Candidate camera: 4 best practices for interviewing jobseekers remotely

Written by: Christina Pavlou
Published on: Apr 22, 2020

virtual interview - instaphotos

(Image: Instaphotos)

Whether you want to connect with candidates online as an initial screening method, or you want to hire employees remotely, here are the video interview best practices that’ll ensure your virtual-first hiring process is a success.

1. Get candidates ready, too.

Not every candidate will feel comfortable, or even have prior experience, with video interviews. To keep them from becoming intimidated, send some tips (along with the technical guidelines) so that they know how to prepare themselves and what to expect. Just pointing them to video interview best practices will boost the candidate experience you’re offering.

2. Be more personable.

While it sounds difficult – considering there’s a screen between you and the candidate – you can still add a human touch to your video interview. Start with some icebreaking and easy-to-answer questions. Remember to look at the camera, smile, and don’t hesitate to repeat something if you think the candidate hasn’t heard you. Interviews are stressful for jobseekers in the best circumstances; the more relaxed you are, the smoother the process will go for them, as well.

3. Stick to the interview schedule.

It’s easier to fall behind schedule when you conduct video interviews, especially when you’re at your home (as opposed to a busy office). Create and test a timeline that will help you cover all the important topics within your scheduled time. Track how the interview is going, but avoid checking your watch; instead, pull up a timer (on your computer or phone) and keep it next to the camera. Schedule a 10-minute Q&A session towards the end of the interview, and suggest an email follow-up if it isn’t enough time.

4. Coordinate with multiple interviewers.

For the sake of speeding things up, you may want a number of colleagues to meet with a candidate in one day. To do that virtually, create one event where the candidate and all interviewers can join by following the same link. Everyone involved (including the candidate) should be aware of the timeline in advance, e.g. “9:00 - 9:20 meeting with the recruiter / 9:30 - 10:00 meeting with the head of development / 10:10 - 10:40 meeting with the marketing director.” This way, each interviewer will know exactly when to sign in and wrap things up for a pleasant handoff. It’s best to schedule some breaks in between meetings so that candidates have time to get some water, use the restroom, etc.

For more tips on getting set up ahead of time, and evaluating candidates afterward, see the original version of this article on Workable.

Christina Pavlou is a former recruiter who writes about HR, diversity in the workplace, and the shape of things to come at Workable.

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