Virtual Interviews – Our IT Recruitment Tips
The current global pandemic has forced us to do things differently, so it is no surprise that virtual interviewing has become normal. More and more employers are recruiting in this way, with many employers never actually meeting their employees. Facebook has taken the lead with this, employing a remote workforce. They will permanently embrace remote work even after coronavirus lockdown eases, accelerating the tech sector’s geographic diversification away from its home in Silicon Valley, interviewing its employees virtually from around the world.
The world’s largest social network has said it will be “aggressively opening up remote recruitment”. Facebook expects that about half its workforce will be working remotely over the next 5-10 years. They are not the only ones who uphold this belief, with most of the big Tech Companies offering a permanent ‘work-from-home environment.
Remote working is not going away and neither is remote interviewing and Remote On-Boarding.
So, how does virtual interviewing differ and what are the benefits to Employers, HR and Hiring Managers?
Virtual Interviewing means you can interview at any time, in any place and anywhere, making the whole process more convenient. For example, virtual Interviewing allows you to record the interview and play it back when you are making your candidate selection. It also enables you to share the interview with other stakeholders that may not attend the interview. Moreover, virtual Interviewing also allows you to share presentations, videos, and other data during the interview through screen sharing.
Here is our guide to successful Virtual Interviewing.
- Do ensure that you are dressed appropriately for an interview even if you are wearing your slippers, wear formal wear on camera.
- Ensure your background is not distracting, Teams and Zoom allow you to add a background or “Whiteout” your home life which may distract a candidate.
- Ensure that any background noise is kept to a minimum.
- Teams and Zoom work the best for Interviews, other virtual platforms are available to ensure that your candidate has downloaded the app you are using before the interview.
- Test your technology before the interview, microphone and shareability if you are sharing screens.
- Let the candidate know what you want them to prepare and who will be at the interview, it may seem obvious, but we have had quite few surprised candidates turning up to Virtual Panel Interviews because it’s easy to join a Zoom.
- Structure the Interview as if it were being held at the office, some candidates have reported very informal virtual interviews which they were not expecting. Let the candidate know at the start of the interview the structure and how long it will likely take.
- Introduce anyone who has joined the interview remotely, it can be unnerving for a candidate if other team members “Sit in” on the interview.
- Ensure you have a warmup before the interview starts, one of the downsides of a virtual world is getting straight down to business, it can be uncomfortable just to launch straight into interview questions, use a few ice-breaker questions before beginning the interview formally. Face-to-face interviews always allow that “weather” conversation that can settle a candidate. Remember, you will get the best out of a candidate who feels more at ease in an interview environment.
- Maintain good eye contact, it is easier to become distracted in a virtual interview by text messages or emails, we recommend turning them off to ensure the candidate gets your full attention throughout the process.
- Take notes as you would in a face-to-face interview and try to use a criteria matrix to avoid any bias.
- Summarise at the end of the interview, give the candidate the opportunity to ask their own questions and explain the next steps clearly, still do this even if the interview has gone badly, its easier to end abruptly virtually than it would be in a face-to-face interview, but we advise against this.
There may be no going back from the virtual interview in many organisations, so the sooner it is embraced and rehearsed the better! Candidates are getting used to this medium of interviewing and it is cost and time effective for employers. If done correctly, it is more efficient and it also means that employers can recruit from all areas of the globe, sourcing the very best IT talent for their organisation without ever meeting them face-to face.