Footprints – Training & eTracking Solutions Blog

Tips for Conducting an Online Interview

Posted by Training eTracking on

Even before the pandemic, many companies were conducting interviews – or at least parts of them – remotely, either via telephone or video call software like Zoom or Skype.

Online interviews are imperative now, but even when we’re all working together again, they’re a great tool for:

  • Narrowing down a large pool of candidates without scheduling in-person interviews for every single one
  • Gauging a prospective candidate for a high-profile position when they live at distance
  • Interviewing for remote positions, like copywriters

In short, learning how to effectively organize a remote interview is a critical skill for the modern businessperson. Here are the top tips for conducting an online interview so that you’ll be ready to hire the best possible talent for your next job opening.

Make sure your equipment is working

Your laptop will not just magically connect to the internet and then to Skype at the exact time you have to interview someone. You’ve got to set it up. Of course, don’t forget the mildly evil, intentional flaw built into computers that makes them finicky right when you need them to work the most.

Start your computer up well before your interviews begin, double-check that your mic and camera are working, and connect to your video call platform, open the room, and check every other thing that could go wrong.

Being late to an interview is bad form, no matter if you’re hiring or wanting to be hired.

Use the utmost professionalism

This means dress and groom yourself professionally, maintain eye contact, and lead the interview regardless of whatever distractions the potential employee presents. Especially during remote work, people will have their kids at home and this doesn’t mean they can’t do their job – it just means they’ve learned to do it with considerable distractions.

Be understanding and be prepared to deal with a little bit of a hiccup from time to time.

Prepare your questions on paper in advance

Paper? Why?

Well, you’re using your computer to connect and talk with the person; tabbing in and out of screens to ask questions takes time and makes you look less-than-prepared.

Write the questions down on a steno pad and also write follow-up questions that could be helpful depending on their answers. This will save you time and make you look like you anticipated their replies.

Anticipate technical problems

Unlike an in-person interview where you can schedule all of your prospects back-to-back in 15 minute intervals, you have to anticipate that people will have connectivity problems, among a slew of other issues.

Do not schedule a tight window of interviews online. Instead, allow yourself a buffer of 15 minutes to ensure everyone can connect and go through the process. This way you’re not holding other people up and skewing your entire day.

We hope these tips for conducting an online interview help you going forward. It’s unlikely that remote interviews will ever go away, and so perfecting them is a highly useful pursuit.

Go and find that perfect person and try to ignore the children climbing the hutch behind them while you’re talking