How to Hire the Right Talent When Conducting Virtual Interviews

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Close to 81% of talent professionals worldwide say that virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID. Nearly 70% say it will become the new standard, according to LinkedIn’s report.

Businesses like the considerable cost and time savings of conducting virtual assessments and interviews and the scheduling efficiency and flexibility they get. 

Virtual interviews are now routine for some recruiting leaders, and their companies have advanced video conferencing capabilities. On the other hand, some teams are still new to this and are trying to merge online interviews with their day-to-day recruiting workflows effectively.

No matter which category you belong to, this article presents a few helpful tips that can help talent acquisition managers find suitable candidates when conducting remote interviews.

1. Set Up a Clear and Concise Screening Process

A good screening process is more of a prerequisite when recruiting through a successful virtual interview. It can take you a long way in identifying the best candidates and mitigating the costs that arise from high turnover rates.

You can start by recognizing the screening methods that work best for your company.

According to one recent study published by Glassdoor, the length of the recruitment process and the overall time it needs to get completed greatly depends on the screening method a recruiting manager chooses:

  • Phone Interview – +6.8 – 8.2 days
  • Group Panel Interview – +5.6 – 6.8 days
  • One-on-one Interview – +4.1 – 5.3 days
  • Background Check – +3.1 – 3.4 days
  • Presentation – +2.7 – 4.2 days
  • IQ Test – +2.6 – 4.4 days
  • Job Skills Test – +0.6 – 1.5 days
  • Personality Test – +0.9 – 1.3 days
  • Drug Test – +0.3 – 0.8 days

Once you’ve identified the proper screening channels, the next step is to set up a clear and concise virtual interview process, mapping each operation and virtual interaction with the candidates. This will help the talent acquisition and hiring manager understand the hiring timeline better and plan the next steps accordingly.

2. Scaffold the Interview

Next up, giving your video interviewing process a pre-planned structure is essential. It would be best if you thought of everything right from:

  • How many topics do you intend to discuss with the candidates?
  • How many questions do you plan to assign for every individual topic?
  • In what order do you wish to cover the topics?
  • What are the essential elements that need immediate attention?
  • How much time should you allocate to each area you plan to cover?

It is essential to consider that your plan doesn’t take the entire scheduled time. Leave at least a 10-15 minute buffer to allow for follow-up questions, feedback, etc. 

Darren Murph, head of Remote at GitLab, in one recent interview, says, “One of the most sizeable challenges when going remote is keeping everyone in the loop in an efficient way. Put concerted effort around systematically documenting important process changes in a central place to minimize confusion and dysfunction.”

One best practice would be to prepare a list of interview protocols and keep it in a shared location so that your entire team is on the same page about how you’re going to conduct the next virtual interview moving forward.

3. Include Virtual Assessments to Shortlist Candidates Faster

One study conducted found that those companies that use pre-hire assessments are nearly 39% more likely to see lower turnover rates and 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals. 

This same study also found that talent acquisition managers who utilize pre-employment assessments report close to 39% higher satisfaction rates with their final decision than those that don’t. 

There are endless benefits to including virtual assessments within your hiring strategy for online interviews. Some of these include:

  • Widening your talent pool
  • Segregating good candidates from the crowd more quickly
  • Mitigating bias in hiring decisions

4. Leverage Technology to Streamline Other Hiring Operations

There is an array of state-of-the-art recruiting technologies that you can easily include within your remote interviewing strategy to augment its effectiveness by manifolds.

To begin with, you will need to have a reliable internet connection and choose the right video conferencing tool. The most reliable options available are Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts Meet, and Cisco Webex Meetings.

Also, it would be best if you got into the habit of maintaining a backup of all your video interviews. This way you can refer back to them in case you didn’t take detailed notes.

