How to Host the Perfect Virtual Job Interview

Are you looking to hire a remote worker? Maybe you want to talk to a candidate who lives in a different state. Either way, a virtual job interview may be the way to go.

In this article, we’ll explain what a virtual job interview is, the pros and cons of this hiring process, and five virtual job interview tips you can use to make sure your virtual interviews are as professional and polished as possible. Let’s get started!

What is a Virtual Job Interview?

According to Indeed, a virtual job interview is:

“An interview that takes place remotely, sometimes over the phone, but often using technology like video conferencing and other online communication platforms.”

Virtual job interviews became wildly popular during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Employers couldn’t meet with potential employees in-person, but they still needed to hire talented people. What could they do? Simple: take advantage of technology and host virtual interviews.

COVID-19 lockdowns have ended in most places around the world. Yet, virtual job interviews remain popular due to the numerous advantages they provide. Let’s talk more about that…

The Pros and Cons of Virtual Job Interviews

As mentioned earlier, virtual job interviews are advantageous—for both employers and potential employees. But this hiring process has downsides as well.

In this section, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of virtual job interviews.

Pro: A Faster Hiring Process

Looking to speed up the hiring process? Host a virtual job interview. Doing so will eliminate many of the tedious tasks that bog down recruitment.

For example, you won’t have to deal with as many cancellations. This is because it’s much easier for potential employees to log into their computers than it is for them to travel to your company’s office, figure out parking, go through security, etc.

Because virtual job interviews happen quicker than their in-person counterparts, recruiters can host more interviews per day, which will allow them to find the right candidate in less time.

Pro: The Ability to Cut Costs

In-person hiring can be expensive—especially if your company has to pay travel expenses for the candidates it interviews. The cost of flights, hotels, and car rentals adds up quickly.

You could force potential hires to pay for these things themselves. But this will lower the number of quality candidates you interview. It could also give your company a bad reputation in the marketplace. Both of these things should be avoided if possible.

Remember, too, that open positions cost your company money.

Virtual job interviews cut costs by allowing employers to fill open positions in less time, leading to greater team productivity and higher revenue potential.

Pro: The Ability to Involve Key Stakeholders

Unless you work for a very small company, hiring decisions are probably made by a team of people, rather than a single person. Virtual job interviews make it easier to involve multiple stakeholders because they don’t each need to be on-site to participate.

It’s easy to record a virtual job interview as well, which means key stakeholders can replay it after it happens. They can then send along their opinions in their own time.

Con: Less Personable Interactions

The best way to get to know a potential hire is to meet them in person. Video conferencing software does a really good job of simulating this experience, but it’s not quite the same.

If your open position requires strong social skills, you may want to bring candidates to your company headquarters and meet with them face-to-face—even though doing so will slow down the hiring process, inflate costs, and make it harder for key stakeholders to participate.

Con: Difficult to Demonstrate Certain Skills

Do you need candidates to demonstrate specific skill sets before you hire them? Then you may want to consider hosting in-person interviews. It can be difficult to judge a person’s abilities via video conferencing software, especially if said abilities aren’t computer-based.

Con: Technology Can be Unreliable

To host a virtual job interview, you have to use technology. Unfortunately, technology can glitch at inconvenient times, like in the middle of a conversation with a top candidate.

This is less of a concern now than it was a few years ago. Tools like ClickMeeting are super reliable and hardly ever glitch for users. This is one of the reasons why ClickMeeting is used by tens of thousands of people in 125+ countries around the world.

5 Virtual Job Interview Tips For Interviewers

You have to decide for yourself if virtual job interviews are right for your company. If you decide that they are, keep these five virtual job interview tips in mind.

1. Invest in the Right Tools

You can’t host a virtual job interview without some kind of video conferencing software. The question is, which one should you use? There are a ton of options available to you.

You could, for example, use a tool like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. You’re probably familiar with these platforms, which means you won’t have to spend time learning how to use them before you host interviews. Unfortunately, these apps aren’t very good for interviewing purposes.

Zoom and Microsoft teams were designed to help teams collaborate. As such, they don’t have the features you need to host top-level virtual job interviews.

We suggest investing in ClickMeeting instead, which will enable you to customize your virtual conference room with your company’s logo, color scheme, and choice of images. This will help you give potential employees an idea of what it’s like to work for your organization.

ClickMeeting is also equipped with screen sharing and virtual whiteboarding features, which make it easy for interviewees to demonstrate their unique skill sets.

Finally, ClickMeeting has Edu Mode, which was originally designed for online educators. BUT, it can be used by recruiters to maintain eye contact throughout a virtual job interview. This is especially true if you’re hosting multiple candidates at one time.

At the end of the day, you need to choose the tool that works for YOU. The best way to do this is to try different tools to see if you enjoy using them. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of ClickMeeting today, which will give you access to all of the platform’s features.

2. Develop a Structured Process

Have you chosen a video conferencing platform? Great, now it’s time to develop a structured process for your virtual job interviews, which you can repeat for each candidate.

We suggest starting with a few minutes of casual conversation. This will give you an opportunity to get to know each candidate on a human level and assess their personality. Do you enjoy their company? Would you want to work with them every day?

After small talk, start asking questions. (More on questions below.) Then allow candidates to demonstrate specific skills. Finally, give candidates time to ask YOU questions, before wrapping up your interview by telling candidates when they’ll hear from you again.

Obviously, you can adjust this structure to fit your personal needs. Whatever you decide to do, create an agenda and stick to it for each virtual job interview you host.

3. Choose the Perfect Location

Where you host your virtual job interviews matters.

You want to choose a quiet, well-lit location that’s free of distractions. That way you and your candidates can really focus on the interview. It’s hard to concentrate when you have to stare at odd posters in the background of your screen or you’re constantly interrupted by noises.

One more thing: before your interview starts, ask candidates to find a quiet, well-lit spot, too. It won’t help if you find the perfect interview location, but potential hires set up shop in a crowded coffeehouse. You’ll still be bombarded with distractions.

4. Ask Interviewees the Right Questions

You want to hire talented individuals that care about their jobs.

One of the best ways to identify these types of candidates is to ask them the right questions, i.e. questions that highlight each candidate’s level of preparedness.

Start by asking questions that will reveal the amount of research each candidate has done:

  • What do you know about our company?

  • What do you think this role entails?

  • Why do you want to work here?

Then move on to normal interview questions that will help you assess each candidate:

  • Why are you leaving your current role?

  • What are your top strengths / weaknesses?

  • What’s your greatest professional accomplishment?

  • Can you tell me about a challenge you faced and how you overcame it?

And don’t forget to ask role-specific questions, too, like, “How long have you used Software ABC?” and “Are you certified to operate Equipment XYZ?”

5. Follow-Up After the Interview

Ready for one more virtual job interview tip? Send a follow-up email to each candidate you interviewed—preferably within 24 hours of your meeting with them.

This will show candidates that you value their time and will strengthen your company’s reputation. It will also give you the chance to reiterate the benefits of working for your organization, which is important in today’s job market, as most professionals have options.

Just because you offer someone a job doesn’t mean they’ll take it. They may have other offers. A post-interview email will help make working for your company a priority for top candidates and ensure you’re able to hire the people you want on your team.

Pro Tip: Make your follow-up emails short. You want to make an impression on candidates. You don’t want them to see your message and immediately delete it because of length.

Wrapping Up

Virtual job interviews are a great way to connect with candidates for your company’s open positions. Once you adopt this hiring process, you’ll be able to save time and money and make sure key stakeholders within your company can participate.

To host effective virtual job interviews, simply implement the tips we shared in this article. Doing so will ensure your interviews are polished and professional.

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