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How to Conduct Successful Remote Interviews

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

April 27 2020

Recent health concerns have caused many companies to implement 
social distancing and work-from-home policies. But even before the emergence of COVID-19, companies all over the world were pivoting towards remote interviews due to the number of advantages they provide. Some of these include reduced travel, ease of scheduling, and convenience for both the interviewer and applicant.  

If your company is turning to remote interviews, here are some tips on how to ensure they’re productive and successful.

Be Prepared 

Treat video interviews with the same seriousness as in-person interviews. Know the job description, be familiar with the candidate’s resume, and have specific questions to ask. Choose a quiet, well-lit room for interviews. Ensure that you will not be disturbed during a call by notifying your colleagues—or those within your household if you’re working from homethat you’ll be busy with a candidate interview.  

If there will be multiple people participating in an interview, double-check a day or two before that everyone has the event on their calendars. Be sure to adjust for time zone differences. Whatever software you use for videoconferencing, provide the candidate with the meeting details they need in order to join the interview. It’s especially helpful if you can provide these details a few days in advance. 

Remember, both employers and applicants should see interviews as a chance to put their best foot forward. Give your applicants the respect they deserve and come into the interview just as prepared as you expect them to be. 

Set Expectations

Communicate to your applicants that the interview will be virtual. Sending an email with just a video conference link can be jarring and can leave candidates with a sense of uncertainty. Clearly state your company’s reason for using virtual interviews. Clarify how much of the process will be virtual and if candidates will eventually be expected to attend an in-person interview at the next stage.  

Make yourself available to answer any questions they have about the  interview itself or the videoconferencing software involved. Not every candidate will be tech savvy, so be prepared to answer questions or help with  minor troubleshooting.  

Check Your Tech

Technology can be a fickle thing. Everyone who has ever experienced a video conference knows they can come with unexpected challenges: connection issues, sound problems, delayed video, and more.  

A day or two prior to the interview, set some time aside to double-check that your videoconferencing software is working properly. Test your connection speed, camera, and microphone to help ensure you won’t run into any problems. If you’ll be conducting the interview using a laptop, make sure to have your charger handy. Batteries tend to run low at the most inconvenient times.  

Encourage your candidate to do the same. Remind them to choose a location that is both quiet and well-lit, away from other people and distractions. By preparing and eliminating any technology issues beforehand, you minimize the chances of the interview being delayed or bogged down by technical problems.  

Virtual interviews offer a variety of advantages. Remote work is only expected to increase, even after the current health crisis has passed us by. There may come a day when the entire workday—from interviews to meetings to day-to-day activities—may all be conducted online. Get ahead of the curve and use this advice to recruit, interview, and hire new talent, regardless of where in the world they may be.  

And remember: whether they’re working in your building or from the comfort of their home office, run a comprehensive background check before hiring. InfoMart is here to help. 

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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