4 Tips for Conducting High Quality Remote Interviews

Remote interviews pose a new set of challenges for today’s workforce, and whether you’re a veteran at conducting remote interviews or not, chances are that this is all very new for your candidate pool. 

Remote work is becoming increasingly more common, not only due to COVID-19 but also because it’s recognized as a powerful tool for job retention. It’s reported that 99% of people would work remotely if possible, even if that means just part of their workweek, which really isn’t surprising considering the flexibility and numerous other benefits.

The supply is there, and the candidate pool is widening. So, you’ve already attracted top talent but are you prepared to conduct remote interviews for your small business as efficiently as possible? Here are some tips that will help build the best workforce for your small business:

Build Trust

It’s important to build trust right away, this is true for any interview setting but again, interviewing remotely is new terrain for many people. This can be accomplished simply by using a friendly approach. Remember to smile and spend time introducing yourself and the company. If you have blocked a day or two out for interviewing, it may start to seem monotonous to you and the excitement can easily wear off, but you don’t want any candidate leaving an interview with a bad taste in their mouth about your business.

Virtually building trust by using a friendly approach requires some extra physical effort. It can be difficult to see a smile or catch a nod, so you’re encouraged to exaggerate a little bit. Just be sure to use clear signals. 

Implement and Follow a Structured Process

Use the same guide for all interviews. Of course, the questions will vary depending on the job position, but it’s important you hit the same mark for all candidates. It’s perfectly fine to let candidates elaborate and for you to ask follow up questions, but having a structured interview allows you to get back on track and ensure you collect all of the relevant information you need.

You can opt for a strict set of questions that you don’t stray too far from, or use the semi-structured process, which was alluded to above and have the interview conducted in a more natural, conversational manner. HubSpot has some great tips for questions you may want to ask in order to discover specific traits. 

Why Remote?

Discovering why a candidate wants to work remotely is crucial to the hiring process. If a candidate has a strong personal reason as to why they want to work remotely, you have a better chance of retaining them. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Military or First Responder Spouse
  • Caregiver
  • Parent
  • Scarce opportunity for work due to location

Be wary of candidates who answer in some form of wanting a more laid-back role, or just wanting to try remote work out. It’s often easier for these candidates to leave their remote position because there was not strong outside factor tying them to it. Ultimately, you’ll want to hire a dependable and productive employee.

Communicate the Details of the Remote Interviews

Once your remote interview is scheduled, you’ll want to send out an email outlining the process and what is expected from a technological standpoint. Just as you would mention before a regular interview, you’ll want to let the candidate know who they’ll be meeting with and if they need to prepare anything beforehand. 

Giving an overview of the virtual aspect will help ease the stress on both sides. You can rest assured as the conductor that your candidates have all of the tools and information to successfully log into the software, and they know what to expect. Let them know it’ll be a video or just audio and what software to download if they don’t already have it. 

There are some benefits to giving out minimal information. You can see how candidates react to surprises or just determine whether or not they’re adapted to the technology. Usually, you’re better off walking them through what to expect so you can stick to evaluating skills and experience. 

You’ll have a system down for conducting your remote interviews in no time. Do a test run ahead of time to make sure everything is functional on your end and that you have all the material you’ll need. Connect and build trust with your candidates, they’ll open up faster and you can learn a lot more this way. Stick to your structure and investigate the reason behind the candidate’s desire to work remotely. If you’re new to this, follow up with a request for feedback, this could be the fastest way to improve your interviewing skills!