Almost 60 per cent of Americans whose jobs can be done from home are working remotely. While this trend started to take off during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems here to stay. And one of the more complex issues for employers with remote workers is how to conduct remote interviews.

While a remote interview may seem very similar to a traditional one at first glance, a few things must be handled differently.

Read on to learn more about conducting a remote interview and the best ways to prepare for this process.

Pick the Right Platform

When you begin the remote interview process, the first thing you need to do is to pick the right platform. Since the pandemic, dozens of different video conference apps have become popular. You can also opt to conduct a simple phone interview with no video element whatsoever.

If you are reviewing the candidate’s portfolio, CV, or proposal with them during the interview, you need a platform that supports screen sharing. Your decision may also depend on how many people will be involved in the interview process. And finally, make sure to check which platforms offer free access.

Learn the Etiquette

While you’re undoubtedly familiar with traditional interview etiquette, remote interview etiquette can be slightly different. Of course, professionalism is always critical, and if you’re conducting a video interview, this extends to your background. It’s best to ensure the background behind you is neat, neutral, and free of major distractions.

You also want to ensure you’re interviewing in a quiet, private place where you won’t have to deal with too much noise. Make sure to keep your phone silent and position yourself so you have a light source in front of you. It’s also just as important in a remote interview to dress professionally and to give your candidate plenty of time to talk.

Make a Backup Plan

No matter how much you prepare, the unfortunate truth is that sometimes technology doesn’t work as we expect it to. You may get to the interview time and discover that one or both of your internet connections are too slow or your computer has to run an update that you can’t reschedule. It is crucial to prepare a backup plan for how you’ll proceed with the interview if technology doesn’t cooperate.

Of course, conducting a phone interview instead of a video interview may be the simplest way to manage this issue. If you need to review files during the interview, ask your candidate to email them to you ahead of time so you can look at them alone. Ensure you have these documents printed out and on hand before you begin the interview, just in case.

Review Your Current Process

Once you’ve got the practical details worked out, it will be time to turn your attention to the substance of the interview. In most cases, remote hiring will follow the same procedure as a traditional interview. Nonetheless, reviewing your current process and figuring out what you’ll need to adapt is a good idea.

For example, your current interview process may include a tour of your building or a brief introduction to managers or executives. Consider having these people log onto the call briefly for a remote interview to meet the candidate. It can also be an opportunity to make sure your hiring practices are working for you and to make any needed changes.

Listen as Much as You Talk

Once the interview begins, it can be easy for you to get focused on the information you need to give the candidate. You may want to let them know their daily responsibilities, what you’re looking for in a candidate, and what your company is like. But when you put all your focus on what you need to say, you miss the main point of the interview: listening to your candidate.

Throughout the interview, practice active listening and give the candidate plenty of time to respond. Make sure they’ve finished answering a question before you move on to the next question. And unless necessary, always avoid talking over a candidate.

Introduce Your Company Culture

During a traditional interview, a candidate has a chance to see your offices, interact with some other members of your company, and start to get a feel for your company culture. But during a remote interview, all they may see of your company is you and the background behind you. It’s a good idea to set aside some time at the end of the interview to introduce your candidate to your company culture.

Depending on your setup, you may be able to take your candidate on a brief video tour of your offices or have a current team member come in to talk about their experience working with your company. You can discuss your mission statement, workplace style, and the kind of customer you usually work with. It will give interviewees a chance to get to know you better and help them start feeling more connected to your company.

Learn to Conduct a Remote Interview

Remote employee interviews are becoming more and more common these days, and learning how to handle them is critical for any hiring manager. Find a platform that fits your needs, plan what you’ll do if that program breaks down, and take some time to review remote interview etiquette. You may also want to check your current interview process and always spend as much time listening as you do talking.

Check out our site if you’d like to learn more about conducting a remote interview. We make remote working reality by consulting, implementing, attracting, engaging, onboarding, and inducting the best employees for your business needs. Contact us today and start discovering why the future of work is now.