Are you struggling to adapt your interviewing process to remote candidates? You’re not alone. For years, businesses have had to modify their hiring processes to accommodate the new norm of remote working, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But by taking some strategic approaches, you can still conduct professional and thorough interviews remotely.
Review Your Current Interview Process
Before implementing a new interview process, first, consider your current process. Think about your goals and what has worked well in the past. What aspects of the traditional interview process can be adjusted to remote interviews, and what changes must be made? An excellent way to get started is to review your existing strategy, document it, and evaluate its effectiveness.
Are there steps that could be streamlined for remote interviews? Are there any questions that no longer apply? Once you have reviewed your current process, you will be better equipped to make the necessary changes and streamline the process for remote interviews. This will help you ensure a successful transition to remote interviews.
Clearly Communicate with the Candidate
When it comes to remote interviews, clear communication is crucial. Leaving any room for confusion may result in a candidate missing the interview or arriving unprepared, which could cost both of you a great fit.
Be sure to communicate expectations, such as the time and date of the interview, what platform will be used, and any necessary preparation beforehand. In addition, provide clear instructions for accessing the platform and any other materials the candidate may need.
It’s important to at least exchange a few emails or chat with the candidate beforehand to communicate as many details as possible. This will help put the candidate at ease in an already stressful situation and ensure they have all the information they need in advance.
Additionally, ask the candidate if they need any special accommodations for the interview due to remote circumstances. For example, the candidate may have a slow internet connection or a disability requiring a different approach. Bear in mind that communication should go both ways to be effective.
Select a Reliable Platform
Choosing a reliable platform for remote interviews is essential. A video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype may be sufficient but always consider other alternatives. Consider a platform that is easy to use and has the necessary features, such as video conferencing and screen-sharing. Other factors to consider include user privacy and data security.
You must ensure that your platform is reliable and has a good connection to avoid technical difficulties. Remember to undertake a dry run a few days before the interview to test the platform and avoid any unwanted issues or delays on the day of the interview.
Ask Questions About Remote Work Remote work is here to stay, so asking candidates questions about their remote work experience is essential. For example, ask them how they have managed their time in previous remote work situations, what tools they have used, and what they have found challenging. Also, ask candidates about their communication skills, as effective communication is critical in a remote environment.
It’s important to ask remote work-related questions because they differ significantly from other job settings, especially if the candidate doesn’t have remote work experience. As much as possible, ask for specific examples so the candidate can clarify how they handle the situation. By doing so, you’ll also know whether the candidate has the necessary qualities for remote work, such as self-motivation, discipline, and flexibility.
Discuss the Challenges of Remote Work
Remote work has its advantages but has its fair share of challenges. These are some of the issues that warrant a discussion with the candidate. Discussing these challenges with candidates is necessary to ensure they are aware of what they may encounter. Discussing the challenges of remote work can also help determine if the candidate is well-suited for remote work.
Some of the challenges to discuss include isolation and loneliness, difficulty maintaining work-life balance, and the home environment, which can be distracting. Some roles, like customer service or data entry, may be more straightforward than roles that require team collaboration.
Discussing the challenges of remote work and discussing them openly can help ensure that the new hire knows how to manage these challenges. Be sure to welcome questions from the candidate as well will help you understand their expectations for the role.
Communicate Expectations for Remote Teams
Remote teams require a different kind of management than in-person teams. As an employer, communicate to the candidate how remote teams are managed and what is expected of them as remote team members. This is also an opportunity to highlight the benefits of working in a remote team and how the candidate can contribute to the team’s success.
Setting expectations from the beginning is important so the new hire can adjust and adapt to the new work environment effectively. For example, the candidate may require particular software and tools to function optimally, and the company should ensure that they are provided promptly and efficiently.
Talk and Listen
It’s important to talk and listen during remote interviews. Candidates should feel that they are heard and their questions are answered, which will help them make the right hiring decision.
As an employer, you should be open to listening to what the candidate has to say and expressing your thoughts and expectations for the job. This will help create an open dialogue between employer and candidate, increasing the chances of both parties finding a successful fit.
Leave Your Candidates With a Lasting Impression
It doesn’t matter whether you’re interviewing potential job candidates in person or remotely, for most people, interviews are stressful. Organizations that are sensitive to this reality and look for ways to show their candidates their time is appreciated can leave a lasting impression that translates into excellent brand experiences and positive company reviews on job board sites.
One way to show your interviewed candidates that you’re thankful for their time is by sending them a gift card. While not all companies take the time to express their gratitude directly to interviewees, gift cards are an affordable and impactful way to stand out from other active employers.
This gesture gives candidates a clear message that you actively think about your employees and look for ways to show your appreciation on a day-to-day basis—which is a great impression to give when seeking new staff.
Start Using Better Interview Techniques for Your Remote Candidates
Remote interviews can be a great way to hire the right candidate for your company. However, it’s vital that you use better interview techniques than those used in traditional job interviews. By asking the right questions, discussing the challenges and expectations of remote work, and actively listening to candidates, you can ensure that your company hires the right person for the job.
Author Name: Cindy Mielke
Author bio: Cindy is passionate about the incentive industry. In addition to her role as Vice President of Strategic Partners here at Tango, she is a Certified Professional of Incentive Management who proudly serves on two industry boards. When she’s not working, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family—including three cats, two dogs, and a horse—and sharing her love of nature as a Nebraska Master Naturalist.
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