Recruiting During Coronavirus: Part 2 – Virtual Interviewing

Apr 21, 2020
| Jeff DeModna, Extensis VP of Recruiting Services
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As the workplace shifts to digital for the foreseeable future so does the interview process. Interviewing is an artform: reading body language, understanding what follow-up question to ask, and just the gut feeling so many hiring managers have relied on for years. How do you get the same experience without being in the room with the candidate?

With virtual interviewing, you still get a feel for a candidate. You can see their facial expressions, their interest level, and how much they prepared for the interview. It can also eliminate some of the excess “fluff” and get right into why this person may fit technically in your open role. When conducted properly, a virtual interview can give you the opportunity to evaluate a candidate’s technical skills and still create a connection that makes both parties want to work together.


The benefits of virtual recruiting

Competitive Advantage: Flexible hours give employers a competitive advantage by having the ability to interview candidates without having them take time off from their current job.

Consistency: Virtual interviews allow for a more consistent interview. In person interviews can veer off course due to personal banter quite often giving each interviewee a different experience. It is hard to evaluate different interviews if they were conducted under different criteria. Virtual interviewing tends to be more uniformed in approach giving each candidate a similar interview experience.

Efficient: Virtual interviews tend to stay within the allotted time slot. A checklist or interview guide can allow the Human Resources director or hiring manager to get in and out without some of the other distractions that extend the on-site interview.

Cutting Edge: By adapting a digital approach, it shows the candidate you are willing to adapt to the times. Candidates, who are looking for an organization to grow with, will appreciate the organization’s efforts to continue to improve its processes.

All of these advantages show being remote doesn’t mean we can’t continue to hire.
Before starting the interview process, pick a virtual interview platform that works for you. The top software options are ConveyIQ, HireVue, and Whereby, amongst others. Microsoft Teams is also offering six months of free services due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Best practices for conducting virtual interviews

  • Do a Test Run: Make sure the technology runs properly. A test run also allows for the hiring manager to practice their talking points. If possible, record the test run as it is a great learning tool. Recording official interviews will help recall candidates’ answers.
  • Confirm Candidates’ Technology:  Give the candidates the ability to make sure their setup is interview ready. Also, be understanding and patient as they might be new to using the software you choose for the interview.
  • Be Prepared: Make sure to conduct the interview in a clean, quiet and professional environment. Review the candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile before the interview. Have it in front of you when you sit down.
  • Set Expectations: Have set criteria of what you would like to cover and questions to ask. Communicate the interview framework to the candidate so he/she can be prepared.
  • Dress the Part & Be Personable: Present how you would if the candidate was in the office. Being comfortable in a remote setting does not lower the expectation of being professional. It also should not eliminate the opportunity to connect with the candidate so be yourself and be personable!


For best practices, please see part 1 of our Recruiting During Coronavirus series: Handling the Immediate Needs. For additional tools and insight, visit Recruiting Cloud to find dozens of interview questions for your next interview, and contact the HR specialists at Extensis today for more business continuity advice.