What are the benefits of using online interviews for primary assessment of candidates? How to organize such an interview? What to ask about? Which services to use? CleverControl found answers for these and other questions in this article.
When I started working as a recruiter in an HR-agency in a small town the most common approach to the recruitment process was to divide it into the following stages:
- evaluation of each candidate's CV
- the personal interview with a recruiter
- testing (optional)
- evaluation of information about each candidate by the hiring manager
- the interview with the hiring manager
- the test task (optional)
- the final interview with the decision maker.
There often were cases when the recruiter from the first minute of the interview knew that the candidate is not suitable for the position. There were many possible reasons: details about the experience did not meet the requirements, personal and communication qualities do not fit the job, the motivation of the candidate did not match employer’s offer, etc., etc.
At least 20-30 minutes my colleagues and I were forced to keep the conversation with the candidate going out of politeness even though we knew that he or she will not get the job. It would be disrespectful just send a person home, especially if he or she came to you after work (or instead of work) and counted on getting hired.
If the applicant was generally suitable for the position, the interview with him or her lasted about an hour and included clarification of all details of work experience, education, future plans, evaluation of the competencies, discussing the employer company, all duties of the job, etc.
Time passes and the world is changing, the pace of life and business development grows and the effective use of every minute is required. In addition, new technologies offer new ways of working.
Many companies and many recruiters noticed that it is possible to significantly reduce the evaluation time of a candidate if they fully use remote options for interviews. Among other things, this allows you to quickly assess candidates who are on business trips or live in a different areas.
Nowadays the interview via online services is one of the most important methods in recruiter’s toolkit. At conferences and in recruiters’ communication more often you can hear that remote interview with candidates has become very popular for the preliminary assessment of candidates for general and middle management positions and engineers.
Conducting a preliminary evaluation during an online interview can help save at least half an hour for a recruiter and a couple of hours of candidate’s time, who would have spent it on the commute to the office and a chat with the recruiter.
How to prepare for an online interview?
Prepare the candidate’s CV. Print it or open on your PC.
Prepare the job and company description. Keep it in front of you just in case.
Prepare a sample list of topics or questions that you need to ask the candidate.
Check the quality of the connection. If it's a video call check the webcam. Check the headset and the microphone. Oddly enough, usually these two cause the most problems.
Agree with the candidate in advance who calls whom using which service and which account. Agree whether it's video or audio only.
Keep a pen, notepad and a glass of water close.
Put your phone on silent to stop it from interfering with the conversation.
What can you find out during the online interview (assuming you communicate without webcams)?
Find out all the formal aspects of professional experience that are important to you: whether the candidate works now or already retired, why did he or she leave the last job, education, additional course, plans for further education;
Dates, companies’ names and positions on which the candidate has worked, if there are any gaps in professional experience to ascertain their cause;
The availability of the necessary job skills and skills that we have not been listed in the CV (for example, the experience of participation in tenders, experience of cold sales and CRM systems, knowledge of certain technologies, the number of subordinates, etc.);
Place of residence, ownership of cars, presence of family, business trips possibility, etc;
Knowledge of foreign languages (especially if it is a basic requirement) – you can continue the interview in the foreign language;
The net salary which the candidate expects to get.
If the candidate suits you, you can tell him or her more about the company, jobs, tasks, positions and the selection process, answer the candidate's questions, and give him or her reference materials.
If the candidate has a webcam, you can assess the appearance (if relevant for the job), the ability to make an impression, and reaction to the questions.
This way, after conducting the remote interview, evaluating of candidate’s suitability with the requirements of the job, and assessing the level of his or her motivation, you can provide information about the candidate to the hiring manager and invite the candidate for a personal interview.
Qualitative online assessment allows you and the candidate to save at least 2 hours of time!
Services for online interviews:
- Skype (despite all complexity of the service it remains the most popular);
- Facebook (the new FB video calling service has a very high quality and many people have accounts in this social network);
- Viber, WhatsApp (these popular instant messengers have video calling)
- FaceTime (can be convenient for Apple users).Use these applications and make your work more efficient!