Best Practices For Online Interviews

COVID-19 has impacted businesses in many ways. And this extends to recruitment. Most companies rely heavily on face-to-face or in-person meetings when conducting interviews. Unfortunately, that’s not suitable right now.

We are always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today. 

As result, many businesses are turning to online interviews. According to a recent study, about 8 in 10 businesses are making video conferencing solutions a key part of the hiring process.

But industry experts warn that businesses that don’t embrace best practices for online interviews are more likely to be left behind by their peers. Poor interview practices can result in bad hires, high employee turnover, lawsuits and reduced revenue.

So, how can you ensure your company observes the best practices when conducting online interviews?

Invest In The Right Tools

Although different interviews may need different tools, Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts will do most of the work. However, you may need specialized solutions to recreate in-person experiences.

For example, when hiring software developers or engineers, you may need a whiteboard application for the candidates to draw and share ideas. If you allow them to share their screen using their tools, you risk introducing bias into the process.  

Set Expectations

Inform candidates in advance that interviews will be done online. Just sending them a link to a video interview can be nerve-racking. Explain why you’re using video, guide the experience, and state what’s expected. And don’t stop there.

Show your candidates how to access the video conferencing solution and whether the software has to be downloaded or not. This will make them more prepared.

Watch Your Interview Structures

Studies show that the best interviews have structured processes that all candidates and interviewers follow. But when interviews go online, these processes can easily be forgotten or ignored resulting in questionable results.

Therefore, be sure to hold briefings before every interview to ensure all interviewees are reading from on the same script. Make sure your team knows who is assessing what, what questions each member is asking, and how to review materials supplied by the candidates.

The aim here is to create consistency between face-to-face and online interviews. And after an interview, debrief your team immediately. Take notes, and add them into your tracking system to ensure no information about a candidate gets lost.

Make Interviews Smooth

In traditional interviews, someone walks the candidate in and makes sure they have all they need. Replicating the same online can be challenging, but not impossible.

Most HR leaders recommend having someone act as a host. They will introduce themselves at the beginning and join the video call at the end.  

The goal is to create a consistent flow by coordinating the interviewers and interviewees. The “host” ensures everyone is using the right video links. They also have a backup plan to switch to in case something goes wrong.

For instance, they can help switch to a phone call instead of a video call if something happens in the middle of the interview.

The host also ensures each interviewer uses unique video links. This reduces the risk of interruption caused by several candidates hopping into the same link.

Don’t Forget Candidate Experience

When conducting online interviews, keep in mind that as much as potential candidates are moving mountains to convince you to hire them, you also want the best candidates to join your company.

During on-site interviews, many businesses leverage candidate experience to attract the right talent. They offer office tours or meeting co-workers. But this can be different when dealing with online interviews.

You want potential hires to understand and appreciate your culture without physically visiting your business premises. To achieve this, you can:

  • Offer a remote office tour
  • Share videos of co-workers talking about your business culture


Improve Your Online Interviews Now   

Although COVID-19 has forced many companies to turn to online interviews sooner than expected, experts say it’s likely to remain after the pandemic. So use this as an opportunity to test and sharpen your interview processes. 


We are always looking for talented individuals to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today. 

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