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Effective Tips for Conducting Online Interviews

Updated on May 03, 2021 3361 views
Effective Tips for Conducting Online Interviews

No doubt, the world is experiencing extreme changes especially with the outbreak of the pandemic. The hiring process has changed rapidly as the world gradually shifts to remote work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is no news that many companies have turned to carry out most of their operations virtually, even their interview processes. A survey reveals that 74% of the recruiters have found that video interviews have made their job easier to interview and shortlist candidates.

While the adoption of the online interview has recently accelerated, the question here is; have recruiters been able to recruit effectively with virtual interviews?

If you have been struggling with interviewing candidates online, then this article is all you need to conduct interviews online effectively.


What is an online interview?

An online interview is simply an interview that is conducted remotely (from any location) through an online chat, video, or audio. Sometimes online interviews are called ‘digital interviews’.

The experience that you create for both yourself and the job candidate while conducting an online interview is largely dependent on the technology and platform used.


Different forms of Online Interviews

When conducting an online interview, you can decide to use any of the forms of the interview depending on your need and the aspect of your recruitment that you want to do virtually.

You can use any of these methods for your online interview:


Live Video

Live video is one of the most common forms of online interviews. Most online interviews take place over platforms like; Zoom, google hangout, or skype. Interviewing on a live video platform is not so far from the regular face-to-face interviews, but it allows you to interview candidates from any location in real-time.


Pre-recorded video

The pre-recorded video interview is similar to the live video, but the major difference is you will not be able to communicate with the candidates in real-time.

Most recruiters allow a few minutes to read over some interview questions, and then record their answers for the recruiter to view at their convenience.

Most recruiters that use this format usually include a limited time, this period is to add a certain number of re-recordings depending on the company's requirement. This method is often used at the initial screening stage.


Video resume

Many employers have started to request that job candidates send in video resumes as opposed to the regular resume format. Most recruiters that use this format create a set of guideline that candidates need to follow while creating their videos.

A video resume is more like an elevator pitch in a video format. Even if it appears like you will get well-rehearsed answers from job candidates from video resumes, it will still allow you to evaluate their communication skills, body language, and confidence.


Skill assessments 

Skill assessments are another form of an online interview that allows recruiters to test job candidates’ skills as regards the job role that they are applying for. This form of online interview is more like a simulation of job-related skills.

This form of interview allows the recruiter to know the level of the candidates skill-set more than the traditional interview. Skill assessment is one of the best ways to test candidates for skill-based roles like coding, graphic design, etc.


Live chat

Live chat interviews are on the rise as many Gen Z and millennials begin to enter the job market. These generations of the workforce communicate better via chatting platforms.

Many recruiters have started using tools like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook messenger, etc. to interview job candidates especially at the pre-screening and screening stages of the interview.


Chat bot 

Different AI tools allow recruiters to use a chatbot to interview job candidates especially at the beginning stages of the interview. The chatbot asks job candidates specific interview questions that require them to upload a video or audio.


Tips to conducting an online interview

Conducting an online interview sure has some obvious advantages. With the added advantage of online interviews, you still have to consider some factors when organizing your online interview:


Discover where in the hiring process you need to use an online interview method

Many recruiters struggle with where they need to use the online interview. Most times, the point you need to introduce the online interview is dependent on the method you are thinking of using.

Some online interview methods are more suitable for the screening stages, while others are better suited for the final stages. Online interview methods like chatbots, video resume, live chat, and skills assessments are suitable for pre-screening and screening stages. While video interviews and live videos are better for the final face-to-face interview.


Get the right tools

One of the tips to conducting an effective online interview is to ensure you get the right tools that job candidates can understand easily. When choosing an online tool, ensure it does not involve extra equipment like a webcam or microphone.

Always use an interview tool that works via Wi-Fi and can be used via a wide range of devices (mobile phones, tablets, or desktops). You should also know that your employer brand is also important when choosing a tool, so choose a tool that is flexible enough for you to customize.


Craft your questions before the interview  

This is one of the factors of the most critical stage to consider when planning your online interview. If you don’t prepare accurately for the questions that you are going to ask the candidates, then the interview process will be of no use to you.

Whether it is a pre-screening interview or the final selection interview, your questions should reveal relevant information about the job candidates. See 15 strategic questions to ask job candidates.


Always take note of the time

When you are conducting an online interview, one thing you must be conscious of is time both for you and the job candidates. If you are interviewing job candidates outside your country, then you should be conscious of the time setting so that both of you are on the same page.

Having a prolonged interview can make both you and the job candidate lose engagement. When you fail to engage with the job candidate, then it may be difficult for you to find the information that you want to get from the candidate.

Always give candidates partaking in pre-recorded interviews some time to go through the questions and answer carefully.


Always remember to keep it professional   

It is always important to keep the online interview as professional as the face-to-face interview. It is easy to assume that the online interview is casual because you can’t see the job candidate in person, but that is not true. If you want to maintain your company’s identity and image, then you should always appear professional when conducting online interviews.

Treat an online interview with the same professionalism that you would treat an in-person interview.


Questions to ask when choosing an online interview tool

Just as we have discussed earlier, there are different online interview tools that recruiters use to select candidates depending on their needs.

We have also talked about the different online interview forms. The online interview form you want to adopt will likely influence the online interview tool that you may need to use.

Before settling on the online interview tools you want to use, always ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your hiring goals, and what platform can help you achieve them?
  • How can you measure success with the tool?
  • What skills does the candidate need to possess to use the tool effectively?
  • What features do you need in an online interview tool?
  • Can you use the tool to recruit for any role?
  • Will the tool allow you to design the interview experience to reflect your brand (can you include logos, images, brand videos and custom emails?).
  • Will the tool save you time by allowing you to take note of each candidate performance?
  • Will the tool allow you to write your questions to suit your needs?
  • Can you integrate the tool with your recruitment software?
  • How affordable is the tool? (there are paid and free tools).


Yes, conducting online job interviews have now become commonplace, but how can you use it effectively. Regardless of the tools or online interview form you choose to use, make sure it makes the recruitment process easier for your organization.

Any tool or software you decide to use should make the recruitment process easier for both you and the job candidates you would interview.

Are you looking for a recruitment plan that fits your need? Click here to view different options


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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