With remote work on the rise, knowing how to conduct interviews online has become a must. If you’re unsure about how to successfully conduct job interviews virtually, not to worry. We’ve compiled a how-to guide to help.

How to Prepare for Video Interviews: Virtual Interview Tips

Prepare Your Interview Questions Ahead of Time

Like with in-person job interviews, you’ll want to prepare what questions to ask in advance. Check that everyone on the team can access this document while on a video conference.

The interview questions should help you find a candidate to fill the position. Re-read the job description to create relevant questions. If possible, use the same questions for every candidate to prevent hiring bias.

Test Your Tech

Once you’ve selected what software you’ll use for the meeting, test how to use it. You and everyone on your team should know how to mute, unmute, share your screen, and record the meeting.

You might hold a practice interview before inviting candidates to make sure your system is working correctly.

Clearly Communicate Expectations with Candidates

Make sure to communicate how the interview will go with candidates. Include what time and where the meeting will take place. Keep in mind what time zone you and your candidates are in. You might need to specify what time zone you’re talking about when you send the meeting time.

Also, communicate the online platform you will conduct the interview over. Whether you’re using Zoom, Google Meet, or another service, you should let your candidate know what software to expect. They might need to download and set up the software.

Send the candidate the meeting link and, if needed, the meeting ID. Also, have the candidate’s phone number in case something goes wrong.

During the Video Interview

Make sure that you’re in a quiet, well-lit space before logging into the meeting. Check that your phone and other notifications are silenced.

Tell your team to join the call a few minutes early. You’ll need some time to talk through how the interview will go one last time. Enable the waiting room before the candidate arrives to prevent them from joining early.

Make sure the technology is working and the meeting is set up correctly before letting the candidate join the meeting. For example, if you need a team member to share their screen, make sure they have permission to do so.

Be As Professional and Personable As You Would Be For An In-Person Interview

Remember to dress and act professionally in the video interview. You’re recruiting top talent to join your firm, so give them the right first impression of your company. If your surroundings look unprofessional, put up a virtual background.

The interview is not just about you looking for an employee, candidates are looking for an employer. Help them to see what your company is about by highlighting your company culture. Be personable and communicate the details of the job you’re hiring for and what your company values.

Record and Take Notes

If you want to revisit candidates’ interviews during the candidate selection and hiring process, consider recording the meeting. Let the candidate know you intend to record the video in advance. You can also assign a team member to take notes during the interview.

Have a Backup Plan

As much as you might prepare, things can go wrong. Have an alternative plan for what to do if you experience any technical difficulties. If your internet connection becomes unstable, have an alternate plan. Have someone else ready to take over the interview or switch to a phone call if needed.

Consider Pre-Recorded Interviews

Pre-recorded video interviews can also be a great option. They can also be used to screen what candidates you will invite to a virtual meeting if you have too many to go through.

In pre-recorded interviews, candidates answer provided questions in a video format. The finished videos are then sent directly to you or your hiring manager.

This can be a great way to see who you want to invite for a follow-up meeting.

There are several video interview software options you can use to help set up the process. However, you don’t need to purchase any additional software to use pre-recorded interviews. Simply provide candidates with questions and have them send you a video file of their responses.

Try to keep questions short and only ask two to four. Having too many or too long questions can create too much footage for you to go through. Video files could also end up too large for your candidates to send.

After the Video Interview

Follow Up

After the virtual interview remember to follow up with the candidates. Tell them what the rest of the interview process looks like and when they can expect to hear from you. Letting communication go cold while you make a decision can cause top candidates to look elsewhere.

Once you’ve decided on a candidate to hire, follow up with the next steps. Let them know the specifics of the offer and how long they’ll have to decide. Remember to let any other candidates know that you won’t be moving forward with their application.

Provide the Candidate With Feedback and Ask If They Have Any For You

Your candidates will likely want feedback on how their interview went. You might also be interested if they have any feedback for you. This can help you perfect your hiring process.