An Interviewer’s Guide to Virtual Interviewing

Time to read: 3 minutes

Virtual Interviewing Summary:

  • Companies are hiring, therefore, just as work went remote, so did the interview process.
  • Virtual interviewing is the next best thing to in-person interviews.
  • Virtual interview tips mimic those for an in-person interview, but there are a few differences to take into consideration.

Companies are finding their bearings and bouncing back from the initial hit of COVID-19, which means hiring is on the up-and-upThe job market is open with ample opportunities, and there are plenty of candidates on the search. Just as the workforce went remote, so did the hiring process. Shifting with the current climate and keeping up with remote hiring, virtual interviewing is what keeps companies moving forward with hiring processes and decisions. Video interviews keep the hiring process as normal as possible with face-to-face opportunities. 

Hiring Manager Virtual Interviewing Tips 

Virtual interviews, just like in-person interviews, allow you to get a feel for the candidate’s soft skills and body language – something that is hard to evaluate through a phone screen. That is not to say do away with phone screens, but if you think about it, your interview process has not changed much by implementing virtual interviews. No reason to overthink the process, just as you would an in-person interview, perform the following to properly prepare for your virtual interview: 

Set expectations on using video for the interview 

Some people are uncomfortable being on video. Not to mention, many are experiencing “Zoom fatigue.” By alleviating any questioning around using video, be up-front in the scheduling stage that the interview will be conducted via video. This will set the candidate up for success for a face-to-face conversation.

Share interview attendees in advance 

Will you be accompanied by fellow decision-makers in the interview? Panel interviews are nerve-racking, to begin with. The last thing a candidate wants is to be blind-sided by not only being on video but being on video with a panel of interviewers. 

With this, prepare internally with your interview team. Go over the group agenda as well as individual questions from each participant. Each participant in the interview is to bring a different aspect to the conversation, touching on all important items throughout the interview.

Re-read the job description 

While this might seem like a give-in, it is always a good idea to review the position, the job description to ensure you are in tip-top shape to speak to the opening. Wrap your head around the technical and soft skills you seek. In reviewing the job description, you can take this time to craft the more important questions, which brings us to…

Prioritize essential questions 

You have re-reviewed the job description and crafted your essential questions. From here, prioritize those questions to keep pace with the interview. Things happen and the conversation can take a life of its own, but keep tabs on where the conversation is to secure the answers you need for you and/or the team to make the final decision to move forward.

Review your candidate’s materials 

Even though you have reviewed the resume – well enough to bring the candidate in for a video interview – take time to comb through their resume. Dive in to decipher if there is anything you would like to learn more about. What from their materials can you ask more about in regard to the job?

Pepper in “ice breakers” 

Interviews are not everyone’s favorite (anyone’s favorite for that matter). Think about an ice breaker question or two to ask at the beginning and/or end of the interview. Ice breakers add a layer of relaxation as well as compassion and humanity to the conversation. While we do not want to dismiss all formalities, we all are human and navigating the same society right now. 

Support employer brand 

Employer brand is important – and more important than ever during these times of predominant remote work. You (and other interviewers, if applicable) are the face and voice of the company in this conversation. It is imperative to direct the conversations around the company, mission, and culture.  Candidates are interviewing companies just as much as companies are interviewing candidates. With work 100% remote for most, ensuring interviewees feel the culture and engagement is essential in these early stages. 

Ensure all internal interview participants are in alignment with the employer brand and the information to be shared. It might bode well, time permitting, if each participant shares a quick synopsis of their time with the company.

Welcome feedback 

Allow time for interviewee questions as well as offer the opportunity to share feedback around the conduct of the interview. If the interviewee shares feedback right then and there, great! However, feedback can be skewed when people are put on the spot. Create a post-virtual interview plan thanking the candidate, sharing the next steps, and offer the opportunity to digitally (and maybe anonymously) submit feedback. 

Along with these virtual interviewing tips, check out our post around video conferencing etiquette for remote teams. 

Virtual Interview Support with Profiles 

Profiles’ workforce has made a seamless transition to remote work. With that, our marketing and creative recruiters are working at full capacity placing talent nationwide. The transition to remote work has left us fully equipped with the tools and technology to guide our candidates through the remote job search and hiring processes as well as support our clients in facilitating virtual interviews if need be.

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