As the situation with COVID-19 continues to unfold, many companies are choosing to work remotely wherever possible, but where does this leave recruitment? Whilst we all get used to this new way of working, we appreciate that our clients are still looking for dedicated and enthusiastic new candidates to keep their business moving in uncertain times.

A question we are being asked a lot is regarding the interviewing process and how best to go about this remotely. At SimkissGuy, we believe that an interview should be an enjoyable experience for all, whether that is held over the telephone, via Skype or in person. So, here are our thoughts as to how to make the most of every interview and help you secure the very best talent for your business.

Interviews are a great opportunity for you to promote your business in the most positive way. There is huge value to be gained by making sure the manner and style of the interview is an encouraging and helpful experience for the candidate. Whilst working remotely, the best way of doing this is often by having an initial first stage interview over the telephone to really build an understanding of a candidate’s experience, followed by a Skype call to see if they have the right mix of attitude and culture-fit for your business.

It goes without saying that you would always expect a candidate to be fully prepared in advance, but are you? It is important to allow a telephone or Skype interview the same time and attention you would to a face-to-face meeting.

Ideally, speaking with 3 or 4 candidates at first interview stage will give you a good idea of the general calibre of prospective employees who are available for your role. Allowing roughly 30 minutes for an initial telephone interview is a good rule of thumb. If you cannot speak with all candidates in one day, provide interview times over the course of 2 or 3 days. If you like to conduct second interviews, then we recommend this is the time to utilise Skype or similar video call software. It is best to not let too much time lapse between first and second interviews.

A candidate undertaking a job interview remotely is most likely to be nervous, so do all you can to put them at ease. You would expect a candidate to be punctual for their interview, so it is important that you call them at their allotted time. They will be ready and waiting for your call. Ensure you are in a quiet place where you can talk freely and undisturbed.

An interview should flow and have a relaxed conversational quality. Each question should lead to the candidate providing you with the motivations behind their decision making, their competency for your vacancy as a result of their previous experience and their ambitions and aspirations for the future. When you don’t have the benefit of face to face interaction, make sure that you listen fully to their answers, noting down questions you may have to be asked at the appropriate time in the interview.

Asking the candidate to talk to you about their pastimes outside of work towards the end of the interview shows real interest in them as a person and will demonstrate that you have considered their CV in depth. Hobbies, sports interest and cultural pursuits will give you an insight to the bigger picture of a candidate. Remember, allow the candidate to still ask any questions they may have at the end of the interview.

Once all interviews have been conducted, proceed to offering your chosen candidate a position within your business quickly to ensure that you don’t lose them to another opportunity.

If you have any questions or queries about holding remote interviews or would like to speak to us about your recruitment requirements, then please do get in touch.