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How To Interview Candidates - Remotely

How To Interview Candidates Remotely

The pandemic has forced many to work from home, including hiring managers. As a result of this, remote interviews have become increasingly more common, and many companies don’t actually have a protocol in place to navigate such a wild west atmosphere of brand new remote interviewing systems. So while most managers have participated in an online meeting before, not all of them know how to conduct a remote video interview. Because let's be real, interviewing and giving interviews are just like everything else in the workplace, they're learned and acquired skills. Take these tips and crush that interview so that everyone can say they had a great remote interviewing experience.

Be Prepared To Interview - Remotely

Many don’t know, but online interviews require some prep work. As the interviewer, it’s up to you to set expectations with the candidate beforehand about the remote interview details. Figure out things like who will start the call, what platform you’ll be using for the interview, and give the interviewee the names and titles of other people who might be interviewing alongside you. If you clearly communicate all details of the meeting, the candidate will be less nervous and the entire interview process will be clearly communicated and easier flowing as a whole.

Don’t Technical Difficulties Out of the Remote Interview

Conduct a trial run of your video conferencing platform - the best one in our opinion is OptyInterview - a day or so ahead of time, giving you enough lead time to fix and adapt to any issues that are may or may not occur in the interviewing process. The important thing is to be safe rather than sorry. Check to make sure your computer camera, microphone, login information, and internet connection are ready to rock and roll.

Be Ready For A Backup Plan (Emergency Interview Protocol)

Despite all your preparations, what if you do have some sort of issue? Always make sure you have the candidates email and phone number handy so you can connect and figure it out. You might end up having a phone conversation or a facetime conversation instead if you can’t get things up and running.

A massive issue for candidates or you working from home is bandwidth. If more than one person is online in an apartment or house at the same time, it can cause delays or other issues with video conferencing tools. It’s not ideal, but you can address this issue by turning off the video function on the application you’re using, just won’t have the visuals. You might also schedule the interview at a time when fewer people in your home are online. Or ask the candidate if they can switch to data or use their phone as a hotspot.

Our last and most useful suggestion for a backup plan, is to use the tools built into OptyInterview. You can use pre-recorded interview prompts to ask your potential candidates questions and then you will get their recorded video answers! Whether it’s to sift through a high volume of potentials, or you’re too busy to interview in person, OptyInterview has got you covered.

Goodbye Remote Interviewing Distractions

Switch off alerts and chats during the interview and put a note on your door saying you’re not available. Don’t have remote interviews in high-traffic areas of your home. Try to also reduce movement during an online interview, if you’re shifting around it can make it difficult for the other person to focus on the conversation.


Look Professional for your Remote Interview

Dress as though you’re going to work, even if you’re at your home. Make sure the background the candidate will see during the remote interview is free of any clutters and anything distracting. OptyInterview can help with that.

Have Job Hunting Resources readily available

Have a printed out version of the interviewee’s resume and a list of questions you have for them about their past or current qualifications. This will help you to be ultimately prepared for anything you might encounter or think of during the interview. You might want to log onto the OptyInterview platform a few minutes early to make sure everything is good to go and you can help your interviewee get going on there if they need help.

Pay Attention To The Interviewee's Body Language

Speak clearly and keep your voice steady, but make sure you also show some personality. Smile and laugh, it’ll make the interviewee feel more at ease, just like you would in person. You want the other person to know you’re engaged in the conversation so they can give you their all.


During conversation, you can also leave a few seconds at the end of sentences or after you ask a question to minimize talking over one another. Remember to look at the camera when speaking, and not yourself or the interviewee. You will want to focus on having relaxed and confident body language and mirroring the interviewees can also be beneficial for making them feel more at ease.

End the Interview Strong

At the conclusion of your remote interviews, make sure to tell candidates what the next step in the process is and ask them if they have any questions. This is so that they don't email you asking for status changes every five minutes. Also, make sure to thank them for taking the time to tell you about themselves. During an online interview, you are acting for your company as an extension of them. Knowing how to effectively conduct an online interview is pertinent to your success in hiring candidates in this virtual day and age. You do want them to have a positive view of both you and your company, in any case. Make sure you check out OptyInterview so you can make those virtual interviews go as smoothly as possible.