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Within just a few months, the concept of ‘remote work’ has changed its form. Instead of being the ‘future of work’, it is now ‘the need to present’. So many people are pushed into working remotely, unprepared. However, even with the pandemic wreaking havoc on economies, many industries and companies are still actively hiring. There’s a new normal in the hiring process too- hiring has gone remote too. While most of the part of the hiring process can be handled remotely, all thanks to technology, remote interviews can be challenging. But worry not, we got you! This ultimate guide to conducting remote interviews is here to your rescue. 

The COVID 19 pandemic has given a push to the remote work trend which was already on the rise since the last a couple of years. And according to a Gartner CFO Survey, about 74% of CFOs intend to shift some of their employees to remote work permanently. So remote work is most likely to become permanent for most industries in the near future. As remote work becomes permanent, so does remote hiring and so does conducting remote interviews.  

Conducting a great interview is definitely the most crucial part of the hiring process, whether remote or not. But it may seem scary or stressful at first if you’re the first-timer. However, no matter what comes, it is essential to have the zeal to excel at everything. So in this article, we are going to take you through the essential steps to conduct remote interviews. Along with that, we will also look at some tips for conducting remote interviews successfully.

Steps To Conduct Remote Interviews

You need to put your best self forward during the remote interview. Here are a few steps you can follow to ensure everything goes well.

Prepare your notes

This is the first and foremost you need to do. Just as you would do with a physical interview, prepare a blueprint of how you want the course of the interview to be. Assess each candidate beforehand and draft a set of questions accordingly. Jot down reminders. Everything should be pre-planned and be prepared for anything. You can also have a notepad ready during the interview to note down the important details or frame a question then and there.

Select your isolated space

One of the major factors that make remote interviews challenging is the fact that they are remote. Since you’re at home, there will be many external factors that might create disturbances during the interview. So the next step is to find an isolated corner in your home. You can also create an office space where you won’t be interrupted by anyone or anything.

Use the right platform

Remote interviews usually involve phone and video interviews as the primary channel of communication. You can rely on audio calls for the initial pre-screening process but a video call is necessary for the main interview. There are a number of platforms available on the internet through which you can smoothly conduct your interview. Primarily, platforms like Google meet, Zoom, WebEx is the most preferred currently. However, you may need to test run and explore each one of them to find the one you’re most comfortable using.

Have the right set-up

In a remote interview, you need to make sure you are perfectly visible and audible. Also, you should hear and see the candidate clearly. That’s why you need to have a perfect setup to conduct a smooth interview. So, make sure you have a good quality headset with a microphone and a decent video camera with your personal computer. Along with the pieces of equipment, you also need to have a stable and high-speed internet connection. Make sure that you convey the message of having the right set-up to your candidate as well. With the right set-up from both ends, the remote interview should go perfectly well.

Timing is important

You need to set an interview time that both, the candidate and you are comfortable in. You need to ensure that you and the candidate are all set and seated about 5-10 minutes before the set time. Make sure you leave a message for your candidates if there are any unexpected circumstances or connectivity issues.

Best Tips For Acing Remote Interviews

By now it’s clearly emphasized why conducting remote interviews are going to be the new normal in the hiring process. With the basic steps taken, next, you need to ace the interview. Here are tips for you to conduct a remote interview smoothly.

Your remote interview may be interrupted by many things

You need to convey the candidate precisely what you’re expecting from him before the interview. Give the candidates a clear idea of what and how they are supposed to prepare. It’s important that you let the candidate know about the whole process of the interview and the people involved in it. You can draft all this information in a detailed introductory email or make pre-screening calls

Think about the remote interview dos and don’ts

Remote interviews are a lot different than face-to-face interviews. Due to a lack of physical appearance, establishing a connection can be tough. It is very important to show all the candidates that just because it is a remote interview, it’s not less professional. So, you need to analyze the situation and make a detailed list of dos and don’ts that you must follow. The elements of this list may be different for different candidates.

Keep your focus and be an attentive listener

Let’s face it, it’s harder to focus on and listen to the candidate over a video call. During a face-to-face interview, you can demonstrate active listening by making eye contact or maybe nodding your head. Body language carries depth and gives greater meaning to the words we are saying. However, during a remote interview, this may be difficult to pursue. So, during a remote interview, you need to pay a little extra attention to your listening skills. Try to make the interview as comfortable as possible. Treat it as if you are conducting an in-person interview.

Introduce your company culture

In in-person interviews, candidates get to share the company’s culture first-hand. With the remote hiring and remote work, your candidates might not get a chance to see your workspace or meet your team. So you need to make sure they don’t miss out on knowing all about you and your company’s culture. You can give them background information about your company, a little detail about the CEOs as well as your teammates. Paint a picture for the candidate for a better understanding.

Prepare Questions

Every candidate who applies to your remote job has a different persona. So, the right way to make an accurate comparison between them is by asking them the right questions. You need to prepare a list of questions that can give you a proper insight into the candidate’s preferences. Your list should encapsulate questions based on analyzing the Cultural-fit, communication skills, personality, leadership skills, analytical skills, and critical thinking. You can pen down the questions in a notepad or a word document in a new tab.

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