Total Talent Management

Virtual interviewing

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, virtual interviewing had already become a more regular mechanism for conducting interviews for out-of-area candidates. While the use of technology for virtual interviewing may now seem more mainstream, it does come with important considerations for both the hiring manager and candidate.

Hiring manager considerations

Be prepared — As with any interview, familiarize yourself and other interviewers with the candidate’s resume and the job description; treat the virtual interview the same way as an in-person one. Likewise, keep the candidate informed of who they’ll be interviewing with so they can prepare questions of their own.

Check the technology — Make sure whatever technology you are using is working properly and that others on the interview team understand in advance how you will be operating the technology, i.e., keeping everyone on mute, going “round-robin” in alphabetical order, expectation that video be turned on, etc. Review UWIT’s webpage on Zoom video conferencing for additional information. It is strongly recommended not to record virtual interviews.

Communicate openly — Keep candidates well informed throughout the interview process. Without being able to give them a warm, in-person reception, it’s especially important to show them their time and efforts are valued.

Remove distractions — Be respectful to the candidate and position yourself away from distractions, including your cell phone, as you would in an in-person interview. If you have caregiver responsibilities or potential for unanticipated interruptions, acknowledge them up front.

Reinforce employer brand — Ensure interviewers at all stages of the recruitment process convey a consistent message about your unit’s mission and values.

Give the candidate time — Pause to ensure the candidate is done with their response, before moving onto the next question to account for time lags and lack of usual social cues.

Debrief – Make sure to debrief together with the interview team after each interview. You may consider scheduling the virtual meeting for a longer duration to allow for the team to have the time to discuss.

Candidate considerations

Test your technology(ies) — Make sure your internet connection and video conferencing program are both working well prior to your interview.

Dress appropriately (if video conferencing) — Dressing for success is no less important for remote interviews. Dress smartly, like you would for an in-person interview, and ensure your surroundings are tidy.

Do your homework – Prepare just as you would for any other interview, rehearsing your responses to key interview questions and preparing your own questions for the interviewer.

Be personable — Make eye-contact and generally engage with the interviewer to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role (this is especially important when video teleconferencing).

Remove distractions — Ensure you’re fully engaged with the interviewer by removing all distractions, including your cell phone. If you have a potential for unanticipated interruptions at home, acknowledge them up front.

Follow-up — As with in-person interviews, send a follow-up note to your interviewer, thanking them for their time.