How to Conduct a Remote Interview to Find and Attract the Best Hires

Woman at computer conducting a live remote interview

Remote interviewing and the software behind it – both live and one-way – open up a whole new world of opportunity in hiring for employers and recruiters. You can interview candidates faster. You can reach individuals globally. And you can interview and hire at a greater scale without foregoing effectiveness.

In general, it saves time and reduces costs both for recruiters/hiring managers and prospective employees. The setup, when used well, helps you find the best candidates for your job openings.

But while remote interviewing can be a powerful tool in the hiring process, it also creates some new, unique challenges. And if done incorrectly, it can leave them unlikely to accept a job offer from your company.

Even worse, do it wrong and remote interviews can lead to poor hiring. And bad hires can be really, really damaging, leading to potential losses of $17,000-$240,000 per hire.

The remote interview can help you tremendously in finding the best candidates, or it can damage your company brand and bottomline on a magnificent scale. Fortunately, with the right systems in place, you can conduct a remote job interview successfully, professionally, and quickly. Read on to learn how.

The Two Forms of Remote Interviews

While some remote interviews are conducted live, others are recorded one-way or asynchronously.

These are the two main forms of remote interviewing: live and one-way.

Live Virtual Interviews

A live remote interview is when the interviewer and candidate speak directly in real time in different locations through video technology. This form of remote video interviewing you are no doubt familiar with.

One-Way Video Interviews

A one-way, or asynchronous, interview is when the interviewer records a series of questions. These pre-recorded questions are then sent to candidates at a later time. The candidates can then record their responses and submit them to employers.

After candidates submit their responses, employers can view the responses and determine the best candidates. And after a round of pre-recorded interviews, employers can arrange for qualified candidates to return for a live remote interview.

Best Practices for Conducting Remote Interviews to Attract the Best Hires

In any interview process, the goal is always to find the best candidate for the job. But you also need to ensure they want to work for you. Neither is a given. Without the proper tools and processes in place, your interviewing may miss some key characteristics in candidates. And the better the candidate, the more likely they are to get multiple offers.

These best practices will help you use remote hiring to achieve valuable insight into candidates and ensure that the good ones accept.

Practice 1: Choose appropriate attire.

If you’re not careful, interviews can remove a layer of formality expected in the in-person interview experience.

To ensure that isn’t the case, always choose to wear professional attire, both to record your interviews and conduct live sessions. This signals to prospective employees the level of professionalism you expect.

Practice 2: Craft a quality presentation.

When conducting remote interviews, always strive for the highest quality video presentation.

Factors to consider:

  1. Lighting - Keep bright, natural light from windows in front of you rather than behind you, and purchase a ring light or box light to fill in the shadows and create bright, fresh visuals.
  2. Neutral colors - Bold hues and busy patterns can prove distracting.
  3. Quiet background - Do your best to eliminate auditory distractions where possible. Silence your cell phone, turn off music or noisy appliances/electronics, etc.
  4. A Well-Constructed Camera Backgroundwhether this means using backgrounds provided through your software or placing your camera in a room with bookshelves and artwork behind it, you will want to be mindful of your camera background. If artwork and bookshelves are too close to the foreground, it can also be a little too loud. So placing the camera at a nice distance helps.

Practice 3: Consider attitude and tone.

Applicants will already be nervous. If you’re going to get the best out of them, you will want to set the candidates at ease and make them feel comfortable. This will help them be in the best state of mind to communicate why they’re a good fit.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t press in and ask tough questions to see whether they can communicate effectively. Just be sure that overall, you foster a warm and open tone first.

Since tone can be difficult to communicate via screens, you may want to practice your delivery a few times before recording interview questions or conducting live interviews.

Practice 4: Choose your remote interviewing software and platform wisely.

When it comes to online video interviewing software, you have quite a few options. To discover which one is the best fit for you, start by asking this question: What kind of remote interviewing do you plan to do?

Will you conduct more live interviews or asynchronous ones? Or do you need both?

For live video interviewing, there are many platforms to consider. Live video interviewing platforms can help you manage the process for remote interviewing, including scheduling, interviewing, and reviewing for you and your team. They streamline the process beyond what Zoom, Teams, or Chats can provide.

However, as discussed, live video interviewing is only one of two options. As such, it does not allow you to leverage the full power of remote interviews.

The major advantage of asynchronous interviews is that they allow you to broaden the quantity of candidates you screen without foregoing quality. With asynchronous interviews, you can quickly and easily scale the process, allowing you to reach more people and improve your chances of finding that beautiful fit.

At Hireflix, we’ve created a software to help you do exactly that. We currently offer the best one-way video interview software available. If you’d like to learn more about one-way interviews and what we offer, click the above link.

