How to conduct a telephone or video interview as an employer
As many companies adapt their talent attraction and hiring process strategy to the new normal of remote working, video and telephone interviews are now more important than ever in the way we all recruit. As an employer, this may be something you were used to already, or it could be something which is almost entirely new to the way your business operates. Nonetheless, it is something which you will need to get used to and improve on if your organisation is to adjust successfully to the current climate. We’ve put together some simple steps to keep in mind when conducting a telephone or video interview in the following piece.
- Do your best to put your candidates at ease.
It is important to realise just how important your tone of voice and demeanour is when conducting a phone or video interview. In order to get the most out of your candidates, you need to make sure they’re comfortable and not intimidated by the prospect of a virtual interview. While it is sometimes easier to make people feel relaxed in person, there are certain things you can do from your remote location to encourage this also. Make sure to pay particular attention to your facial expressions and keep these in check. Try and use a neutral tone and speak slower than usual to avoid confusion. Keep a positive and calm attitude throughout the interview even if you encounter other disruptions such as interference or poor internet connection. The calmer and relaxed you appear, the more likely your interviewee is to perform to the best of their ability.
- Choose the correct software for your business.
Chances are you’re going to be using whichever software you decide to go with a lot, therefore you should make sure that whatever one you’re using is the best one for your business needs. Zoom really seems to have taken off in recent times, and is a relatively new cloud platform, perfect for video and audio conferencing. This is a popular choice for many businesses at the moment, however, you should weigh up the pros and cons for how effective it would be versus other options in meeting your business needs. There is also Skype, the original telecommunications app which specialises in providing voice and video calls. This has been used for virtual interviews for years, and so has great credibility within the market. Other options may include Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts, depending on your email provider of choice. Here at Huxley for example, we are longstanding fans of Microsoft Teams, and have increased our use of it in recent times. Our staff find it easy to use and a really good way of connecting everyone throughout the business, sharing information and conducting calls.
- Consider automated interviews.
If you are doing a considerable amount of hiring or recruiting for a role that will have multiple rounds, you should possibly consider the prospect of automated interviews. This is essentially where you as an employer will create a set of standardised questions which will then show on screen automatically to the participant. You can put a time limit on answers, and give interviewees the option to have more than one take of their answers. The pre-recorded format can seem very unnatural and somewhat strange to some people, but it can save you time and increase efficiency where possible. Try to insert questions as if you were having a live conversation, to create as real a scenario as possible for people. Make sure all potential candidates know the format by which the interview will take place so that they are not confused or alarmed upon beginning the process.
- Connect all members of the hiring teams
A major benefit of conducting a telephone or virtual interview is that it enables you to allow the entire hiring team to access these interviews, therefore saving time and unnecessary effort for everyone. This feature is particularly useful when it comes to automated interviews mentioned above. The same software used to conduct the interviews can be accessed by several people on the hiring team, whether that be various managers within your organisation to see which team would be the best fit for the candidate, or yourself plus your recruiter(s) to gather their feedback as well and a different perspective. This sharing of perspective and knowledge can result in you making a more informed decision, so you should use this aspect of the platform to your advantage if possible.
- Consider the benefits of virtual interviews even when not essential
Even when virtual interviews are not a necessity or a mandatory requirement, it could be worthwhile implementing virtual interviews as at least one stage of your hiring process. Not only does it give you access to previously untapped global talent, but it can also contribute to the candidate experience you provide and help you streamline the process to ensure you choose the best hire possible for your business. Obviously, face-to-face contact is nice, and you can often get a better impression of someone from meeting them in person, but if virtual interviews can help speed up the process and widen the talent pool you have to choose from, then they are not something which should be ignored when things are back to business as usual.
New to remote interviewing? Need some help in conducting video or phone interviews? Please feel free to get in touch, we would be more than happy to help.