What to Look For In a Remote Interview

How do you still properly assess a candidate in a digital setting? With remote work being our safest form of interaction, many HR professionals are navigating the digital recruitment space for the first time. It can certainly be a challenge to pull in the right talent when you only meet your candidates virtually. Sometimes it seems as though hiring managers must develop a sixth sense to pick out the best candidates as you can only engage with them through a 13 inch screen for 30 minutes.

Knowing what to look for in a candidate ahead of time will help diminish these challenges and give you the confidence to hire the right candidates. We’ve developed some solid tips that will support your interview process from beginning to end so you can be prepared and be on the lookout for the best candidates.

Preparing for the virtual interview

As a hiring manager, you want to be aware of the candidate’s behaviour right from the beginning. This starts with the level of engagement and professionalism shared with candidates when you are setting up interviews and gathering the necessary materials. If a candidate continues to have conflicts or technical issues with your calendar invites, submits a resume that is not PDF-friendly and lacks responsive hyperlinks, or even cancels at the last minute for invalid reasons, these candidates may not be as interested in the position or may not be suited for the remote environment. If you are finding that the candidate is showing a lack of formality in emails, responding in short replies or using casual language, this candidate may also not be up to snuff to your company’s work culture.

However, if a candidate responds promptly to your emails, shows gratitude for having the opportunity to be interviewed and demonstrates professionalism with proper email etiquette, this candidate is definitely worth considering. Here are some other tips to consider when preparing for a virtual interview to help you narrow down your applicants:

Pre-screening interview questions

Develop a list of questions that get asked to every candidate to help easily rule out the ones not fit for the job. Make sure these questions are relevant to your must-have requirements so that you can make sure the candidate matches the job profile perfectly. Applicant tracking systems, like Recruit Right, can help you enhance this process by pre-populating your questions so you can filter through your applicants without sifting through resumes. 

Skills assessment

To further support your interviewing process, add a skills assessment challenge to your hiring process. It’s a great add-value to test the candidate’s skill level, time management, creativity, and motivation towards the job in a simulation-type test to see if they would be the right fit for the particular job. It also gives your hiring team a baseline to compare each candidate in a different perspective from the interview when you cannot meet the candidates face-to-face.

During the interview

With video interviews becoming the norm, you might be missing that face-to-face interaction that can aid in understanding if the candidate is a good fit. Here are some other way's to assess a candidate's fit during a remote interview: 

A candidate who would normally show up 15 minutes prior to an in-person interview might demonstrate their promptness by jumping on the video call five minutes early.

Those who would offer a solid handshake and confident eye-contact may be more conscious of their appropriate room lighting and background, camera position, quiet space and would offer a friendly smile over the video call.

Candidates who take it seriously by showing up on video with proper attire and communicating professionally throughout will also stand out.

The candidates who might go above and beyond might offer to share their screen to walk you through their digital portfolio.

A good communicator who supports the flow of conversation and shows excellent speaking skills should definitely be on your radar too, especially because it is even more of a challenge to hold conversation over video calls.

As you assess your candidates over digital interview, know that a good hire will have more than just remote working experience. We’re talking about higher level skills - ones that you cannot learn on the Internet or in a video tutorial. We encourage you to dive deeper and ask the tough questions to test the candidate’s emotional intelligence to see how they handle situations. These questions will help show the candidate’s ability to use their emotions to handle different situations, either individually or with a group, and ultimately show how they handle stress and challenging situations and come up with sustainable, bright ideas for your company.

Relevant questions to ask your candidates that tests their emotional intelligence:

How are you adjusting to working from home?

How do you deal with distractions?

What does work-life balance mean to you?

Why do you want this job?

Why do you want to work at our company?

Describe a time where you were confronted with a challenge in your past job, how did you overcome it?

By asking these complex questions, the candidate has the opportunity to express themselves beyond their skills and talk about the bigger picture. If the candidate is keen to align their goals with your company and demonstrates the same work ethic that is valued within your company culture, you may be closer to finding your star candidate. Likewise, if a candidate describes their challenge as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow from others advice and help, you’ve found a team player who is willing to work together to solve problems. These people can be an excellent asset to your company, no matter what level of employment you are hiring for.

What also goes along with great emotional intelligence is the candidate’s engagement throughout the interview. A person with great emotional intelligence will speak intently to your questions, will be actively involved in keeping the conversation flowing and will show greater emotion when they are excited about the job.

Although interviewing remotely is a new hurdle, we believe adapting to this digital environment will not only help you hire faster, but set your business in the fast lane for the future with better employees. At Recruit Right, we’ve developed digital recruiting solutions to help you through the entire hiring process. Learn more about our applicant tracking system and find out how Recruit Right can benefit your hiring process today. 

There’s a Better Way to Recruit.