There is no doubt that recruiting techniques are going to change even once lockdown has lifted. Remote working is going to become more popular and that means hiring remotely with it. This in turn brings benefits that you can hire someone from anywhere in the world as long as they are equipped to take on the role from their own home – opening up your pool of candidates much further.

What does all this mean? It means that if you are a hiring manager, familiarising yourself with remote interview techniques, might be a good idea. Here’s some of our top tips.

Setting up video interviews

Remember, sometimes technology does fail and not everyone has the best technology at home for these sorts of scenarios. However, whatever platform you use to conduct the video interview, make sure you it is accessible – use a free platform that anyone can download.

Make sure that you send the candidate clear instructions on how to access the meeting, when to and who they will be interviewing. Your recruiter will do this for you, but if there are specific instructions on operating the video software, it is crucial you let your consultant know.

Conducting video interviews

Replicating a normal face-to-face interview, but over video call is very easy and if the candidate really wants the role, they will treat the procedure with as much professionalism as if it is an in-person interview.

Therefore, your standards of dress code, punctuality and professionalism should be exactly the same as an interview in the office. Likewise, you should represent the company culture as close to how it would have been in the office. This is especially true if you are recruiting for a role that will not always be based remotely.

Body language and eye contact is a big factor during a face-to-face interview when you are trying to decide if the person will be a good fit for your existing team and your company culture. The great thing about video interviews is that you do not lose this, but you do have to work a little bit harder to get it as a lot of people prefer to look elsewhere than at the camera. When you are interviewing, try not to stare at your screen and instead speak directly to your camera, this way you come across as more personable and if the candidate mirrors your eye contact that is a good indication.

Phone interviews

If the role you are recruiting for involves a lot of telephone duties, a telephone interview is the perfect way to ascertain whether each candidate has the right manner and comes across well over the phone.

Of course, you cannot gauge a person’s body language over the phone, but you can listen carefully to the candidate’s tone of voice. We may not realise it when we are talking, but we show a lot of our emotions in the way we speak. For example, someone speaking very quickly can be a sign of nervousness as can the overuse of stalling words, like um.

Often during remote interviews participants speak over one another, so when you are interviewing be mindful of this. Pausing between the candidate finishing their response and you asking your next questions will account for any lag due to varying internet speeds and gives the candidate a chance to elaborate if they wish to.

Ask for help

Before lockdown began, the recruitment industry was already changing and remote interviews were becoming much more popular, especially with the dominance of jobs that can be done online. In fact, it has always been a part of Select’s resourcing process to conduct a first stage interview with all our candidates and the majority of these happen remotely.

As a result, our consultants are well versed in conducting video and telephone interviews and they are always willing to jump on an interview with you as a silent observer to provide you with an impartial opinion of the candidate and your interview procedure.

Thinking ahead

Proactive recruitment is always the best type. Now is the time to start thinking about whether you have the staff you need to help move your business forward once lockdown is over.

You have to factor in the possibility of notice period when you start hiring. If the ideal candidate comes along and they have to work a 12-week notice period, but you need them in 4 weeks, you are going to miss out one way or another. Putting the hiring procedure into action sooner rather than later means you can counteract this challenge.

If you have a remote interview lined up and you want to provide your candidate with some helpful interview hints and tips, we have some prepared for you. If you are one step ahead in the process and have already hired and would like some advice on how to onboard a remote employee, take a look at our advice piece that covers just this topic. If you ever need a listening ear or helping hand with your recruitment, our consultants are here for you, whenever you should need us.