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Published: May 25, 2022

Remote Interview Process: Tips & Tricks for Employers

Before hiring remote employees in other countries, you better get to know them first. With digital communication diversifying the way we interact, it’s no surprise that many of us are looking for better ways to use the virtual services at hand to remove the geographical barriers within the workplace. For employers, remote interviewing is a highly effective and convenient way to evaluate candidates. That said, it comes with its own unique set of challenges.
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Interested in learning actional tips to enhance your virtual interview process?

We’re here to assist you as you streamline and elevate your remote interviewing process. That being said, these remote interview tips are aimed at hiring managers, entrepreneurs, and innovators looking to use the tools of today to build a team for tomorrow, exploring preparation tips, standardization processes, and more.

Tip 1: Prepare in Advance

It’s no secret that preparation is the key to success in just about all things. In fact, some surveys have noted a lack of preparation as the number-one fault in interviewers. 

Don’t let a lack of preparedness get in the way of finding your ideal candidate.

There are a lot of moving parts involved in a remote interview. To ensure you’ve done your best to get ready for the interview, you should:

  • Establish a time – Schedule your interview for an appropriate time for both yourself and your interviewee. Consider time-zone differences and try to create an effective compromise for those who are several hours ahead or behind you. Additionally, ensure you’ve communicated the time that the interview will occur and confirmed the meeting, whether over the phone or through email. If you’re conducting a video interview, give yourself and the potential candidate to adjust the video feed.
  • Read up on your remote candidate – You don’t need to know your interviewee’s life story, but it’s important that you at least look over their resume and cover letter before jumping into your remote interview. By familiarizing yourself with a candidate and their background, you’ll also be able to craft more applicable questions.
  • Share preliminary info – To help your job candidate feel fully prepared for your meeting, be sure to share interviewer names, the expected length of your interview, and the general expectations for your interview, such as skill tests, interactive components, and agendas.

Run your interview procedures by your teammates to gain feedback, mine expertise, and streamline the process across the board. If you’re conducting interviews alongside others, make the preparation process a collaborative effort. You’re likely to build stronger criteria for candidates by putting your heads together.

Tip 2: Set Up and Review Your Tech

The tools you use to conduct your interview are imperative to success. While many have years of experience with digital platforms and communication services, there’s always more to learn and room to improve for virtual interviews. 

Consider the technical aspects of your interview as you prepare to start meeting candidates:

  • Re-familiarize – It’s likely you’re already deeply familiar with a variety of digital communication tools. That said, it could be useful to prepare a quick refresher for yourself or your team. Remember to revisit tools like screen sharing, annotations, break-out rooms, and more.
  • Run a test – Ensure your internet connection is working properly and your devices can connect to your video conferencing platform. Tech problems can be unexpected if you can get ahead of a potential problem, you may be able to solve it and still facilitate your interview on time.
  • Have a backup plan – In the case that something goes wrong, it’s helpful to have a second choice for hosting your interview. A standard call could replace a video conference, or a backup device could allow you to continue where you left off.

If you’re struggling with any of the digital tools required for your remote interview, consider contacting your IT department for assistance. If you can’t find someone on your team to provide a full tech rundown, you can also find various video conferencing resources on the web. 

Tip 3: Provide a Professional Look and Space

If you’re conducting a remote interview, there’s a good chance that you’re working from your home. While there’s nothing wrong with displaying a bit of your personality and interests, it’s important to present yourself as a figure of trust and professionalism to candidates.

Some simple ways to keep your space neat and professional include:

  • Ensure visibility by keeping your space well lit
  • Minimizing outside noises
  • Removing any distractions from the background

If you’re working from an office, the same suggestions still apply. Not only will your workspace environment help communicate professionality to candidates, but it can help to make interviewees feel more at ease and comfortable. As an interviewer, it’s your goal to maximize candidates’ potential, which begins by eliminating potential distractions and establishing yourself and your company as an established and trustworthy enterprise.

