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While the current business environment has brought some industries to a standstill, others have witnessed an exponential uptick. Whether you’re producing much-needed supplies or you’re helping businesses run webinars and online shops, you may have actually seen demand for your product or service expand.

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This uptick might have left you shorthanded, and now you need to hire. With social distancing continuing, you’ll have to rely on technology to conduct your interviews and continue the recruiting process. Virtual interviews are still relatively new for both hiring managers and job seekers. Use these five essential tips to help these interviews proceed smoothly.

1. Test Your Equipment Before a Virtual Interview

This tip is helpful for both job seekers and hiring managers. There’s nothing more frustrating than signing in to the virtual meeting room only to realize your camera isn’t on or your audio isn’t working and you don’t know how to fix it.

If it’s possible, test out the equipment and the software you’re using. You can also test your Internet connection, since that often affects the quality of your meeting. You don’t want the audio cutting out during crucial questions and answers because of a weak Wi-Fi signal.

2. Think about Appearances

Next, you should remember you’ll be on camera. While virtual interviews have some things in common with phone interviews, they also bear similarities to in-person meetings.

You should dress appropriately. You’ll also want to take a moment to consider the position of your camera, particularly if you’re using a mobile device.

Finally, think about the lighting as well. This will make it easier for you and your interviewee to see each other. It also makes you look better on camera.

3. Prepare Questions Ahead of Time

Just like you would for phone or in-person interviews, have your questions prepared ahead of time. This will help you as you move through the meeting, especially if you have a limited time.

You can even send the questions ahead to a job interviewee, so they have time to prepare answers. This can be especially helpful if there are any technical difficulties on either end.

You might even consider having the interviewee send in a prerecorded interview. In this situation, you have them respond to the questions in a timed environment. While this may not be as pleasant as having a one-on-one conversation, it can help streamline the initial round of interviews.

4. Ask Permission to Record

It can be helpful to record a virtual interview. You can then go back and review the interviewee’s answers and analyze their responses a little more. You may even share it with your colleagues.

Keep in mind legalities around virtual interviews, such as permission to record. Interviewees should be informed the interview is being recorded. You should also advise them if you plan to potentially share the recording with others.

Some interviewing platforms also make transcripts available after, which you can download. Make sure interviewees know there may be a written record as well.

5. Be Flexible and Professional

Even if you took the steps to prepare and plan, something might still come up. The interviewee could have technical difficulties or one of you may need to attend to an emergency. These situations happen, even if you’re working from home.

Offer flexibility with the virtual interview, as much as possible. The prerecorded interview is an option, as well as conducting follow-up discussions by phone or virtual meeting. Be ready to reschedule the meeting, if at all possible.

Recruiting for the Digital Age

With the world moving online, it’s time to digitize your hiring process. Virtual interviews are a great way to keep recruiting moving for your organization. With these tips, you can conduct a better interview and be sure you’re hiring the right candidate.



Kaneez Jaffer

Kaneez is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with an advanced knowledge of human resources and organizational structure and design. She has extensive experience with HRIS systems and understands the need to move HR from a transactional model to a transformational one. She has worked in the investment banking, insurance, and legal industries, as well as with large not-for-profit centres helping to simplify and streamline their internal systems. Kaneez is an expert in building relationships and affecting change in a positive and productive way. She acts as the key HR business partner at Apri Insurance Services Inc, managing the implementation of JungoHR, while providing expert advice and counsel on a range of HR matters. Kaneez holds a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management as well as a Certificate in HR Law for HR Professionals from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.

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