8 Essential Tips for Conducting Effective Virtual Interviews

8 Essential Tips for Conducting Effective Virtual Interviews

In the digital age, mastering virtual interviews is crucial, so we sought advice from top executives and founders. From fostering human connection remotely to optimizing one’s virtual professional presence, here are eight pieces of advice to conduct effective virtual interviews.

  • Foster Human Connection Remotely
  • Engage with Tailored Questions
  • Utilize a Virtual Interview Scorecard
  • Treat Virtual as In-Person Interviews
  • Master the Interview Platform
  • Plan for Technical Issues
  • Have a Tech Backup Plan
  • Optimize Virtual Professional Presence

Foster Human Connection Remotely

I’m an enormous proponent of video interviews—when done right, they allow for an astoundingly rich assessment, absent geographical constraints. My #1 piece of advice? Ensure the human connection is firmly in place, even remotely. Have a casual chat before diving in, build rapport, be visibly engaged, and react. With recruitment, you’re forever selling candidates on joining your cultural community.

Virtual spaces can dehumanize things if you let them. So, overcompensate on warmth! Lean forward, smiling, make eye contact through the camera often, and avoid multitasking faux pas at all costs—full focus immerses people. Essentially, employ all the behaviors you would with in-person meetings. The platform is different, but the psychology must remain. Tech enables scale, but we’re still emotional creatures seeking bonds.

Lou ReverchukLou Reverchuk
Co-Founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

Engage with Tailored Questions

Make sure to keep the conversation engaging! Have questions prepared ahead of time, and make sure that you have reviewed the prospective candidate’s resume. Steer clear of general questions and ask more specific questions based on achievements rather than tasks.

Caroline PenningtonCaroline Pennington
Executive Search Recruiter, Podcast Host, Founder, Feminine Founder

Utilize a Virtual Interview Scorecard

One tip I’ve found effective is to use a ‘Virtual Interview Scorecard.’ Create a structured evaluation rubric with specific criteria aligned with the role. During the interview, rate candidates on these criteria in real-time. It ensures a fair and consistent assessment of each candidate, even in virtual settings. This approach has improved our hiring accuracy by 15% and streamlined the decision-making process for remote interviews, making it a valuable tool for effective virtual interviews.

Gregory RozdebaGregory Rozdeba
CEO, Dundas Life

Treat Virtual as In-Person Interviews

My best advice is to keep it simple and treat virtual interviews as you would in-person ones. Maintain professionalism, dress appropriately, and create a distraction-free environment. Just because it’s virtual doesn’t mean you should slack on preparation. Familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume, jot down key questions, and be ready to discuss the role and company. Plus, don’t forget about the basics—good eye contact, clear communication, and active listening.

Johannes LarssonJohannes Larsson
Founder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com

Master the Interview Platform

Know the platform inside and out before conducting any interviews. You don’t want your inability to use the interview platform to ruin a perfectly good candidate’s interview. It shows the candidate that you respect their time, and it demonstrates that you (and your company) are competent and professional. It’s not 2020 anymore. There is now a strong expectation that those conducting virtual interviews know their way around whatever video-conferencing software they choose to use.

Temmo KinoshitaTemmo Kinoshita
Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Plan for Technical Issues

In my role as CEO of ProActuary Jobs, I frequently assist candidates in preparing for virtual interviews. My top recommendation is to anticipate and plan for technical issues, which are more common than many expect. To mitigate the impact of potential tech problems, it’s crucial to have a contingency plan. A straightforward strategy, such as having the option to switch to a phone call if the video connection drops, can be highly effective. This approach is a basic form of risk management that’s easy to implement and can ensure the interview proceeds smoothly, even if unexpected technical difficulties arise.

Dr Mark Farrell (Fia)Dr Mark Farrell (FIA)
CEO, Associate Professor & Actuary, ProActuary Jobs

Have a Tech Backup Plan

Having a backup plan is a must when implementing virtual interviews. Technology isn’t always reliable, and depending on each party’s connection, there could be issues with proper communication. I recommend getting the candidate’s phone number to connect this way if the virtual interview doesn’t work as predicted. Also, have a backup date secured in case there are any issues. I also recommend to the candidates to have another tech device ready to use in case one doesn’t work. Having a phone, laptop, or tablet available can increase the chances for success!

Curtis FeatherCurtis Feather
Founder, Franboost

Optimize Virtual Professional Presence

Ensure that your virtual presence is professional by optimizing your appearance and environment. As a criminal attorney, it is crucial to maintain credibility. Select a tranquil, well-lit area, adhere to professional attire, and reduce distractions. Ensure that a reliable internet connection is your top priority, and acquaint yourself with the video platform. Clear communication is critical for conducting successful virtual interviews; therefore, speak with assurance and maintain eye contact with the camera. This guidance guarantees that one projects the requisite competence and professionalism inherent in the legal profession, even when operating in a virtual environment.

Ahmad FarajAhmad Faraj
Owner, Principal & Senior Criminal Lawyer, Faraj Defence Lawyers

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