Virtual Video hiring digital interviewing

Digital Interviewing: Hiring in the Remote Era

10 minutes read

Digital interviewing has skyrocketed in recent times owing to the global pandemic. A survey by Gartner indicated that 86% of organizations actively conducted digital interviews to hire candidates during the pandemic. With the hiring landscape changing drastically, it is evident that digital interviewing is here to stay!

However, cracking digital interviews and finding a suitable candidate is still an uphill task for many recruiters. However, with the right tools, tips, and questions, it is possible to ace digital interviewing and hire the top candidates.

In this article:

Digital interviewing vs. face-to-face recruitment

Digital interviewing and social media trends
Source: Open Universities.

It is no secret that face-to-face interviews occur in a physical setting. With the change in times, digital interviewing is rising in popularity among hiring managers. But, what is a digital interview? Essentially, it is an online interview conducted by the hiring company.

Face-to-face interview pros

Face-to-face interviews sometimes offer a better idea about the candidate’s non-verbal behavior and their ability to respond to immediate scenarios. Recruiters might find it difficult to evaluate some soft skills in a virtual setting.

Thus, face-to-face interviews can be great opportunities to assess cultural fit, soft skills, and management potential. However, if your company is remote-first, then face-to-face meetings are less pivotal than for non-remote companies.

Digital interviewing pros

The average cost of hiring a candidate in 2016 was $4,129 in the U.S. Digital interviewing offers a way to drastically cut down on costs and increase the overall productivity and effciency of the recruitment process.

In addition, digital interviewing is a part of the growing digital and online recruitment trend, that encompasses more than just video interviews, but a general push towards more innovative digital methods of recruitment, such as A.I. recruitment and HR tools that filter candidates and the use of SMS and social media for research and communication.

However, possibly the biggest advantage of digital interviewing is the ability to record and share interviews with outside participants such as hiring managers, founders, and the wider team. This allows a wider circle of team members to understand and provide feedback on candidates. In addition to this, it gives team members a better understanding of candidates, more than meeting notes can provide.

If you’re conducting your digital interviews via Zoom or Google Meet, you can use tl;dv to record, timestamp your highlights, and share your meetings for free with this Google Chrome extension or simply invite [email protected] to your event invitation.

Digital hiring and use of sms
Source: Zety.

Tips for digital interviewing

Whilst many recruitment trusisms also hold true for digital interviewing , there are some key differences. These are the most important tips to be aware of when conducting digital interviews vs. face-to-face interviews.

Be well prepared for the big day 

Picture this! You are smack in the middle of a digital hiring process. Everything seems to be going great for you. Until your laptop loses battery as you forgot to connect the power. In a jiffy, all your plans of conducting effective interviews can come crashing down. 

To ensure such a scenario never pops up, you must prepare yourself well in advance. It includes all the trivial things such as looking for a quick setup, placing the webcam right, minimizing distractions around you, ensuring you have a stable internet connection and adequate light in the room. 

It’s best to keep a quick checklist of all important digital interviewing requirements. We started one below!

  • Stable internet connection and speed.
  • Tested the sound and video of your hardware and software.
  • Pre-arranged to record your video interview.
  • Have a note-taking app or document open.
  • Double-check timezones before sending an invite
  • Good lighting.
  • Doors are closed to prevent any unwanted guests from entering.
  • Do-not-disturb sign outside office.
  • Laptop is connected to a power-source
  • Check your video time limit if you’re using any free software such as Zoom.

Icebreakers for the win

Ice Breaker Questions for digital interviewing
Source: tl;dv.

Interviewing a candidate for the first time can have some pitfalls. It can be daunting for the candidate since it’s a virtual environment. As a recruiter, it’s our duty to ensure the candidate feels comfortable from the very beginning. Starting the session with some icebreaker questions can be really helpful to break the monotony and reduce the awkwardness. 

You can go ahead and ask the candidate about their hobbies, what they like doing in their free time, how they have been keeping up in the pandemic, or perhaps their take on a recent event. This activity reduces the tension in the room and helps the candidate build a better rapport with the recruiter – which can be a challenge online!

Follow up

digital interviewing best tips
Source: Recruitment Blogs.

It is imperative to follow up with every candidate, even the ones who failed to make the cut. We know this! This demonstrates a positive impression about your company as you value the candidate’s time and efforts to apply to your company. 

Shooting a mail to the ones who failed to go ahead brings clarity to their hiring process too. Additionally, following up with potential candidates through emails, telephonic conversations display that you are interested in the candidate and have faith in their ability to fit the part rightly. 

