Tips for conducting a successful virtual job interview

Virtual interviews have now become the norm due to the pandemic.   Many business leaders expect virtual interviews to remain common practice which means it’s time for employers to refine their digital recruiting and interviewing practices. 

Virtual job interviews can benefit employers and candidates

Virtual interviews can make the hiring process much more efficient. Virtual interviews allow employers to quickly narrow down their pool of candidates and only bring a select few in for an in-person interview, if necessary. 

Virtual interviews allow employers to talk to more candidates during the day with fewer scheduling hassles. Data shows that video interviews are six times faster than phone interviews, so taking the time to get comfortable using video conferencing platforms can streamline interviews even more. 

Tips for your next virtual job interview

  • Take enough time to get your questions and tech prepared 

No matter how many hours you’ve already logged on Zoom, there’s always a chance that technology will fail and your interview gets derailed. 

Prevent technical glitches by testing your technology beforehand and troubleshooting potential problems with your team. Have a backup plan in place if there’s an unexpected problem, such as an internet outage or equipment malfunction. 

Keep in mind that the candidates you’re interviewing are likely paying attention to how well you and your team can use technology. If you don’t know how to handle tech problems, it could leave the impression that your company isn’t prepared for today’s use of technology.

Proper preparation also makes it easier to have genuine and interesting conversations with each candidate. Instead of worrying about technical glitches, you can focus on what each candidate has to offer and share more of your insight with them. 

  • Create and share a detailed agenda for each interview 

Communication can be a little challenging when everyone’s working from different locations, but there are ways to make sure everyone is on the same page going into an interview.

It’s a good idea to create an agenda for each interview, especially if each candidate is being interviewed by more than one person. 

An agenda should include the date and time of the interview, the names of people who will be attending the interview, and a little information about each person’s responsibilities within the company. You can also include instructions for logging onto the interview and how to share important documents with your team. 

Distribute the agenda to your team a day or two before the interview is scheduled and then share the agenda with the job candidate. An agenda helps keep the interview on track and allows for good dialog among the participants.  

  • Have a designated space to log into your interviews

It might be tempting to post up at a nearby cafe to get through your interviews, but noises and extra distractions can make it difficult to focus on what you’re working on. Off-camera distractions can also make you appear unprofessional to job candidates.

So, find a quiet place without any distractions when it’s time to log in to your virtual interview. It’s best to go to the same spot each time so you can quickly log on and get to the interview on time. Using the same backdrop also provides consistency for candidates.

If you’re interviewing candidates on a group call, mute yourself when you’re not speaking so you don’t accidentally talk over anyone. Be sure you’re comfortable unmuting yourself when it’s your turn to speak. 

  • Follow up with feedback and ask the candidate for theirs

A little feedback helps everyone get better at what they do, so take time to reach out to your candidates after their interviews to share your experiences. 

You can simply send each candidate a quick email that summarizes a few of the key things that were discussed during their interview and let them know what the next step of the interview process may be. A recent survey found that 94% of candidates welcome feedback from potential employers so they can understand how they conduct themselves in interviews. 

Be sure to also ask each candidate if they have any questions or comments about the interview experience. Ask them if they ran into any difficulties during the interview and if you can do anything to make the process easier in the future. 

  • Promptly schedule a virtual team meeting to discuss candidates 

Once you have enough candidates scheduled for interviews, find a time to regroup with your team right away to discuss which candidates you’d like to move forward with. 

It may be tempting to put this meeting off, but little delays can slow down the hiring process and cause you to forget important details from interviews. A quick group meeting can narrow down your options and get you much closer to making a quality hire.

  • Make it easy to take notes 

Interviewing multiple candidates can begin to feel repetitive, even if you’re talking in person. Virtual discussions can be even more difficult to remember when you’re not making a face-to-face connection with each candidate. 

Interview scorecards can come in handy to keep track of responses to basic questions, but make sure you have a place to write down more detailed notes. When you’re done with your interviews, you’ll have accurate records from each candidate so it’s easier to make a hiring decision. 

Virtual interviews also make it easy to record each interview to review later. If you do want to record an interview, be sure to tell the job candidate beforehand so they’re not caught off guard. 


Virtual interviews make it easier to connect with talented job candidates 

Virtual interviews can make it possible to talk to a job candidate on the other side of the country, cutting down on travel costs for interviews while expanding the candidate pool for the hiring manager.

Even after COVID-19, virtual interviews are expected to remain popular. A survey by the Society of Human Resources Management found that 41% of survey respondents say they plan on using a combination of in-person and virtual interviews. Mastering this process now will leave you better prepared for years to come.



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