As we’re all trying to get used to a new way of working and living, some organisations are continuing to hire by actively engaging in Online Interviewing. Here are 5 tips about how to plan for and facilitate Online Interviews during this time:

1. Be prepared– I always advise that at least two interviewers to interview each candidate together. It is highly likely that both interviewers will be in separate locations so it is important to plan some preparation time with the other interviewers in advance of the online interviews. This time should be used to agree on the competencies and skills required for the role. You should agree on the interview questions, the questions that each interviewer will cover on the day as well as the structure of the interview. Preparation is key to getting the best out of the interview but also to impress the candidate, allowing them to follow a more structured approach on the day.

2. Prepare the candidate – Online interviewing may be a new concept to some candidates. Therefore, the more information you share with them in advance, the better for them. Let them know who will be joining the interview as Interviewers and what the structure of the interview will be. Also share with them, the duration of the interview etc. and the dress code. Will the interview be competency based or a biographical interview?!.

3. Organise the setting – This seems like an obvious one but can easily go wrong. Make sure you’re familiar with the technology that will be used for the online interview before you start. Also ensure that you are set up in a space without interruptions or background noise to prevent any distractions for the candidates. An interview should be kept as professional as possible. Dress appropriately in line with the instructions already given to the candidate.

4. Be consistent– The candidate is likely to ask you and the other interviewers about the potential effect Covid-19 may have on your organisation. You may or may not have a clear view of this at the moment. Either way, ensure all interviewers communicate a clear and consistent message. The candidate may also enquire about the recruitment process for the role and when final decisions will be made. Try remain as honest and consistent as possible to ensure you are managing candidates’ expectations.

5. Be mindful – You should expect candidates to have prepared for the interview, to dress appropriately and get set up with technology. However, be mindful that some candidates may not have previously participated in online interviews and may be more nervous than usual. It is also worth noting to be mindful about the challenges of really getting to know a candidate via online Interview. It is not as natural for candidates to build rapport or maintain eye contact over online Interview so allow some flexibility for that. Engaging in some light conversation at the beginning of the interview should help candidates relax more into the interview.

Stay safe