How to Conduct a Successful Remote Interview

During this COVID-19 pandemic, our cities and towns have come to a halt due to the social distancing and lockdown measures that have been brought into effect. Many employers are reassessing how they conduct candidate interviews. In many cases, this means transitioning from in-person interviews to virtual ones. For some, video technology is familiar and they will be regular users of smartphone apps like WhatsApp. For so many others, this is new and they are quickly adapting to new technologies.

Decide on an Interview Platform

This is an essential first step before planning to have an interview. There are lots of different high quality applications that are free and easy to use to host an interview. Zoom, Google Meet and Whatsapp are all video conferencing services with many useful features, good for both 1-on-1 and group interviews. Using ‘Screen Share’ features on these apps can be great during your interview by displaying a presentation, video, or other graphics on your device. Lastly, being able to record these interviews is very beneficial to be able to compare to other candidates in the future.

Share details ahead of time

During times of high stress and uncertainty, don’t hesitate to over communicate. Once your candidates know that their interviews will be done via videoconference — and why — reach out to them and give them a rundown on the details of their interviews.

Here are some useful things to share:

  • Tips on how to access the video conferencing technology and whether they need to download any software.
  • A timeline that details when their interviews will start and end and the names of each person they will meet. 

Finally, as an added precaution, give them a backup phone number to reach you in case there’s a glitch or the technology gets wonky. Ask them to share the same with you.


Be Prepared

At this stage you should have a pretty good idea of what your primary interests/concerns are for the candidate.  Prepare appropriate questions prior (behavioral, situational). Consider providing specific open-ended questions to the candidate prior to the interview with the expectation of the candidate presenting the answer during the remote interview process.


Eliminate Distractions

Eliminating distractions can be hard to do when conducting interviews from home, but some simple initial steps would be to first silence your phone and laptop notifications. You want to keep the full attention of your interviewee for the entire duration of the call, so try and keep things flowing by structuring the interview and keeping it efficient but not rushed. If you live with other people, it may also be worth telling them when you’re holding your interview to prevent any interruptions. 


Have a strong Finish

When your interview concludes, inform candidates of what is to come next and make sure to thank them for attending. This is commonly overlooked, but it can be one of the most key points of the interview in keeping your candidate interested. 


We hope these points will be useful during this time for conducting interviews with potential personal assistants and in helping you find the perfect support.