New Spaces, New Faces-- Streamlining A Successful Virtual Interview

Posted on April 30, 2020 by BWBacon. Tagged: Resources for Candidates, Resources for Entrepreneurs, For Clients

Recently, we unpacked the concept of hiring continuity, or how organizations are moving forward despite the chaos of the present moment.  To BWBacon, hiring continuity means an organization’s energy and ability to circumvent typical hiring procedures, like in-person interviews, in order to implement new processes and adjust their outlook on long-term growth.

Embracing the Wave: Relying on Virtual Interviewing

We believe that those facing this crisis head-on with plans for business and hiring continuity will come out of it with more connections and opportunities down the line. Maybe all of this has you left wondering; well how exactly do we implement hiring continuity or put virtual interviewing into place?

We’re taking a moment to look at the hurdles and solutions impacting hiring continuity, namely best practices for virtual interviewing. From the technical challenges, to the unique effort required to truly connect with someone virtually, our team can provide support in guiding this process.

Anatomy of a Virtual Interview: From Hurdles to Solutions

SITUATION: A Different Kind of First Impression

One of the biggest gaps when tackling virtual interviewing is assessing the candidate’s personality or fit for the company. Removing the physical, in-person component of interviewing puts interviewers in an interesting position. They now have to base their decisions on a lot more than just a gut feeling of meeting someone in person. Initial reactions to someone’s behavior or demeanor may not be as easily ascertained.

SOLUTION: Help Candidates Feel at Ease

Managers are leaning heavily on their interviewing questions and trusting in their processes to guide them.  Some have methodical ways to test or score candidate responses, but confidently assuming someone is a good fit may require more of a leap of faith. Help your candidates succeed by providing the questions beforehand, breaking the ice before diving in, and being transparent about your intentions for the interview.  This way, avoiding awkward pauses, having to repeat questions, or veering off schedule take up less time.

SITUATION: Translating In-Person Assessments to a Digital Format

Another issue is the inherent challenge of transitioning in-person assessments to a virtual equivalent.  When interviewing engineers and tech professionals, white-boarding exercises or coding assessments are common and foundational to learning about a candidate’s skillset.

SOLUTION: Lean on Tools, Creative Ideas

Adjusting may be tough, but not out of the question when companies are used to having an interactive assessment to get a feel of how it would be to work with someone.  Screen sharing through video tools, plus code-reviewing technology tools are available to make this important technical piece happen. A candidate can still present their work digitally, and we encourage companies to think outside of the box in finding ways to analyze a candidate’s skillset.

SITUATION: Avoiding Distractions and Tech Issues

Finally, ensuring a candidate is in a good position to have a virtual interview is a key component.  We are all dealing with distractions and trying to limit them. Setting expectations for having a quiet room, fast internet, or the correct technology tools addresses the logistical challenges of virtual interviewing.

SOLUTION: Plan Ahead and Be Clear

Providing your recruiting partners or candidates with an idea of how the interview will go, or what is expected of them can help streamline the process of a virtual interview. Establishing what needs to be covered in a certain time beforehand can reduce stress and boost the experience of the interview for all parties.

Ask your candidate to run a test of the technology you will be using ahead of time, ensuring everyone is ready to go. Also, have candidates consider their surroundings, noise levels, and set an appropriate space and backdrop for conducting a successful interview.

Making It Happen

While it may feel like a virtual interview is throwing everything we know about interviewing out the window, we have found that it holds a place for continuity. The recurring themes are clear: rapid adaptation is the name of the game, technology can be utilized to support nearly every task we need, and people are not shying away from growing together.

Many companies are finding success and realizing the importance of having remote teams, and considering a wider pool of candidates they may not have previously. Scheduling interviews has become wildly easier and streamlined, as availability has increased. In turn, this decreases the time to hire; we’re having a hard time finding reasons to not like remote interviewing.

Doors Are Opening

Whether companies are accustomed to remote interviews or learning on their feet for the first time, the present moment has created an environment where it’s necessary. Alison Daley of Recruiting Innovation has even created a free five day seminar to buff up on your virtual tech interview skills with only fifteen minutes a day!

In our recent experiences with virtual interviews, there has been success.  Companies are discovering even more about their interview processes, and refining what’s most important.  We feel far more doors are opening than closing, and we’re here to help.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!