CommercialApril 22, 2020

Five top tips for conducting online job interviews

As businesses continue to navigate their way through the challenges that come with the current COVID-19 lockdown – while many have slowed down their recruitment endeavours – many others are seeking alternative methods to hire top talent. With remote job interviews, there are plenty of benefits to be had from saving the candidate time and money on travel to streamlining the recruitment process for employers; yet, there’s also a lot that can go wrong. From avoiding dodgy connections to placating nerves, we reveal five things that employers should consider both before and during remote job interviews.

1) Do a test run
Before the interview begins, do a test run with a willing colleague to make sure that everything works as expected on your end. You will also need to ensure that you have picked the right video conferencing platform for your requirements and that this works on the day. For example, if the candidate is expected to give a presentation, check that the platform you use has screen sharing facilities.

2) Pick your meeting location wisely
Remember that the members of staff present on the video call are still acting as a face for your business, even when in their own homes. Prepare each of them to conduct the interview in a clean, professional environment which is free from distractions for both them and the candidate. Try to avoid any background noise as this can be incredibly off-putting on both sides.  

3) Prepare the candidate in advance
Make sure to equip your candidate or your recruitment agent with everything that they need to be aware of ahead of the interview. This could include sending them a link to download the video hosting platform and ensuring they know how to access the meeting, specifying the dress code and start times and checking they have the right technology. It’s also useful to give them an idea of how long you expect the interview to last and the type of questions you will be asking them.

4) Put the candidate at ease 
It’s likely that some of your candidates will be new to online interviews and may be nervous. That’s why it’s important that you put them at ease. You can do this by smiling, initiating positive interactions and speaking warmly. Try to avoid any more complex questions until later on in the interview when the candidate feels more relaxed. It can be difficult to establish a rapport online without face-to-face contact but this is made much worse if the candidate feels uncomfortable and on edge.

5) Allow for nerves
With this in mind, keep in mind that if your candidate struggles to answer a question or doesn’t appear entirely comfortable – this may be simply due to adapting to a new scenario. That’s not to say that there aren’t red flags to look out for though, if your candidate specifically slips up every time you ask a more complex question, this could be due to a lack of expertise in the topic rather than a result of nerves.

Is your business cyber secure?  
In these times when businesses are increasingly relying on digital methods of communication, it’s more important than ever before to review your cyber defences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberhackers have come out in droves to target businesses which have become more vulnerable due to employees working from home. While it certainly helps to have trusted cybersecurity in place, a savvy IT team and training for employees, no business is 100% safe from a cyberattack. That’s why every business should consider adding Cyber Insurance to their existing business insurance policy. To find out more about what this covers and whether it’s right for you, just call The Insurance Centre on 01524 848506.