On the flip-side, 83% of respondents in a LinkedIn Trends Report (2015) negative experiences can impact their decision and even perception of a company or role.

Share the company’s working culture 

Making a mark in a candidate’s mind about your company can be a difficult but possible task. We often underestimate this factor, but candidates lay great emphasis on cultural fit, as much as employers!

Robynn Storey, CEO of Storeyline Resumes, perfectly distills what is important when conveying a working culture, which is more about values and shared behaviors than perks. Though, of course, perks do help as well!

Dress the part 

Source: Social Talent.

89% of participants that wore slacks, or sweatpants to a video interview, even if hidden from sight, did not progress onto the next stage of the recruitment.

Fake stastic made up by us.

The above statistic might not be true, but the lesson is valid. It is a no-brainer; dress in accordance with your company’s dress policy and culture; dress appropriately for the position you’re applying for (for candidates); dress to show a modicum of respect for your candidate’s time.

In addition to dress, studies suggest that individuals can remember what you said if they maintained good eye contact. Smiling and being polite ensures you come across as a friendly and enthusiastic recruiter! 

Digital interview questions 

With a plethora of questions at our disposal, recruiters can effectively narrow down candidates that best match their ideal qualities and skillsets. Digital Interviewing has led to recruiters thinking out of the box to hire the right candidate for their organization. Here are some tried and true digital interviewing questions:

  1. Tell us something about yourself?
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Why do you think you are the right fit for the company?
  4. Why have you applied for this post?
  5. How did you prepare for this interview?

While this will allow recruiters to know about the candidates, let’s get onto the interesting bits by understanding unique digital interview questions that frequently pop up and why these questions are beneficial for online interviews.

How effective is your digital communication in remote working scenarios?

There has been a shift in how employees collaborate while working remotely as compared with the office environment. Needless to say, we are living in a digital era, and it is critically important to understand a candidate’s compatibility and adaptability with technology. For instance, how frequently do they use emails, instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp, or video conferencing?  

Tell us about an experience where you have handled a project with a large number of people?

A strong team requires excellent coordination and management among its team members for a successful project or to even survive in a remote-working environment. This question in a digital interviewing scenario can help understand a candidate’s management and organization skills with the use of technology-based platforms. Moreover, you can gauge their potential to work independently in a remote environment and if they are capable of leading a team successfully. 

What are your concerns about remote working?

While digitally interviewing a candidate, recruiters can ask this question to understand candidates’ weaknesses. This question is less likely to be asked in an offline scenario, but this will help recruiters gain insights about a candidate and his or her ability to handle their weaknesses. It gives us a fair idea of whether the candidate can set their weakness aside and still collaboratively work towards the organization’s goals. 

How do you improve your physical working space to be successful at your job?

Remoting working is here to stay, and most of us are struggling to keep our physical spaces professional and productive. Many start their day from the bed and move on to the table. It’s good to keep changing, but these can lead to severe distractions. 

Through such questions, recruiters can understand how the candidate can minimize distractions at the workplace to help boost focus and productivity. 

How do you feel about handling the lack of face-to-face meetings? 

Chats, messages, and emails fail to convey the intended tone to your team as a face-to-face meeting would. Through such questions, recruiters can know how candidates can tackle these issues while remotely working. For instance, are they comfortable getting on a phone call or a video call to track the progress over the week? How prompt are they on instant messaging applications and emails? These facets can give a better understanding of the candidate’s ability to fill gaps in remote working. 

Digital interviewing platforms 

Source: tl;dv. A chrome extension and meeting and analytics platforms that automatically records and transcribes your Google Meet and Zoom interviews and meetings!

Now that we are aware of the tips and questions we can encounter on our way, it’s time to understand the best digital interview platforms.  

tl;dv

This meeting insights and recording platform and Google Meet Chrome Extension is a great way to record and highlight critical moments of an interview. You can highlight a specific timeframe and tag your colleagues on Slack. Hence, improving collaboration and efficiency in digital interviewing and recruiting.

Recruiter.com video

This platform is known for encouraging smart hiring processes. It lets you record and review virtual interviews by capturing video clips. Additionally, you can organize various feedback received, invite unlimited candidates and choose from a readymade content bank of questions.  

myInterview

Looking for a free application? They’ve got you covered! If you are a small business that is looking to hire candidates on the go, then this must be an inclusion. 

Final thoughts on digital interviewing

Digital interviewing can be a nerve-wracking experience for some. But bear in mind that it only gets better with practice and hard work. Trust the process and know that the right candidate is just around the corner. The pandemic has got nothing on you if you keep working towards your goals! Good luck and keep shining!