As mentioned, your hiring process should likely include both live and one-way interviewing. This is true whether you have many job openings to fill or need to parse through a large pool of candidates for your job openings.

Practice 5: Create a structure for your remote interview process.

Creating a structure around your remote interview process is especially important when interviewing at scale—including both live and asynchronous interviews.

In order to keep on top of a major influx of candidates, establish basic guidelines to keep you focused and on track.

  • Opening – Elaborate on the job description, your company, and the team candidates would join. Outline expectations for the role and detail the strengths essential to success in the position.
  • Interviewer Q&A – A list of questions you have prepared ahead of time will keep you from losing your way in this segment of the remote interview. Exact questions will depend on your company’s values and the nature of the position.
  • Candidate Q&A – Always give candidates the opportunity to ask you questions. This not only helps them see if they are a good fit with your company, but it also offers you insight into the way they’re thinking about the job.
  • Closing – Make the final pitch for your company and why this role is a great opportunity. Show how this role is an opportunity to grow and develop skills, whether it be in the industry or the role itself.

Be sure to time each section, estimate how long you want to spend on each, and keep the interview moving to ensure you hit every section within the allotted interview time.

Practice 6: Interview for both hard and soft skills.

While it’s important that candidates have the technical aptitude to fill a position, you also want to ensure they have the personality and character that will fit well into your organization. That’s why when you form your remote interview questions, you probe for strengths in both types of skills: hard and soft.

While hard skills accomplish tasks, soft skills are the basis for collaboration, growth, and effective management.

A virtual interview is actually a prime opportunity to probe for soft skills because you can observe how well candidates communicate, especially amid potential challenges due to the remote setup. (This is particularly valuable if the candidate is applying for a remote position!)

  • How do they handle the intimacy of close, face-to-face screen time?
  • Can they match your energy through screens?

With one-way interviews, you can have candidates share their screens and navigate web browsers when responding to answers. With live remote interviews, you can give feedback in real time and gauge their responses. During both of these processes, you’re looking not just to determine their technical proficiency but also evaluate their personality and soft skills.

Note how in this scenario, tests for hard and soft skills are integrated into both types of remote interviews, both one-way and live. While some companies use one-way interview software to screen for the requisite hard skills and then use live remote for soft skills, this is a mistake.

Soft skills dictate how capable someone is at learning and growing in skill, so even if they don’t quite meet the requisite hard skill criteria, it may not take very long for them to do so if they have the right soft skills. That’s why you will want to evaluate both hard and soft skills during every step of the interview process.

While skills-based questions will vary depending on the position you’re filling, questions to gauge communication, character, and emotional intelligence may not.

A few examples of questions that help you measure soft skills:

  • Can you recall a workplace conflict you were involved in and how you resolved it?
  • How would you handle a manager’s feedback when you felt it was either unwarranted, unproductive, or incorrect?
  • What do you think is the most important aspect of a client or business relationship?

When evaluating answers, look for qualities that overlap with your core values and principles.

Practice 7: Standardize the process for both live remote and one-way remote interviews.

If you are preparing one-way interviews, standardization is simpler, since you can use the same recording an infinite number of times. Your template is your recording, and it is easy to change/improve as needed by adding to it or re-recording.

For live interviews, however, you should develop a document to standardize the process and then train yourself to avoid distractions and rabbit trails as you guide interviewees through the questions.

Practice 8: For live interviews give yourself a breather between interviews.

It’s important to schedule yourself breaks in between candidates so that you can process, rest, and take care of your physical needs.

This also provides you with some time to reflect on interviews. Some time to breathe post-interview will give you the opportunity to parse through your impressions and thoughts of the candidate. While you await your next interview, you can jot down some of your thoughts.

Fortunately, asynchronous remote interviews can make it easier to catch a break by allowing you to find the best candidates before moving to a live remote interview phase.

One strategy for creating a healthy interview rhythm would be to conduct a round of one-way remote interviews, screen them, and then conduct live video interviews.

Practice 9: Make sure you are using the most user-friendly software you can find.

Earlier we discussed putting your candidates at ease to get the best of them. Providing them with a system that ensures no technical issues get in the way is undoubtedly part of that.

The key concept here is that less is more. The more minimalistic and simple the tool is, the less questions and issues it will create. In Hireflix we have precisely designed our platform to guarantee a seamless experience for your candidates.

A Final Word on Remote Interviewing

Following these best practices for remote interviews will give you the best odds at conducting interviews at scale and finding the best possible candidates. They will also sell you and your company to the candidate, ensuring that when you offer a job to them, they will accept.

To see how our one-way interview software can perfect your remote interviewing process, request a demo of Hireflix today.

How to Conduct a Remote Interview to Find and Attract the Best Hires
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