Remote job interviews have become increasingly more common, especially thanks to COVID-19. While many have participated in online meetings, not everyone knows how to conduct a video interview. Below is some advice to help you prepare and make the most out of a remote interview. 

Don’t try and wing it

Online interviews require preparation. As the interviewer, it’s your responsibility to set expectations with a candidate before the interview about the details. Decide who will place the call, what platform you’ll use, and give the candidate the names and titles of anyone else who may be joining the interview. By clearly communicating the details of the interview, you will put the candidate at ease. Also, it will help the entire process run more smoothly. 

Prepare your technology

Make sure you conduct a technical trial run a day or so prior to the interview. Regardless of what platform you use, give yourself enough time to adapt if something isn’t working. Also, make sure to check your computer camera, microphone, and internet connection. If you haven’t used the platform in a while, make sure you are still able to login. Lastly, if you use a tablet or mobile device, make sure it is fully charged prior to the interview. 

Have a backup plan

Worst case, what will you do if the platform you planned to use doesn’t work? Make sure you have the candidates email and phone number so you can easily get in touch with them. You may end up needing to have the interview over the phone instead of a video call. 

Minimize distractions

Make sure you switch off alerts and chats during the interview. Also, if needed, put a note on your door saying that you aren’t available. You should avoid having remote interviews in any high-traffic areas of your home. This is so your candidate doesn’t hear any background noise and loud footsteps. Lastly, try to reduce movement during the interview. If you’re constantly shifting, it can make it hard for your candidate to focus on the conversation. 

Make it as comfortable as possible

The biggest struggle with remote interviews is not having the natural flow and physical reminders like an in-person interview. It’s easy to forget the small things that can make a remote interview as comfortable as an in-person one. Below are some of these small things that you can do to make candidates feel comfortable.

When taking notes, write them on paper. If you’re typing as the candidate is talking, you can distract them and potentially not hear them as well. If you need to take notes on your keyboard, let the candidate know. This will help them feel more comfortable and make sure they know to speak louder if you will be typing.

Make sure you don’t lose the small talk you would normally have during an in-person interview. Along with this, make sure you are over expressive. To help make the interview more comfortable, nod, smile and laugh when appropriate. Your candidate is already nervous about the interview, not being able to read your body language only stresses them out more. 

Lastly, make sure you remember to look at the camera when you’re speaking. You don’t need to look at your own image or the image of who you’re talking to. It will make it seem like you’re staring off into space. While it may be uncomfortable at first, you will get used to it.