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The concept of remote work was foreign to most people but the COVID-19 pandemic brought it into all our lives turning our world upside down. Most people now look forward to continuing with this form of work style. Working from home was an activity reserved only for days when you had no other choice like a doctor’s appointment, emergency with the kids, or needed to get a head start on travel plans. Remote working isn’t unknown or something to look forward to in the future, it’s here and now. One aspect of remote work that seems to be promising is the prominent feature of the growing hybrid workplace resulting in more online video recruitment.

The recruiting industry has undergone noteworthy changes recently that have been sudden but quite effective. Without a doubt, it has taken over the hiring and talent acquisition sectors across all industries. Companies like the time and cost savings of this efficient process as well as the scheduling flexibility and efficiency it brings. Also, when you are not limited by a specific office location, you can look to hire from anywhere in the country or anywhere on the globe. Virtual interviews not only make it easy for the hiring team but can also ease the pressure on candidates as well since they are in a familiar environment, which might help them present themselves better and answer questions more naturally.

As companies try to fill several job openings with this newfound remote hiring process, the internet is full of tips for candidates wanting to stand out from the crowd and be the best. But what about the employers on the other end of the line? For them, decoding and unscrambling remote interviewing is just as critical. Bad hiring decisions cost money and drain optimism. Without the abundance of scanning points available only in person — the feel of a handshake, the candidate’s appearance in the interview, the way the energy in the room changes when a candidate walks in — employers certainly need to develop new strategies for gauging whether someone is a good fit.

Here are some ideas for employers seeking to master this methodical medium to identify top talent from a distance in cyberspace –

*  Focus on emotional intelligence: We frequently make hiring decisions on skills, intelligence, qualification, and perception of a candidate’s IQ. But emotional intelligence is also critical for success in the workplace. EQ determines a person’s ability to relate to others, roll with the punches, navigate difficult situations gracefully, and be a team player. When conducting an interview virtually, it is usually tempting to give up on this aspect since it seems like a quality that can be best assessed in person. However, this can lead to poor decision-making.

*  Notice reactions to distractions: Mild distractions can happen to any of us – the doorbell rings, your dog barks, a crying child, or an emergency phone call comes in. In case this happens, consider it an opportunity to get a glimpse of the other side of the candidate. Did they lose focus and get flustered? Did they handle that disturbance professionally and with grace, as you’d want them to in front of a client or colleague? If no such distraction arises during the interview, consider asking: While working remotely, what if something unexpected or distracting comes up? How would you respond?”

*  Avoid back-to-back interviews: It is possible to get lost in the flow and cram in back-to-back interviews without leaving your desk but it can be extremely tiring physically and mentally. You need at least 10 minutes or so between each interview to get up, move a bit, sip on some water, capture thoughts and impressions of the previous candidate and prepare for the next interview.

*  Widen your pool: Remote interviewing does lower the stakes of a bad interview. So why not take advantage of the medium and throw in some unconventional candidates? Maybe it’s an applicant with roots in a completely different field, who lacks the traditional requirements but submitted a cover letter fuelled with energy. Maybe it’s a high-potential candidate who lives in another state or country. Try to mix it up!

Don’t forget that you’re interviewing, too.

The way you, the interviewer, present yourself is extremely important too! How you dress, what appears in your background, your aura, personality, tone, and choice of questions can determine how your prospective employees view your organization because you are the face and first impression of the company. Job hunters these days aren’t just looking to swell up their salaries. They also seek flexibility, well-being, benefits, growth opportunities, and a workplace culture that aligns with their values. Interviews that dive into these topics can add value and be quite informative about whether a prospective employee is likely to feel fulfilled and engaged at a particular organization. You definitely need to educate yourself about remote interviewing etiquette as the person responsible for recruiting the best talent online.

Here are a few basic tips to conduct a smooth and effective interview:

*  Set expectations

*  Provide details about the interviewers

*  Conduct a trial run – prepare and test your technology

*  Keep track of the dates through virtual invitations

*  Minimize distractions and choose a quiet place to conduct the interview

*  Look professional, maintain professionalism and a positive body language

*  Come prepared with probing questions

*  Be inquisitive yet friendly

*  Be transparent throughout the interview

*  Highlight your company’s culture

*  Deliver a strong close

*  Invite feedback from candidates

When the remote interview is over, don’t forget to finish up with enthusiasm and thank the candidate for their time. Do tell them what’s going to happen next in the process and when they can expect to hear from you. Always honor that commitment, whether it’s good or bad news. Never leave a candidate hanging.

The advantages of conducting remote interviews are the convenience it provides you and the candidate, the easier scheduling process for separate interviews with other hiring committees, it saves you the cost of a candidate’s lunch or travel expenses, and you can conduct more assessments more quickly and proficiently. Remote interviews are becoming more and more prevalent and they are here to stay.

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