Remember back (like four months ago) when interviews were commonly done in person? Our new normal now includes virtual interviews as a best practice when filling an open role. Almost overnight the world turned to online technology to get work done in many professions, including recruiting.
What does this look like? How can a hiring manager develop a successful virtual interview process? It’s not as hard as you may think.
Many of the same principles apply for virtual interviews that work for in-person ones.
- Be prepared. Before the interview, send the candidate an agenda so you are both on the same page. Be well-versed about the position you’re trying to fill and have a list of questions you want to ask ready to go.
- Test the technology. Troubleshooting minutes before the interview starts is stressful and unprofessional. Make sure you’re good to go before it’s time to go.
- Be on time. You wouldn’t be late for an in-person interview and the same rules apply for a virtual one.
- Find the right environment. (Hint: It’s not your hot mess of a laundry room.) It can sometimes be tough to find a spot at home that is quiet and organized, but it’s important to carve out a dedicated workspace.
- Dress to impress. If you look professional, you’ll feel professional and that vibe will be present during the interview.
- Consistency. The same level of screening and vetting of potential employees should still be done. If that involves an assessment of some sort, make sure it happens. The same holds true for post-interview communication. Follow up and provide timely feedback to the candidates, keeping them engaged.
Communicating Your Brand Via Virtual Interview
Your company’s brand is the identity of the organization and it drives the culture. It should shine in a virtual interview. One way to do that is to be transparent with your brand through business marketing efforts.
Take a look at your website and other marketing materials—they need to be an accurate reflection of what’s going on at your organization. Are there pictures of people sitting right next to each other working together? Or are people social distancing and wearing PPE? Never has employees’ safety been more top-of-mind, and candidates need to feel that in the virtual interview process.
On a side note—the same goes for your organization’s internal brand. The newsletter, in-house updates, and staff communications all need to look like life post-COVID-19. If that’s not the case, you could have a dilemma on your hands with upset employees venting to one another and taking to social media sharing that they don’t feel safe at work.
The virtual interviews are completed and your chosen candidate has accepted the offer. Time for more virtual connections. Schedule a virtual call with the new hire before the start date to touch base, run through details, and talk about the first week’s activities. Then invite him or her to a virtual happy hour to meet some of the team. Basically, keep on doing what you would if the interview process happened internally.
Life at work is different now and adapting to the changes are necessary for a business to survive. If we figured out how to make it work during safer-at-home orders, we certainly can do it now, too.