-from-home employees. The remote interview is here to stay, so it’s essential to create a guide to conduct virtual interviews. Before you begin your next search for a new employee, consider these ideas for your video interview process.
How Online Interviews Changed the Process
Virtual interviews have been a part of the process for some time, especially for international companies or corporations that hired remote workers or independent contractors. COVID-19 made the online interview a mainstay for many businesses, even those who typically hire in-house employees in their city. With attention to worker safety, the pandemic changed the hiring process. But online interviews had already changed the process for the better.
Companies embracing online interviews can expect:
- A reduction of costs
- The flexibility to work with schedules and time zones
- A consistent interview experience
- A demonstration of modern employment practices
Even without the push toward more virtual interviewing processes due to the pandemic, the future of the industry was leading us to that place. By embracing this technology and new approaches, you’re opening your company to incalculable benefits such as being able to hire talent from anywhere in the world without the added cost of relocation or limiting yourself to just one geographic location.
Online interviews are also changing the process for the candidates. They’re able to work around their schedules, even if they’re currently working, and attend a virtual interview without any obstacles in the way. They are often more comfortable and more prepared, which allows them to put their best foot forward in the process.
What Does a Virtual Interview Process Look Like?
For a while, remote interviews were synonymous with telephone interviews. Sometimes companies would utilize a phone interview as the first step in a screening process. For relocating candidates, phone interviews replaced face-to-face interviews. That all changed with the advent and availability of video conference calls.
Zoom became a household name during the pandemic, but the technology has available for a while. Skype was at the top of the list for many years. As the pandemic moved current employees from the office to their homes, companies made use of the available video conferencing tools daily. This has meant there is more access to video interviewing, and everyone has learned how to navigate remote conference calls.
There are interesting stats regarding the video conference platforms that companies use. Zoom is the clear winner with 43%, and Google’s video platform is second at 19%. Companies also report that video interviews generally last less than an hour, with 48% running between 30 and 60 minutes. Only 16% of virtual interviews seem to last more than one hour.
Organizations should also provide as much detail about what candidates can expect from the interview and hiring process. But for the most part, a virtual interview is conducted in the same way as a face-to-face interview.
How to Prepare for Video Interviews
There is a lot of information on the web about how candidates should prepare for online interviews, but how should hiring companies adjust their processes? Here are a few things you should know about conducting virtual interviews.
Preparing the Technology
Long before scheduling the first online interview, your company should be familiar with video conferencing technology. Choose a platform, such as Zoom, and use that across the board. Be sure that your systems are compatible with what you’ve chosen and familiarize yourself with the technology.
Scheduling Across Time Zones
Virtual interviews, and remote hiring, have the added benefit of reaching around the globe. Companies are no longer restricted to finding talent only in your community. But this means you also have to plan for scheduling interviews across various time zones. Most calendar apps, including Google, will account for this, but be sure to communicate fully as your setting up the meeting.
Reviewing Resume and Job Description
You want the applicant to be prepared for the interview, and you owe them the same amount of preparation. Before the meeting, review their resume along with the job description. This helps you refresh your knowledge, and you can see parallels between the candidate and the job.
Creating an Interview Structure
While a video interview should be very similar to a face-to-face meeting, it can be easy to forget about the proper structure. You want to make sure you cover all of the most critical information about the job, talk about the company culture, and give the candidate time to ask questions.
Writing a Script and Checklist
Also helpful for traditional interviews, an interview checklist is essential to the entire hiring process. Many hiring managers base their decision on gut feelings, but this can lead to a bad hire. Instead, have an established set of criteria and create a checklist to help you get all of the answers you need. This will help you compare apples to apples when making a hiring decision.
Planning for Candidate Questions
Most hiring managers consider it a red flag when a candidate doesn’t have any questions. However, to compensate for nerves, it can be helpful for an interviewer to prompt any additional inquiries. You also want to plan to answer these questions and leave yourself enough time in the interview to give them the proper consideration.
Conclusion: Making Virtual Interview a Part of Your Company Culture
Online interviewing isn’t just about pandemic safety anymore. Hiring from across the globe helps companies tap into talent previously unavailable to them. To make virtual interviews more accessible, you need to understand the technology and the processes. That’s why it helps to have a system in place before you get started.
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