What is a Virtual Interview?

What is Virtual Interviewing?

Selection and hiring have evolved considerably over the last few years due to  rapid technological advances in HR. These changes certainly extend and apply to interviewing, as virtual interviews have become increasingly popular. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has further solidified the importance of including virtual interviews within your selection toolkit. In fact, 81% of talent professionals suggest that virtual recruiting will continue after the pandemic and 70% believe virtual recruiting and hiring will become the new standard. 

Virtual interviews present many advantages that have encouraged the quick adoption of their use within organizations. They are faster, cheaper, use less employee time, ease the scheduling burden on both hiring managers and candidates, and they allow access to a larger talent pool. 

Concerns about tech-mediated interviews have been well-documented including issues with fairness, bias, social presence, privacy and technical difficulties. Therefore, adopting a structured process to mitigate such issues in tech-mediated interviews is important. For example, hiring and interviewing products, such as Hireguide, can support the integration of best practices and tech in hiring (e.g., structured questions, answer guides, consistency across candidates, transparency through transcripts, etc.). In fact recent research has hinted towards trend of more structured processes within virtual and tech-mediated interviews.

Types of Virtual Interviews

There are generally two types of virtual interviews: synchronous virtual interviews (SVI; i.e., live through videoconferencing) and asynchronous virtual interviews (AVI; i.e., one-way or on-demand). Although similarities exist between both types of virtual interviews, recent research has suggested important differences. Both virtual interview types occur online but the AVI is a completely online experience where the candidate records short video responses to interview questions. 

The lack of interaction between any organizational representative and the candidate brings up many questions about the predictive quality of this assessment method. For example, among the differences between SVIs and AVIs are lower candidate performance ratings and poorer candidate reactions to one-way interviews. 

Although both are virtual interviews, they are not interchangeable. Hiring managers are recommended to consider these differences and whether an SVI or an AVI may be a better fit for their specific context. 

Virtual Interview Tips

Here are some tips for virtual interviewing, to help you and your team run better and fairer virtual interviews. These tips may differ slightly depending on the type of virtual interview you use.

1. Plan and Test

Because of the many extraneous factors that can influence the success of your virtual interview, the interview planning process becomes even more important. This includes developing a process for how to run a virtual interview and protocols for any tech issues which may come up. At this point, you can also consider where you’ll be conducting the virtual interview to limit any distractions.

For fairer and better hiring, hiring managers should plan for and use the same standardized skill-based questions and anchored ratings across all virtual interviews. Finally, test and familiarize yourself with the technology used within virtual interviews before running the interview can help minimize any issues

2. Consider Candidate Experience

Candidate experience and familiarity with virtual interviews can influence their interview performance and reactions to your organization. Support your candidates by providing them with clear instructions and expectations for the virtual interviews.

 This can include information about the technology being used, any necessary set up or preparation they may need to do (e.g., signing up for any accounts) and protocols for technical glitches which may occur.

It can also be helpful to let them know who will be attending the interview, provide them with suggestions for a standardized background and any other virtual interviewing etiquette which you implement. After the virtual interview, make sure your candidate knows what to expect in terms of next steps and consider offering them feedback on their interview as well.

3. Pitch your Culture

It is important to intentionally address the lowered feelings of social presence and connection in both AVIs and SVIs. Since candidates are not physically present within your organization, your culture and values must come through through other avenues.

Some organizations suggest virtual tours through pre-recorded videos and explicitly sharing your organizational culture or impactful events which demonstrate your values. You can also further the connection and display of culture by building rapport with your candidates through consistent and friendly communication before, during and after the interview. Additionally, a good candidate experience through smooth technology, well-structured interviews and an overall positive process will present a working culture which candidates will be drawn towards.

Regardless of the type of virtual interview you use, tech in hiring is here to stay. By implementing the suggestions above, you are not only creating better and fairer virtual interviews, but also a better candidate experience! 

Ready to impress your candidates with a great virtual interview experience?

Discover how Hireguide can help you apply virtual interviewing best practices through structured job-relevant questions, answer guides, thought-out HR technology and seamless candidate interactions. Elevate your candidate experience into a modern and evidence-based process with Hireguide. Let us help you shift to a talent-first approach and schedule a free demo today!

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