Written by jarrett ng
Best Practices for Conducting Online Interviews
As the nation begins its recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that has been made especially clear is - we may be living in the 'new normal'. This includes practices such as job interviews, which have traditionally been conducted face-to-face before the pandemic struck. Thus, it is important to utilize technology for conducting online interviews, so as to maximize the standards of professionalism and assessment that a face-to-face interview entails.
What platform should I use?
Deciding which platform to use is the first thing an employer must consider before conducting an online interview, and you should weigh the pros and cons of each to determine which platform serves your company the best. For example, does your company require interviewees to take an assessment? Is it a group or solo interview?
Some of the more widely-known platforms used to conduct video interviews include:
Zoom is widely regarded as the most popular option, with screen sharing and meeting recordings as some of its features.
Google Hangouts is also another popular option, with automatic scheduling via Google Calendar, and integration with Google Docs/Slides which allows for easier implementation of assessments and presentations if needed.
You won't need to download anything to conduct your video interviews with Whereby. As the host of the video call, your candidates will have to 'knock' before they can enter the chat room, allowing you time to prepare off-camera.
A great tool for connecting with friends, team meetings, and video interviews, Skype is a free tool that allows seamless communication between parties.
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Experiment with a few platforms if you are not familiar with the various options available and find out what you're most comfortable with.
Guidance is Key
If you're having trouble navigating the waters of video interviews, chances are, your candidates will be facing the same difficulties as well. Before the interview, do ensure there's sufficient messaging and a line of contact between you and the candidate in case of any difficulties or changes.

Ensure that you let your candidates know what platform the interview will be conducted on as early as possible. This allows them more time to get familiarized with the platform and prevent any interruptions along the way.
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Always prepare a plan B method of remote interviewing in the case of unforeseen technological difficulties. This could be a simple phone call or WhatsApp video call.
Test, Test, Test
Imagine this scenario - you have an interview with what looks to be an incredibly promising candidate. The time for the interview comes, and you can't join the call you scheduled! You end up joining the interview late after troubleshooting the issue, possibly leaving a bad impression of you and your company on the candidate.

It's important to test your system's video calling abilities a good 10-15 minutes before the interview. This includes testing your mic and camera and starting a mock video call to see everything works. You won't want to regret it once your interview goes smoothly and is a positive experience for both you and the candidate.
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If there are issues with your setup, do take the time to inform your candidate of a delay while you troubleshoot your issues. This serves to temper a candidate's expectations and maintains a level of professionalism.
Remember to Note the Details!
The shift from face-to-face interviews to video interviews may lead to some interviewers losing track of their normal interview practices as they figure out its complexities, such as noting a candidate's behavior and taking notes. It's a good habit to remind yourself before an interview to take down notable details or habits about a candidate to help you make better assessments.

Although communication may feel different over video as compared to face-to-face, critical judgements of candidates can still be made based on how they come across over camera, such as their tone of voice, body posture, and level of engagement, among other details.
Record and Review
Adapting to the new landscape of online interviews is all about trial and error, and finding out what works best for your hiring needs. We suggest recording your interviews so that parties who were not present during the interview will be able to make assessments as well, and to also review what went right or wrong during the interview. Be sure to ask for permission from your interviewees first! Not respecting confidentiality can result in serious consequences.

We also suggest gathering feedback about the interview from candidates - this can be done by sending an online form, for example. It's important to know how they felt about the interview and what they thought could be done better, so as to provide a better hiring experience for both you and your candidates.
We at FastJobs hope that these best practices will go a long way in improving your virtual hiring experience. A transition from face-to-face interviews to virtual interviews as the norm is a huge shift for any company, and we hope we've made it just a bit easier.
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