Businesses everywhere are hiring remotely, and it is easy to find tips and pointers about how to do well interviewing for a job online.
What if you are the other party on that call? Being in human resources and conducting successful online interviews is essential. The wrong hiring decision can cost your company financially and hurt your reputation. You cannot sense the confidence of a handshake online, measure someone’s charisma, and so on when all you can do is interact with them through a screen. As a hiring manager, you must develop techniques that help you remotely make accurate judgments. It becomes vital as remote interviewing will likely stay on as a way for businesses to hire in the future. If you’re hiring people through remote interviews, the tips below should help.
Look closely for signs of emotional intelligence.
Employers often base their hiring decisions on the intelligence they can gauge in candidates, based on their skills and academic record. These are qualities you can adequately measure by reading a resume. However, throughout an interview, you usually look for qualities not readily visible in a summary or overview, — like emotional intelligence. It is important to remember that emotional intelligence is often more important than hard skills for a candidate to succeed as part of a team. Emotional intelligence determines how well a new employee can mesh with a group, manage setbacks with grace, and raise morale.
Since emotional intelligence is hard to gauge over a computer screen, it is easy to forget about measuring it. Going in prepared with ideas, however, can help you make sure that you pay close attention to this area. Asking each candidate some of the following questions could be a good start.
- If the candidate were to start a new business of their own, what values would the company have?
- What kind of workplace conflict has the candidate experienced in the past, and how did they overcome it?
- If the candidate has ever reported to two managers, how did they keep up with two sets of preferences and manage priorities during a conflict?
- When they receive feedback that they disagree with, how do they handle the problem?
- From what do they draw inspiration?
Make use of the closeness that online meetings allow.
As much as you may be concerned about how remote interviews cannot compete with ones conducted in person, there is one area in which they excel: intimacy.
When you sit for an online interview, the camera and the screen are just a foot away from your face. Staring at someone’s face from close proximity on a screen that excludes everything else can create a feeling of hypnotic intimacy and psychological safety. As a result, people may be much more willing to open up online than in a regular interview. Employers can use this phenomenon to get interviewees to share information about their lives, what makes them tick, and a lot more easily.
Talk about the coronavirus.
Interviewers often ask candidates about what they believe their most significant flaw is. Candidates expect this question and usually have a ready answer: their weakness is that they work too hard. Rather than ask such a predictable question, it can help to ask candidates what their greatest work-related challenge was navigating the pandemic. It can be a somewhat unexpected question that allows you to determine how the candidate thinks and reacts.
Stay alert for distractions.
Most remote interviews come with unexpected distractions: a child or pet coming by for some attention, a doorbell ringing, and so long. These random occurrences can give you valuable glimpses into what each candidate’s behavior looks like when surprises happen. These distractions can be an essential part of any remote interview.
If no interruption occurs during an online chat, it can help to ask the candidate to describe such an occurrence in the past when they were on a critical remote meeting and what they did to manage it gracefully.
Don’t interview people without breaks.
When you sit in your chair interviewing people conducting interviews remotely through a computer, it can be tempting to stay put and conduct interviews into your day one after another. It is essential to take a few minutes between each interview, however. If you do not do this, you may find at the end of the day that all your interviews blur together in your mind and make it hard for you to make the decisions that you need. It is a good idea to take 10 minutes between each interview and write down notes on what you think of each candidate before you move on to the next one. Also, take a short break so that you come to each interview feeling fresh and not tired and therefore predisposed to see people interviewed later in the day more negatively. It is more tiring speaking with people digitally than in person.
Interview people you otherwise might not.
The stakes tend to be lower for remote interviews than for in-person interviews. It takes less time, overall, to go through each candidate’s interview. You can be creative and speak with candidates that might be considered outliers. It could be a candidate without traditional qualifications, someone who lives overseas, or even someone you recognize through a TikTok resume. The luxury of considering unconventional candidates can be a great advantage that remote interviews give you.
Help every candidate reach for success.
Many employers try to help every candidate who applies for an opening. They help them do their best, for example, by emailing them beforehand about how to prepare for a remote interview. Such tips can give candidates the feeling that the company wants them to do well and create a positive atmosphere for all concerned. In addition, they can add a professional touch to any interview.
It will help if you remember that you’re interviewing, too.
The best candidates these days receive multiple job offers anytime they try. They can pick and choose. Anything you do as an interviewer is likely to affect the choice they ultimately decide on. How you dress, the tone you use, and how you converse affect how candidates perceive the company.
Candidates today look for more than just a paycheck. They look for a job that gives them a feeling of well-being that aligns with their values. Interviews in these areas can provide the employer and employee access to critical information that helps them fulfill their goals. These interviews don’t have to be face-to-face. They can work well even if your discussions are online.
Before helming Perpetual Talent Solutions as President, Jim Hickey held several senior leadership roles in both sales and operations for two of the world’s largest Commercial Staffing organizations. Jim is a dedicated professional who has been formally recognized as a Staffing Industry Subject Matter Expert.