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2020 has been a real springboard for companies to adapt, particularly when it comes to recruitment. Human resources departments have had to, and still have to, manage the crisis within their establishments: making sure that employees don’t give up on teleworking, adapting to new regulations on salaries, continuing to recruit… In fact, on this last point, we can raise a real issue: how do you organise a recruitment campaign and take on a candidate without even meeting them? The solution was quickly put in place, and even if it doesn’t appeal to everyone, it has a number of advantages, all the more so in this particular context. Videoconferencing has enabled recruiters to meet candidates virtually, and without masks! Perhaps you’ve been through this stage recently, or not yet, but whatever the case, we’re going to give you some tips on how to make a success of your remote interviews.
Use the right equipment!
The first key to a successful remote interview is the equipment you use. In a face-to-face environment, this is not an issue, which is why you need to pay particular attention to it: neglecting one detail could mean wasting time or ruining an interview. That’s why we advise you to make sure that your microphone is effective, because without the voice, nothing can be achieved.
Secondly, you have the chance to present yourself to your candidate without a mask and vice versa, so check your camera. Facial expressions are extremely important and you should take the opportunity to show them when you can.
Finally, be sure of your link because, as you know, this virtual element will be your office for a few moments. If it doesn’t work for any reason, you’re going to lose time and be forced to find an immediate solution. As a result, you won’t get your interview off to a good start, if at all!
Don’t neglect the appointment time.
A word of advice: don’t rely on connection problems! It has been proven that we are more relaxed when we work from home, or at least from a distance. The fact of not meeting someone in person sometimes removes the notion of punctuality and this is very unpleasant for the person with whom you have an appointment. If you schedule an interview by videoconference, and if you agree on a time with your candidate, it’s not to keep them waiting for 15 minutes. You may have your children at home, but when you work in an office, there are the hazards of the road! So it’s important to plan ahead before the interview to make sure you’re on time and don’t have any problems when the time comes. It’s also about respecting the candidate, who is waiting alone in front of his or her screen.
Choose a place where you can be sure of not being disturbed
Interviews at a distance are no mean feat when you’re living with several people. However, noise, people passing by or even being in the same room as someone else are all distracting factors that can disturb not only you, but also your candidate. Five seconds of attention given to your surroundings is thirty seconds of inattention given to your candidate. It’s simple, your brain is drawn elsewhere and you then have time to think, then time to concentrate.
By taking precautions in this respect, you maximise the chances of a successful interview: it will not be interrupted by anything external, so you will be fully concentrated from start to finish.
Put the candidate at ease.
Interviewing from a distance is an unusual process which, for some candidates, is a real advantage and not at all for others. Even if you are face to face with the person, a screen separates you, sometimes a time difference and sometimes thousands of kilometres. Whatever the case, we advise you to put the candidate at ease from the outset so that the interview goes as smoothly as possible and is as pleasant as possible for both, or several, parties. For example, you can start the call by asking if the person can hear you well, if they can see you well or if they have had any problems connecting. This will also give you an idea of how well you’ve prepared for your appointment. You can also ask them if they are not too apprehensive about the fact that this moment is taking place around a screen, and possibly reassure them. It will take you just a few minutes to establish a climate of trust, so seize the opportunity!
Don’t skip the debriefing stage – it’s even more important!
Finally, one of the most important stages of the interview is how it ends. Once the interview is over, it’s in your interest to talk to the candidate for a few minutes to find out how they feel, and perhaps to get to grips with some of their less professional personality traits. You will certainly learn from the way you conducted the interview, but also from the impressions the candidate may have had. Whether the interview went well or badly, we recommend that you at least try to debrief – you’ll come out all the better for it!