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Virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular as the workforce goes global, people get busier, and factors like inflation increase the cost of travel. As a result, employers and job seekers are increasingly turning towards virtual interviews to connect with one another throughout the recruitment and selection process.
There are many resources for candidates preparing for virtual interviews, but far less for the HR teams, hiring managers, and recruiters doing the interviewing. In this article, we're going to provide some virtual interviewing tips and best practices to help you find the right people for your open roles. We'll begin with the basics of virtual interviewing, comparing and contrasting virtual and in-person interviews, offer some tips and best practices, and give you a list of virtual interview questions to ask candidates.
Virtual Interviewing Basics:
Before we dive into the tips and best practices, let's first define what a virtual interview is. A virtual interview is a job interview conducted through digital means, often online, such as video conferencing or phone calls. This form of interview allows employers and candidates to connect over long distances, saves on travel time and costs, and makes the recruitment process more efficient until the applicant pool is reduced to one or two final candidates.
Virtual interviews can be broken down into two main types: live and recorded. A live virtual interview is similar to a traditional in-person interview, where the interviewer and candidate interact in real-time through video or phone. On the other hand, a recorded virtual interview involves an employer sending pre-recorded questions to candidates who then record their responses within an allotted timeframe.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each form of interview but the most common will be a live virtual interview. The live virtual interview offers several benefits over the pre-recorded interview. For example, it allows for a more natural conversation flow and provides the opportunity to assess non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions. However, pre-recorded interviews can save time for both parties if there is a large number of candidates to screen.
Virtual vs. In-Person Interviews:
When conducting virtual interviews, it's essential to keep in mind that they are not the same as in-person interviews. The virtual format brings its own unique challenges and considerations that should be taken into account when preparing for and conducting a virtual interview.
Regardless of the type of interview you opt for, it's essential to utilize a candidate analysis solution such as interview intelligence software. Interview intelligence software is designed to help hiring managers and recruiters by providing them with the tools they need to make informed decisions when selecting a candidate. This solution can improve virtual interviews by analyzing data and tracking KPIs such as candidate engagement, response time, and more. Platforms like Pillar piggyback on your video interviewing platform (Zoom or Teams), to analyze the candidate's micro-expressions, tonal changes, and body language to help you understand whether or not they're a good fit for the role.
Now that you know a bit more about virtual interviewing, let's dive into some virtual interview examples and questions to help you prepare for the interview. A virtual interview is similar to any other interview in that the candidate is just a person hoping to land the job. Before diving into the qualifying questions, note that you're speaking with a human who has hopes and dreams like you do. They're pursuing this role either because it's a passion of theirs or because they have bills to pay... probably both. So the research you do about them beforehand will set you up for a great interview.
10- 15 minutes before the interview, check all of your equipment to make sure it's working properly- this could mean Bluetooth headphones, software, Wi-Fi, or other devices you'll need to function properly and ensure that they're connected and functional. Next, pull up their resume, LinkedIn profile, Portfolio, and any other social platforms or assessments you use to gauge their qualifications. Look for any areas of mutual connection or interest that you can use to begin the conversation and make a note to mention these things early in the conversation to set the candidate at ease.
Once you can tell that the candidate is relaxed and you've built rapport, now you can dive into "qualifying questions." The goal is to determine whether or not they have the skills, experience, and cultural fit for your company. With that in mind, let's look at some examples of virtual interview questions and answers:
Question: "Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult situation at work."
Answer: "One of the most challenging situations I faced was when our company experienced a sudden budget cut, and we had to restructure our team. I took on the role of leading the restructuring process, which involved communicating with team members about their new roles and responsibilities, as well as ensuring a smooth transition. It was a difficult and emotional process, but I focused on communication and transparency to ensure everyone's needs were met."
Question: "How do you handle working under pressure?"
Answer: "I thrive in high-pressure situations and have developed strong time management skills to help me prioritize tasks and meet deadlines. In my previous role, I had to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and I found that setting clear deadlines and communicating with my team helped me handle pressure effectively."
Question: "Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to change quickly."
Answer: "In my previous job, our company underwent a major rebranding, which required us to pivot our marketing strategy. I quickly adapted by researching new trends and incorporating them into our campaigns. I also proactively communicated with my team to ensure everyone was on the same page and working towards the same goals."
These are just a couple of examples of virtual interview questions and answers, but remember your goal, to assess each candidate and identify the best fit for the role. By utilizing a candidate analysis solution and asking thoughtful questions, you can ensure a successful virtual interview for both parties involved.
Oftentimes, pre-prerecorded video interview questions and answers will look a bit different than the ones listed above. The reason for this is that video interviews can be recorded, reviewed, and shared with other decision-makers, making them a useful tool for hiring managers. However, just like in-person interviews, virtual interviews require careful preparation to ensure the best results. Here are some virtual interviewing tips for hiring managers conducting interviews:
1. Choose an appropriate location: Make sure you have a quiet and well-lit space to conduct the interview. Background noise and poor lighting can be distracting for both you and the candidate.
2. Test your technology beforehand: Ensure that your internet connection, camera, microphone, and any other necessary equipment are working properly before the interview begins.
3. Be mindful of body language: Virtual interviews may feel less personal, but it's still essential to maintain eye contact and positive body language to show your interest in the candidate.
4. Ask open-ended questions: Allow the candidate to expand on their responses and give them space to showcase their skills and experience.
5. Take notes: Just like in an in-person interview, it's crucial to take notes during a virtual interview to refer back to later when making hiring decisions.
Virtual interview etiquette is just as important for hiring managers as it is for candidates. By following these tips, you can conduct a successful virtual interview and make the best hiring decision for your company.
If you're the type to skim the content of the article and scroll to the bottom for the punchline (Like I am!), this was strategically placed here for you. If you're looking for virtual interview tips the previous sections talk about ways to find the best candidates for your open roles, the benefits of virtual interviews, and two different types of virtual interviews, so if you're interested in any of those topics, please check them out!
But for those who are looking for a virtual interview meaning, this is the section for you.
In short, a virtual interview is an online video-based conversation between a candidate and a hiring manager or recruiter. It can take place live or be recorded and reviewed at a later time. Virtual interviews have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience, cost-effectiveness, and ability to reach a wider pool of candidates. With the rise of remote work and virtual communication, virtual interviews have become an essential tool for hiring managers looking to find top talent.
As you consider using virtual interviews here are a couple of best practices:
- Clearly communicate the virtual interview process to candidates beforehand. This includes details such as the platform used, timing, and any required equipment or materials.
- Treat a virtual interview with the same level of professionalism as an in-person interview.
- Use Interview interview intelligence software to see what the human eye can miss. Not every hiring manager is a trained interviewer, and using this type of software can help ensure a fair and objective evaluation of each candidate.
With these tips in mind, you can confidently navigate the virtual interview process and find the best fit for your company. Remember, virtual interviews are just another form of communication, so approach them with curiosity and an open mind.
If you're looking for a solution to help you hire better, chat with someone from our team. At Pillar, we've built interview intelligence software to help you make better hires, faster, and with more efficiency. Clients who hire 4 or more people per month average $1.2M a year in savings and HR saves more than 225 hours of time. Book a demo to see how you can do the same!