How to create a flawless virtual interview process

30th June 2020
How to create a flawless virtual interview process

What is Virtual Recruitment and why is it important right now?  

Virtual recruitment is when recruiters seek employees using virtual technology such as video interviews instead of face to face interviews. The recruitment guidelines in organisations across the world are changing because of coronavirus. Having a virtual recruitment process in place will allow you to continue to hire and onboard new staff. 

Therefore, it is crucial for you to ensure that your recruitment team adapt to the technological changes happening right now. This will allow your firm to keep a ‘business as usual’ appearance Here how you can create a flawless virtual interview process: 

1. Create a process for how interviews will be conducted 

This process will be enriched in communication to ensure that your colleagues and candidates are all on the same pageIf all job interviews will now be conducted virtually you should make candidates aware of this. Make sure to highlight that this is being done to keep all parties safe during the pandemic. The talent acquisition team should use a shared document so that team members can stay in the loop, ask questions about the interview process and share resources. 

2. Download and test appropriate tech 

The videoconferencing market is filled with reliable tools to choose from, popular platforms includeZoomSkypeMicrosoft Teams, and Google Hangouts Meet. If you’re not sure which platform to use plenty are offering free trials of their premium services. Alternatively, I would also suggest creating a pros and cons list to weigh your options up.  

To reduce the chances of technical mishaps, do a video and audio test run prior to the interviews. Check that your Wi-Fi signal strength, microphone, and camera are fit for purpose.  If you’re planning on doing a presentation or sharing your screen to demonstrate something, test that feature out beforehand too. 

3. Give your candidates clarity by being transparent 

Overcommunicating is usually a negative – however during periods of uncertainty using communications to reassure candidates is extremely positive. It’s not enough just to let your candidates know that interviews will take place virtually, you should also let them know why it’s taking place online.  

Contact candidate to outline the details of their interviews beforehand. Useful things to include in your outline are:   

  • Advice on how to download/access the platform you’ll be using for the virtual interview. 
  • Recruiters should highlight to candidates what is expected of them in preparation for their interviews. For example, let them know if they’ll be expected to solve a problem or demonstrate their work during the interview. 
  • Share an agenda with candidates that details the names and job titles of everyone involved in the interview, and when their interview will start and end. 

Finally, as an added precaution, make sure candidates have a number they can reach you on should anything go wrong. You can also request that they share the same with you. 

4. Have a clean and crisp background  

This tip works for both recruiters and candidates. To fortify your professionalism, make sure that you and the space around you is presentable. This means removing anything that make be distracting from the background or utilising a space where a blank wall is behind you. Make sure that you chose a quiet and well-lit space so that you can see and hear each other clearly. 

5. Immerse candidates in your company culture 

To compensate for face to face employment days and interviews not being possible now, invest time in preparing a compelling culture pitch. Create an immersive virtual experience where you can introduce candidates to members of the team using pre-recorded videos or take them on a virtual tour of the office. This is a great way to demonstrate your company culture.  

Introducing candidates to situational tasks that reflect the daily responsibilities of the job they’ve applied for illustrates what they’ll be expected to do in their new role. 

Key tips: 

  • Pay special attention to your culture pitch. Use examples and stories to highlight your company culture in your candidates’ minds during the virtual interviews. 
  • Bring job trials or assignments in a virtual setting by assigning candidates to complete situational judgement tests, and time limited tasks that they can do at home. 
  • Use employee testimonials or social media posts to showcase meaningful moments that has happened in your organisation. 

6. Virtual or not – this is the real deal 

Remember this is a real interview! You’ll need to dress appropriately and be professional. Make sure any phones or any other potential disrupted are silenced and removed from the room.  

It’s also important to remember that you’re both humans, smile at each other, make eye contact, speak clearly. Despite the distance you must behave as you would if you were physically in the same room. 

Recruiters ought to make a note of the candidate’s body language in addition to what they say – this will help you to get a well-rounded picture of the candidate. 

Finally, try not to penalise candidates if their interview is interrupted by something out of their control. Examples include interruptions from children who may be home due to school being cancelled. 

7. Don’t forget to follow up 

In order to add a personalised touch to your virtual interview process it is important to follow up with a thank-you note to the candidate. This will make applicants feel valued. Mention that you appreciate their adaptability and openness.  

This would also be a great time to capture any feedback from candidates about the virtual interview process. You could ask questions like: How did you find it? What went well? What could be improved? This will you to improve your virtual recruitment process.   

8. Keep candidates up to date 

Finally, tell your candidate what the next steps are. Let them know if they’ve made it to the next stage or if they’ve been unsuccessful.   

Things you should do after the first interview/throughout the recruitment process:  

  1. Send applicants relevant information based on the what stage of the recruitment process they’re in, or who the hiring manager is.  
  1. Encourage candidates to ask questions via email (but make sure to highlight the generic FAQs are available on your website/via chatbot.)    
  1. Give candidates an option to contact you via their preferred communication (this includes social media, email, phone call etc). 

If you’re an employer in the King’s Cross, Camden or Islington area who would like some support with virtual events or recruitment please get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.