Although it can be challenging to replicate the connection that accompanies face-to-face meetings, there are many ways to make the most of virtual interviews with candidates. Below are some tips to continue interviewing and hiring high-quality candidates from the comfort of home.
1. Make a game plan.
Outline a process with your team to ensure everyone is familiar with the virtual interview process. How will your interviews change given the lack of in-person meetings? What will the new protocol look like for hiring candidates? Having this written out can help to avoid confusion internally, and that will in turn help the candidate to have a seamless interview experience.
2. Use a virtual meeting tool.
There is no shortage of tools available to use for virtual meetings. Some of our favorites are Google Hangouts, Zoom or Skype. Zoom offers a free version of the tool that allows you to have meetings up to 40 minutes long as well as upload an image to use as your background (if you want to hide the laundry piles behind you!) All of these tools offer audio and video functionality - creating an environment that mimics an onsite interview.3. Set up your space.
If you do decide to display your home in the background, make sure to choose a clean, well-lit, quiet spot. It’s best to avoid any clutter in the background, as it can be distracting. Be mindful of the lighting as well to make sure you and the candidate can see each other clearly. Additionally, we recommend limiting potential distractions by muting your cell phone and turning off computer notifications.
Additionally, setting up your work space can make your work from home time more productive overall. We talk more about this in our recent blog How Physician Recruiters Can Find Success While Working From Home.
4. Test technology beforehand.
Regardless of which tool you’re using for virtual interviews, you want to make sure your speaker and video are working properly. Being able to see the candidate and allowing them to see you is just as important as being able to hear each other. You can always test your audio/video with a colleague, friend or family member beforehand.5. Dress appropriately.
Although virtual interviews may be happening in the comfort of our home, we recommend dressing as if it was an in-person interview. Not only is it likely that you will feel more productive and professional, but the candidate will get the impression that you are taking the interview seriously. The same goes for the candidate.
6. Remember non-verbal cues matter, too.
Body language may be a bit more challenging to read during a virtual interview, but that doesn’t mean these cues are not visible. Maintaining good posture and eye contact with the candidate are essential. While it may be tempting to have multiple windows open on your screen, focusing your attention on the candidate will show that you value their time.
7. Have compassion.
Check in with your candidate. This is often a standard routine for the beginning of any virtual meeting; however if you take the extra step and bring this up again at the end of the call, it can go a long way to show that you genuinely care.
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