Some other progressive tech innovations that recruiters can think of including to improve online interviews are:

  • Advanced Analytics to predict candidate outcomes and future hiring patterns
  • Cloud computing to maintain secure data backups
  • AI-powered chatbots to enhance candidate engagement and answer general queries
  • Dedicated mobile apps to streamline communication and speed up the hiring process

5. Put Candidates at Ease by Sharing all Vital Information Beforehand

The majority of job hunters are anxious, if not outright stressed. Chances are, the mention of a virtual interview will only fuel their anxiety further since it’s something very new to them too.

Hence, once the candidates you’ve shortlisted know that you will do their interviews online, try reaching out to them and briefing them on the details of their interviews, just as you would if they were coming in to talk to you in person.

“Send candidates the interview details a few days in advance. This enables them to download any necessary software, prepare their space, and test their audio and video settings. This also acts as a test to see how prepared the candidate is. If they hop on fifteen minutes late because they still needed to get the software, you have a glimpse into how they may operate as an employee,” said Matthew Podolsky, Founder of Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

Here are a few valuable details that recruiting managers can share with candidates beforehand:

  • Tips on whether they need to download any software and first steps on accessing the video-conferencing software.
  • The company’s expectations for their job interviews. For instance, will the interviewer ask them to solve a problem on the spot or request a work sample?  
  • A rough timeline that details when their interviews will start and end, and the titles and names of each person in your organization they will be interacting with, along with links to those people’s LinkedIn profiles. 
  • As an added precaution, give them a backup phone number to reach you in case there’s a glitch or any issue occurs at the last moment.

6. Think about Ways You Can Improve Candidate Experience Through a Virtual Interview

The overall experience you create before a candidate speaks volumes about what your company has in store for them as a potential employer. Prospective employees will almost always evaluate your organization based on their experience with your recruiting process. 

It might’ve been easier to have a good candidate experience with an in-person interview, but you can still do that during a virtual interview. Not only can a poor candidate experience harm your company’s reputation in the job market, but it can also deter other candidates from applying to your job description. Today, close to 69% of candidates  tell their friends and network about a bad candidate experience. 

Due to all these reasons, creating a positive candidate experience should be a part of your online recruiting strategy.

Syed Balkhi, Founder of WPBeginner, in one recent video interview best practices roundup for , says: 

“I think you can make video interviews more effective by spending some time making the candidate more comfortable. They’re already nervous about doing well, and doing the interview online can be even more anxiety-inducing. Take time to have a casual chat with the interviewee before getting to the main questions. This will put them at ease, and as a result, they’ll be able to give you a better idea of their fit for your business.”

Some of the ways you can furnish an exceptional candidate experience include:

  • Keep candidates informed about the next steps
  • Gather feedback in the form of candidate surveys as often as you can and try to implement suggestions moving forward
  • Be proactive at communicating
  • Identify candidate pain points and work around addressing them
  • Create solid focal points on your website that are aimed toward holding a prospective employee’s attention
  • Build a strong company culture

7. Give Candidates a Virtual Walkthrough of Your Company Culture

One of the significant challenges that come with having a video call is that your candidates will not have a chance to walk around your campus and get a firsthand experience of your company culture. 

You will have to spend a little extra time preparing an enticing culture pitch to make up for that. 

A recent LinkedIn survey  found that candidates’ most preferred way to learn about company culture is through an office tour. So, you might as well offer one virtually!

You can easily do this by doing something as simple as taking them on a video tour of your physical office and the various activities (both work-related and cultural events) that are performed there annually.

Beyond offering a video tour, consider any other visual materials you can share with candidates during or after the interview. Chances are, you can locate and compile a few social media posts or employee testimonials that capture meaningful moments in the day-to-day work life of your existing employees.  

Learn More About Virtual Recruiting

Having a virtual interview is just one step in the virtual recruiting process. You’ll also need to recruit talent, find candidates, and foster relationships.

This can be a big task, especially when navigating the new territory of virtual interviews. Thankfully, we’re here to help you.

If you need help or want to augment your existing virtual recruiting model, get in touch with us at 



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