Remote Hiring: Ensuring Virtual Interview Success

Remote Hiring: Ensuring Virtual Interview Success

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact economies across the globe, few industries have been left unaffected by the crisis. Last week it was reported that around one in five people around the globe are currently under lockdown, with an estimated 1.7 billion people ordered to remain at home as governments impose measures to protect their populations.

This societal shift is having huge implications not only for the workforce, but also the hiring process. Understandably, some companies have paused recruitment until the economic impact of the virus becomes clear, but many other businesses are continuing to seek out talent and build teams.

Measures such as social distancing and work from home policies have required companies to get creative – not only with how they ensure their workforces remain connected – but with their recruitment processes and communications with candidates.

Virtual methods, such as video conference calls and instant messaging platforms are being widely implemented, and usage of apps including WeChat Work, Zoom and Slack, have risen nearly fivefold since the start of the year.

Since the outbreak of covid-19, Zoom’s valuation has skyrocketed to $42 billion. It is currently the most downloaded app on the iOS App Store, and last Monday it was downloaded 2.13 million times worldwide.

The current climate marks a new era for interviewers and interviewees. Here are some top tips to ensure the virtual interview process is a success.

Advice for Candidates

Be prepared – Ensure you have the information you need and prepare as you would for any interview, rehearsing your responses and preparing your own questions.

Check your tech – Make sure your internet connection, video conferencing program, speakers and microphone are all working adequately prior to your interview.

Dress appropriately – Dress for success like you would for an in-person interview, and ensure your surroundings are quiet and tidy.

Be engaged – Remember that you are in a conversation, so make eye-contact, smile often and show engagement when the interviewer is talking by nodding and agreeing.

Follow-up – This final step is no less important than it is after a ‘regular’ interview, so send a follow-up note to your interviewer, thanking them for their time.

Advices for Businesses

Be prepared – Familiarise your interviewers with the candidate’s CV and the job description to give the virtual interview the formality of an in-person one.

Break the ice – Engage in chitchat as a way to get everyone comfortable and overcome any awkwardness.

Communicate openly – Give the candidate a warm reception and keep them well-informed at each stage of the interview process – ensure their time and efforts are valued.

Reinforce your brand – Convey a consistent message about the company’s mission and values and be open – where appropriate – about changes to the business during the pandemic.

Adapt – Account for time lags and lack of usual social cues and give the candidate time to deliver their response.

If I can support you or your business with video conferencing facilities or further guidance on ensuring virtual interview success, please don’t hesitate to reach out – jennyw@hansonsearch.com

Stay safe, stay healthy!



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Author: Jenny Waters

Jenny specialises in the corporate communications space at Hanson Search, working in partnership with global agencies and in-house clients. She is also Co-Chairman of the PRCA NextGen London Group, a forum providing support and advice to communications professionals.

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