Interview preparation – it’s not just for candidates

With the ongoing advice to work from home where possible, and no clear vision of when a return to the office might take place, most of us are still working remotely. When it comes to recruitment, companies are now faced with two choices: pause all hiring for the (un)foreseeable future, or adapt to interviewing, hiring, and onboarding completely remotely.  

It may seem daunting for those where remote working is a journey into the unknown, but many businesses have been offering WFA (work from anywhere) and hiring via video call for years, viewing this as the most viable way to access the best talent, wherever they are based. Many more are looking to join them, considering a continued support of remote working once social distancing is a thing of the past. Whether you are looking to continue with remote working or not, it is clear that freezing recruitment perpetually is not viable, so how do you best interview remotely? 

Be flexible 

Working from home was not a choice for many of us, so be mindful of that. While you may be fortunate enough to have a home-office or spare bedroom to work in, some people are working off breakfast bars shared with house mates, or juggling work with childcare as classes are sent home due to COVID outbreaks. If people can’t make certain times or have to make last minute changes, try to be accommodating and don’t automatically assume the worst. 

Clarity is key 

If your interview process combines phone and video interviews, presentations and testsmake sure each stage is very clear at the beginning. Nothing puts you off your stride like preparing for a voice call, only to be blindsided with a video invite or vice versa. Check whether the candidate is familiar with your software, offer them technical support and check that they have the correct set up for this. Equally be open to using their preferred platforms; you may even find a new system or program you haven’t used before. 

Prepare for glitches 

From WiFi dropouts to webcams that won’t connect, so many things can go wrong with technology. Always have a back-up plan (or two!) in place: a phone number for if the internet cuts out, PowerPoints sent ahead of time so that they can be presented over the phone in a worst-case scenario. With all the best intentions, technology doesn’t always play ball, don’t let it become a roadblock. Importantly, make allowances for your candidates and expect that they may become a little flustered in the face of adversity. 

Sell yourself 

Just like interviewers, candidates often make decisions on gut feel, something it is harder to ascertain through a computer screen. Take the opportunity to showcase the best bits of working for your company and as part of your team. Consider sending some employer branding material ahead of the interview, or organise a virtual meet and greet to help the candidates get a feel for your team and company culture. 

In a year where many best-laid plans have gone awry, it is important to be agile in your approach to interviewing in order to access the best talent. 

The Remote Recruitment Playbook

This blog has been part of our remote recruitment series, keep an eye out for the rest of the series, or download the Remote Recruitment Playbook below to boost your recruitment strategy today.

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