Here are some tools, top tips and guidance for hiring as normal and getting the most out of a virtual interview.

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Given the current climate, I am seeing more and more clients considering the option of remote hiring. In the last couple of weeks, thanks to Covid-19, I have helped clients and candidates switch their usual face to face process to virtual. Here are some tools, top tips and guidance for hiring as normal and getting the most out of a virtual interview.

What tools can you use to conduct virtual interviews?

These are just a few of my suggestions, which I see clients and candidates having success with currently but there are others out there. 

  • Google Hangout 
  • Zoom 
  • Microsoft Teams 
  • Fuze
  • myInterview

How to Prepare for a virtual interview?

Whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee, these are my five top tips for a virtual interview.

  1. Set the scene

Find an area in your house, apartment, or even your garden shed that has good lighting and minimal distractions. (Don’t forget to close your windows, nobody needs to hear your neighbours having a natter over the garden fence!) 

2. Check your Tech

Have your computer set up, wifi on full connectivity, and check your camera is working properly. 

If you know that you are going to be sharing a screen for a technical test, don’t forget to close any unprofessional tabs. (Nobody needs to see your amazon prime purchases!) 

If you are the interviewee and are required to do a pair programming exercise, ensure you have your computer set up in the best way possible for you to succeed with this. 

3. Preparation 

Prepare as you would if this was a face to face interview. Preparation is key. 

If you are the interviewer - still ask the same questions you would in person. You may also find reassurance in asking a couple more questions to ensure they are the right candidate for you to onboard remotely e.g. How do you keep yourself motivated when working independently? 

 If you are the interviewee - you should prepare some questions you would like to ask the interviewer to help paint a picture about office culture. (Here’s hoping you will be able to benefit from those free breakfasts and over-the-coffee-machine chats very soon. 

4. Body Language 

Although you don’t need to practice your right kind of ‘firm’ handshake, you do need to make sure you are exuding enthusiasm and confidence. Sit up straight, smile and keep the camera at eye level.

5. Dress the Part

I know the majority of us are living in our comfies and slippers at the moment but make sure you get appropriately dressed for the interview. Whether you are the interviewer or interviewee, this sub-consciously creates the correct mindset and nobody needs to see your puppy covered pj’s! 

(Top tip: you can keep your bunny slippers on though as nobody will be able to see these under your desk/ table!)

Benefits of Remote Hiring?

  • Whether you are the interviewer or interviewee you should be at your most comfortable as you are in familiar surroundings. There is less pressure on both parties, which should make for a much smoother conversation. 
  • You can asses communication skills via video just as you would in person so it really is nearly as affective as a face to face interview. 
  • If there is a technical test or pair programming task as part of the interview, the interviewee will hopefully be able to perform this to their best of their ability as they will be working on their personal machine, which they are accustomed to. 
  • Saves time. Interviewers will find that interviewees can be more flexible with their availability. They don’t have to factor in travel time when having to take a couple of hours out of their working day to do the video interview. Lunchtime interviews will become much easier for both, and as the interviewee, even if this does take a little longer than your usual lunch break, you can get back to doing what you are supposed to be doing quicker and easier or make up time in the evening. There will be no prying eyes from your manager or colleagues. 

What Soda can offer to ensure hiring managers trust the remote recruitment decisions they are making?

  • We can offer general advice, market intel and reassurance.
  • We will guide you through the whole process from start to finish. We can even set up virtual conferences through our cloud communications software platform Fuze or run technical tests for you via our HackerRank account. 
  • We will ensure that all candidates come well referenced and will have already conducted character and technical references on your behalf, before sharing their profiles with you.
  • The candidates we will share with you are quite often passive candidates who we have met via our offline channels such as Women In DevOps or Soda Social. We understand they are passionate about the tech industry and will be eager to learn and progress their careers with your company. 

Just because our usual daily lives might be a little bit unsettled at the moment does not mean we can’t become accustomed to this virtual way of life being our new normal. Who knows you might find you get more success out of a virtual interview and switch to this method permanently once we all can come out of lockdown. 

Last but not least, if you would like hiring guidance or career advice in this current climate, I am always free for a virtual chat over a cup of tea - email francesca@trustinsoda.com