How to approach interviewing people remotely.  

Remote-Training-Courses- (1)

The interviewers guide. 

Doing a good job of interviewing is harder than we might first imagine.  There are loads of things that we can get wrong, so getting some good training on this topic is a must for any recruiter.  For this blog, I’m going to assume you know what you are doing normally, and just focus on the key things that are different when holding that interview remotely.  

If you are interested, we have another blog which is the ‘interviewees guide’ – it’s definitely worth reading this if you are the interviewer!  

Here are some simple but important things:

Top Tip 1 – Ensure everyone uses their cam.  

The visual connection is so helpful for everyone involved, so make sure your team all have their cameras on.  This should not be optional!  Some may make excuses for not using their cams, but remember you are also selling the organisation to the candidate; if they can’t see, you are limiting their understanding and ultimately their interest in you.  

Explain to interviewees that this will also be required of them.  It would be very easy to bias your decision making if some candidates used cams and others didn’t.  

Providing the visual improves communication, you and the candidate will better understand each other if you have the opportunity to read the expression, body language, posture, gesture etc.  

By the way, the audio feed is often improved if everyone uses earbuds or headphones.  So consider making this a requirement too.  

Top Tip 2 – Think about your background!  

Even if you are interviewing from your own home, give some thought to the company image that you are projecting.  Some things are not variable, but as far as possible, make sure that your background is conducive for giving a helpful impression.  Check the detail, what’s in shot, move things around, tidy up etc to create as professional perspective as possible.  

Top Tip 3 – Bank your questions by interviewer. 

In face to face interviews it can be relatively easy for different interviewers to ask questions in a relaxed interchangeable way.  This is harder with remote interviewing.  Best practice is to be more rigorous about who’s asking the questions at any given point.  Group the agreed questions by interviewer and have them ask them all, before moving to the next interviewer.  

Top Tip 4 – Have an independent note taker.

Make sure that you assign note taking to someone who is not actively involved in the interview process.  You already have to manage the platform, coordinate the interviewers and probably ask your own questions.  That’s enough for any brain to cope with!  

In addition, it’s likely that you will be using the microphone within your laptop.  If you are typing on it at the same time, there is an added audio challenge (of the sound of your typing) making harder for everyone.  

Bob Bannister

Ships Captain.