Conducting Virtual Interviews: 7 Effective Tips for Hiring Managers

Virtual interviews have become the norm for many companies, especially those offering remote positions. They also have various benefits, including easier scheduling between candidates and hiring managers.

If your company conducts virtual interviews, you’ll want to ensure the process goes as smoothly as in-person interviews. This article will cover some helpful virtual interviewing tips for hiring managers to get the most out of remote interview formats and ensure you hire quality employees.

What Is a Virtual Interview?

Interviews are professional meetings where hiring managers can assess if a candidate is an ideal fit for their company. Virtual interviews are the same but in digital form. Most virtual interviews happen over video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams.

The candidate and interviewer are in different cities or states for most virtual interviews. However, some companies might schedule virtual interviews even when the candidate lives in the same area just to save everyone time.

Let’s go over some ways to keep your virtual interviews organized, professional, effective, and even enjoyable for everyone involved.

1. Before the Interview: Test the Technology and Process

Technology makes life a lot easier but can also present additional problems. You can minimize tech issues during the interview by testing everything beforehand.

About ten minutes before the interview, check your internet connection and do a video conferencing test run. Confirm that your video and audio are connected and working correctly.

Also, have the recruiter encourage the candidate to do the same and maybe even do a quick test call with the candidate before the interview starts.

It’s also helpful to have a plan B ready in case of technical difficulties. Make sure you have the candidate’s email and phone number in case you need to contact them quickly to reconnect.

2. Help Candidates Come Prepared and Know What to Expect

Once the interview is scheduled, send the candidate a calendar invite with:

  • All interview participants’ names and emails
  • A link to the virtual meeting room
  • Any specific instructions for how to connect

You can also help reduce nerves by giving the candidate a few points about what the interview will cover. That way, they can prepare examples from past jobs to demonstrate the experience you’re interested in learning about.

3. Outline What Questions You’ll Ask

Keep the interview organized by making a list of questions you want to ask the candidate. You might change what you ask depending on how the interview is going, but having an outline can help you hit essential points you don’t want to forget.

4. Stay Professional But Approachable

Virtual meetings can easily feel informal, but remember to keep things professional.

Dress as you would for an in-person interview, and try to act as if you’re sitting across from the candidate in the same room.

It doesn’t have to be all serious, though — don’t forget to smile, thank the interviewee for meeting with you, and maintain positive body language throughout.

5. Emphasize Your Company Culture

In a Glassdoor Mission and Culture survey, 77% of respondents said they would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there. Culture matters, but it’s hard to show a candidate your company culture during a virtual interview.

Still, you can make a point to talk about your company’s culture and dynamic during the interview. You could even do a virtual office tour. Also, ask questions of the candidate that help see if they are a good fit for your culture, too.

6. Be Clear on the Next Steps

Don’t leave the candidate guessing. After the interview, communicate how the next steps look.

Let them know as soon as possible whether you plan to move forward or not. This will leave a good impression either way, as the candidate will see you value their time enough not to keep them waiting.

7. Ask for Feedback Afterward

Virtual interviews are still relatively new for most companies, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. After a candidate interviews with you, send them an email asking what they thought about the process. Most importantly, ask if there’s anything you could have done better.

Another crucial part of the interview process is attracting and recruiting the best candidates for your open positions and company. Learn more about how Alabama Media Group helps companies upgrade their recruitment processes to attract the most qualified candidates.