Tip 4: Create a Standardized Process

When dealing with tens or even hundreds of candidates, the interview and selection process can become overwhelming without some form of standardization. 

By simplifying your processes with a formulated outline and streamlined vetting process, you can assure you’re accurately evaluating candidates and avoiding any potential biases.

We recommend the following for a smooth and efficient remote interview process:

  • Systematize your questions – Generally, interview questions should be prewritten and standardized for all candidates. Not only that, but you can also create an outline that accounts for responses and follow-up questions, creating a full system of expectations and measurable results.
  • Create a rating system – As you continue the interview process, it’s helpful to rank candidates based on their qualifications as well as their interview performance. This can help you weed out lower-performing candidates and hone in on follow-up interviews with top-rated interviewees.
  • Ask for feedback – The interviewing process is also a learning experience—for you and for those you’re interviewing. It’s helpful to not only provide feedback but also request it from your candidates. Whether it’s through a follow-up email or a few questions at the end of the interview, getting your potential candidate’s opinions on what worked and what didn’t can help you better prepare for future interviews. 

Don’t worry if you occasionally break away from standardizations. Interviews are often about finding the personalities and work styles that would most complement your business, which can mean veering off-script occasionally.

Tip 5: Communicate Your Company Culture and Values

Get candidates excited about joining your venture by speaking to them about your business’s overall vision. To attract and retain qualified candidates, you need to offer more than just a job, you need to provide a future. One way of doing this is by explaining what it means to work for your company and what’s drawn other skilled employees to your business.

Consider highlighting key components of your company’s identity, including:

  • Mission statement
  • Internal culture
  • Branding and marketing positioning

There’s no need to be hyperbolic or exaggerate your company experience, but be sure to spotlight the positive aspects and hone in on the key factors that set your business apart. 

Likewise, be transparent about where you’re looking to improve and consider asking candidates about what they’re looking for in a company. You might even be able to boost your overall company culture based on their suggestions. One way you can inform them of your company culture and values you can include a brief synopsis of your company in the job description.

Tip 6: Make a Personal Connection

While you’re working toward business goals, it’s important to recognize candidates as complete people. Remote interviewing can feel a little impersonal, but by working to acknowledge your remote candidate, you can build a real connection that is likely to bring the best out of every meeting.

Looking for better ways to make a personal connection during a remote interview? Consider trying any of the following methods:

  • Eye contact, smiles, and professional courtesy – The distancing effect of digital communications can make standard politeness a little more difficult. That said, there’s no reason not to maintain eye contact, straighten up your posture, and smile when appropriate. A high level of professional courtesy should be the expectation for any interview. 
  • Active listening – Along with politeness, active listening techniques can assure your candidate that they’re being taken seriously and keep you focused and alert throughout the process. Use verbal affirmations and nodding to demonstrate that you’re listening, and wait until your candidate is finished speaking before following up with your next question.
  • Share your passion – Explore the things that you feel passionate about at your business, as well as any relevant experiences in related fields. Let candidates know that they are interviewing to be part of a dynamic and devoted team.

Ultimately, you’ll need to keep track of how your interviewee acts as well. Don’t forget—this is an interview. It’s important to make some kind of notes regarding your candidate’s reactions and responses, but avoid making your interviewee feel uncomfortable by writing or typing during the interview. It’s best to wait until just after to compile your notes.

Playroll: Your Partner in Building A Remote Team

Being on the other side of the interview can be nearly as difficult as being the interviewee. That said, with these tips and a little bit of creativity, you’re sure to connect with a variety of talented candidates virtually. 

If you’re interested in tapping into the global talent pool, it’s never been easier than with Playroll.

We’re you’re one-stop-shop for global hiring, global HR and payroll solutions (including a payroll management system), and employer of record services providers all fused together into an impeccable service platform. We are also a global employment organization. While you’re doing what you do best, Playroll is taking care of international compliance, tax laws, talent management, and so much more. When you’re ready to take your remote hiring global, Playroll is the perfect partner to get you there.

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