Key Tips For Conducting Virtual Interviews
When quarantine officially came into effect, thousands of businesses with no remote work policy in place scrambled to piece together teleworking procedures robust enough to handle the complications of COVID-19. For many it was a learning process, a time of continual adjustment to find the right solutions for their organizations. Quarantine has now been in effect for several months now, and many departments have gone from growing pains to smoothly operating remotely.
This means the re-emergence of non-crisis operations, like assessing your organization’s current talent and possibly filling in open positions. If your organization is at this point, you’re probably going to be conducting virtual job interviews soon—a daunting prospect for even the most seasoned HR professionals. No matter how skilled you are at conducting interviews, replicating an in-office meeting over Skype or Zoom can be a tricky needle to thread. Here are a few tips for conducting virtual interviews.
Maintain “Digital Eye Contact”
A crucial factor for in-person interviews, the importance of eye contact in an interview doesn’t disappear just because it’s over video conferencing. When maintaining eye contact in person isn’t possible, interviewers should keep their eyes trained on the camera, rather than on the candidate’s video feed. Some video conferencing software also displays an image of the person using it—I think we’ve all caught ourselves staring at our own image during a Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, instead of the person talking. It’s easy to get distracted on remote calls, so be aware of where your eyes are focused.
Check Your Posture
As always, you’ll be a more engaging interviewer if you’re sitting up straight and exhibiting an alert, attentive posture. For virtual interviews, you should also consider leaning slightly forward to show interest in what the candidate’s saying. Leaning forward may be overkill for in-person interviews, but it’s advisable given the added barrier and distance of a video call. Just be sure to not to get too close to the camera—about an arm’s length away will suffice.
Gesturing is an essential part of conversation, adding an important dimension to the way we communicate. While animated talking and gesturing helps provide context and additional information when we’re conversing in real life, it can be distracting on a small screen. Try to limit expressive hand motions so that the interviewee can focus on what you’re trying to communicate.
Consider On-Demand Interviewing
Despite the wide availability and ease of video conferencing, many concede it still fails to replicate the experience of an in-person interview in a satisfying way. For that reason, some companies have been experimenting with alternatives to interviews over Zoom or Skype. These include on-demand interviewing, where candidates record their responses to interview questions at their own convenience. “Instead of scheduling interviews during limited windows of time during business hours, recruiters can effectively interview larger volumes of candidates in a shorter period of time, effectively eliminating the bottleneck that often challenges that part of the hiring process,” explains HRMorning’s Tim Ilhefeld. If video conferencing interviews still aren’t cutting it for your organization, you may want to consider on-demand interviewing instead.