Expert Tips For Successful Remote Interviews

By Melissa Coutts June 25, 2021 | Posted in Our Blog

By Melissa Coutts June 25, 2021

We’re all pretty used to taking two steps forward and one step backward with the lifting of social distancing restrictions by now. There’s no use in panicking or getting het up about it, is there?

What these latest delays have done is further solidified business approaches and working habits that the UK’s workforce have already adapted to so well.

The switch to remote working is the most obvious change. And one thing that businesses will have to continually improve is the remote interviewing of prospective candidates.

Read on for expert tips on video interview techniques you and your organisation should be using to get the most out of the experience.

Remote Interview

Make First Impressions Count

OK, you’ve got to the point where you have a shortlist of quality candidates for the vacancy you’re trying to fill – and now you want to attract the right person or people into your team.

That means that you – as the prospective employer – need to make as good a first impression on a candidate as they do on you. It’s a two-way street.

First impressions count for everything. Everyone knows in their heart of hearts that we all make judgements based on appearances, so let’s not try to pretend otherwise!

With that in mind, if you’re interviewing a candidate on Zoom, Skype or whichever video calling software you use, make sure that you are:

  • Appropriately dressed
  • Smiling and approachable
  • In a suitable setting
  • Clearly well-prepared ‘from the off’

On the subject of being ‘appropriately dressed’, dress as you would do for a meeting in the office.

If you’re an informal kind of a workplace (a design agency, arts organisation or similar), then, sure, dress informally – but not too informally, if you know what we mean.

If you’re a professional services firm, then the likelihood is that you dress very smartly for the office; and so you should dress smartly in the context of a video interview as well.

Interview Process

Give The Candidate Time To Shine

Let’s be clear about this: you’re not here to give the candidate the ‘3rd degree’. Help create a conversation that flows naturally rather than interrogate them!

Using video technology is unlikely to ever feel as natural as interviewing or meeting face-to-face, so try to put the candidate at ease.

You’ve got your questions to answer, sure, but give the candidate the space to give full and thorough answers.

One of the biggest issues that organisations and their teams have faced when conducting remote meetings via video technology is that it’s very easy to speak over one another, thereby causing people with more reserved personalities to withdraw. Which is a big problem if that person is your expert on a particular topic.

With that in mind, be patient and help the candidate finish what they’re trying to say. You might even consider carefully prompting them to give them the confidence that you are listening attentively and very much interested.

No-one likes an awkward silence, do they?

Have Everything Ready And In Place

You’re interviewing a great candidate, right? Someone that will bring just the kind of experience and capabilities your team needs to go to the next level.

They could be in high demand and have a number of different suitors vying for them. You and your organisation might be at something of a disadvantage because you can’t offer as much in terms of salary or benefits.

So, the last thing you want to do is to annoy or frustrate this star candidate by faffing about and scurrying to find documents – or even your questions – mid-interview. It makes you (and therefore the organisation you represent) look disorganised, unprofessional and even discourteous.

Get everything set up well in advance of the interview, such as making sure both parties can ‘share screen’ and look at important documents or visuals together.

Virtual Interview

Keep The Conversation Flowing

One-way conversations are rubbish, aren’t they? There’s nothing more exhausting than somebody talking at you when they should be talking with you.

Equally, it’s very disconcerting when you try to engage someone in a conversation and you end up making all the running.

So, flip that on its head and imagine if you were the candidate and the interviewer expected you to do ALL the talking.

We’ve stressed how important it is to let the candidate have space and time to shine, but that doesn’t mean letting them talk for ages without any input or engagement from you. They’ll just end up in a cul-de-sac. Interact them; encourage them; make it a natural conversation.

Make notes, sure, but don’t let yourself get distracted or spend too much time with your head buried in your notepad.

We make a point of telling candidates that they should make regular eye contact with interviewers, and the same goes for the reverse. Making eye contact builds and maintains mutual trust.

Ultimately, you’re looking to build a real rapport with the candidate.

Stay Within The Appointed Time

It goes without saying that you and your colleague(s) should turn up to the interview on time, and that they with the candidate.

But it’s also important that you keep the interview within the framework of the hour, or however long you’ve agreed with the candidate.

They could have other interviews to attend or things to do, like picking up their kids from school or getting their second vaccination.

It’s not just that sticking to the agreed timeframe is considerate. It also helps maintain the structure required to make the interview as constructive as possible, thereby helping you make the most informed recruitment decisions.

Recruitment Decisions

With You All The Way

When Recruitrite is appointed to be your organisation’s recruitment partner, we become just that: a partner.

That means we will support you all the way, with the aim of matching your company and roles with exactly the right candidates. And, beyond that, helping you secure the services of the candidates you know will bring real value to the table. It’s all about getting the right recruitment results for everyone involved.

So, if you’re concerned that your remote video interview isn’t up to scratch, we’ll be here to help and guide you.

If that sounds like exactly the kind of recruitment agency and staffing partner your company needs, please give us a call on 01325 734860 or email to learn more about our outstanding services

We’re based in Darlington but work with employers right across the North East, Yorkshire and the rest of the UK