How to Set up and Run a Remote Interview
Recruiting Remote Candidates Effectively
The way we recruit new team members has transformed over the past 20 years. Where once they would have posted jobs in a local newspaper or trade magazine, or relied heavily on recruitment agencies, many organizations now use the Internet to find candidates, particularly for virtual teams.
Technology has also opened up a whole new way for businesses to assess and interview people during the recruitment process, using video technology and Web conferencing software, particularly when recruiting for virtual teams.
But while interviewing someone remotely might be convenient, it can make communicating with him or her challenging. For example, you may not pick up on the same subtle visual cues that you would if you were face-to-face with him, and technology can falter.
In this article, we'll explore how you can run great remote interviews, whether by phone or by video.
What Is a Remote Interview?
Organizations can now reach more talented candidates than ever, thanks to the Internet. Online job postings allow people from anywhere in the world to apply for roles, and new technology means that managers can interview more candidates remotely, regardless of their location.
Phone interviews used to be the standard for remote interviews, but organizations now have the option of using video with technologies such as Skype® and FaceTime®, and Web conferencing with applications such as Google Hangouts™.
And research suggests that the use of video in recruitment is becoming increasingly popular. A 2012 survey found that 63 percent of the organizations that took part had conducted video interviews, up from just 14 percent in 2011. Another study showed that the use of Skype in recruitment had increased among participating organizations from 10 percent in 2010, to 42 percent in 2011.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Remote Interviews
Employers can reap many benefits from interviewing remotely. For example, organizations in out-of-the-way places that find it difficult to find qualified candidates locally may need to recruit virtual teams instead. Hiring managers can therefore consider people from further afield, if they interview by phone or by video.
Video interviews can help hiring managers get a better feel for candidates than phone interviews do, because they show people's facial expressions and body language. Some software allows you to record interviews and share them with others involved in the hiring process. This means you don't need to take notes during the interview, and you can concentrate fully on the interviewee. (However, you must ask for her permission before recording an interview.)
Remote interviews do have some drawbacks, though. You might want to use them as an occasional convenience – perhaps when you are screening initial applicants or when recruiting people who live far away – rather than as a replacement for face-to-face interviews completely.
This is because it can be much harder (or impossible, if it's a phone interview) to know whether your candidates are comfortable, or giving genuine responses, based on their body language and facial expressions, than if they were in the room with you.
Tips for Conducting a Great Remote Interview
You should plan your remote interview as meticulously as if you were meeting a candidate face-to-face. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your next one...