The ins and outs of prepping for remote interviews as a hiring manager
When looking for an exceptional hire, sometimes a broader net must be cast to find the right kind of talent required for an open position. Knowing the ins and outs of conducting remote interview can help streamline the process.
According to Small Business Trends, remote job listings now account for almost half of all listings on the popular job search site FlexJobs. A remote interview can dovetail nicely with telecommuting positions, even if the job isn’t 100 percent remote; Glassdoor reported that over 40 percent of employed Americans now spend at least some time working remotely, and more than 30 percent work remotely 80-100 percent of the time.
A remote interview can allow hiring managers to rapidly sort through candidates without requiring the more complex scheduling of in-person interviews. This alone makes the remote interview option ideal for interviewing candidates who have applied for positions that will also be remote.
Getting ready for a remote interview
These remote interview best practices can help ensure you’re ready to find the best candidates for the job.
- Communicate plans in advance. When you set up the interview, include all information about the process so the candidate can prepare. This should include the time and date of the interview (and your time zone), the method of communication (phone call, remote conference line, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.), whether it will be an audio-only interview or a video interview, and how long the interview is expected to last.
- Prepare your questions. Create a list of questions in advance and have it open in front of you, so you can add candidate answers or notes as needed. If you’re interviewing to fill a remote position, include questions to help you determine if the candidate will be a good remote worker. Share some information about your company and culture as well.
- Do a dry run. Formstack recommended trying out a test interview, especially if you’re using a new software or calling method. This can help ensure your speakers and microphone (and webcam, if applicable) all sync and perform correctly. Make sure your backdrop is non-distracting and use a background blurring option like chromacam if appropriate.
- Have a backup plan. If an interview starts to stall from the start due to difficulty getting video software or a virtual meeting room to function, be prepared to switch fluidly into simple phone call mode. Your candidate will only become more flustered and nervous if the call is delayed due to technical difficulties.
- Confirm before the interview. Emails with meeting details can get lost or accidentally archived or deleted, so send a follow-up the day before or morning of your remote interview to ensure your candidate has all the information they need. Try to make this message personable to put them at ease and make them feel welcomed.
Following these guidelines can help make your hiring interviews go smoothly and assist in narrowing your candidate field without spending days organizing in-person interviews. After a few are under your belt, you’ll be a pro at getting through remote hiring and your productivity will skyrocket.