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Conducting virtual job interviews

Virtual interviews are firmly established in the business recruitment world, their adoption accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, although they were already gaining traction as a time-saving alternative to in-person interviews.

Here are five job interview tips to help you master the art of interviewing candidates via video-conferencing technology.

Test-drive the technology

Many of you will be experienced now with video-conferencing technology, but if you are unfamiliar with any of the platforms, then it is crucial that you give it a test run to iron out any issues. It won’t say much for you or your company if your candidates have to sit through various technical glitches while answering your job interview questions.

Once you are familiar with the technology, conduct full interview tests to fine tune the process. Make sure the camera and microphone are positioned correctly. If multiple people will be assisting you in the interview, make sure everyone on-screen has run the same tests. If you can, do your test run with those colleagues, with one role-playing the interviewee.  

Select a suitable space

The space where you conduct the interviews is also important. Preparing for a job interview well includes finding a well-lit, clean and quiet space. Clear away any distracting objects or decorations in the background (especially important if you are conducting the job interviews from your home). 

Pay attention to how the lighting affects how visible you are on-screen to the candidates; too much natural light can be as much of a hindrance as too little light.

Define the interview process 

Perhaps the most important job interview tip is to devise a plan for how the interview will unfold. Make sure you communicate this structure to any colleagues joining you for the interviews. The process should be documented and shared with your colleagues ahead of time so any questions can be raised and issues solved before you go live with a candidate.

It can also be beneficial to provide a basic structure of the interview process to the candidates so they know how to prepare for the job interview, the software they need, and when it will start and end.

Write a company culture pitch

With candidates unable to physically enter your premises and get a feel for the place, a compelling pitch establishing your company culture is very important. Practise a pitch that describes your business culture and working environment in just a few sentences. 

Focus the company culture pitch on your firm’s mission statement and the vision you have for the business, then tie it in to how the candidate can contribute and become a valuable part of it.

Maintain your professionalism 

Candidates must understand that a virtual job interview is just as serious as an on-site interview would be. Always dress as you would for an in-person interview and maintain the same formal/friendly balance you normally would when interviewing face-to-face.

Your on-screen demeanour is also important, so if this doesn’t come naturally then you should practise this too. Smile when you greet the candidate and maintain the on-screen equivalent of eye contact (looking regularly at the screen instead of constantly down at your notes, for example). Get used to nodding a lot while the candidate answers questions, as this is a good way to communicate that you are paying attention to them. 

Also be forgiving if a candidate’s home life interferes a little with the interview, as they may not have the space or familial situation to appear as professional as you do.

We can help

Planning an interview process is a time-consuming task, and that’s before you even begin interviewing and then assessing the candidates. One way to free up valuable time is to implement automatic payments for your invoices which ensures you are paid in a safe, secure and timely fashion. Get in touch with our financial experts and find out how we can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments so you can dedicate the time you need to conducting effective and efficient virtual interviews.

GoCardless makes it easy to collect recurring payments

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