How To Win at Remote Interviewing: 5 Tips for Hiring Managers and Recruiters

How To Win at Remote Interviewing: 5 Tips for Hiring Managers and Recruiters

A talent pool with tens and hundreds of candidates; a job vacancy for which applicants apply from all over the country or the world — these are some of the scenarios where face-to-face interviews are just not possible.

Employers need manpower to scale up their operations and candidates need jobs to sustain themselves. Just because in-person interviews cannot happen doesn’t mean recruiters and hiring managers should look elsewhere for talent or abandon hiring plans.

This is where remote interviewing either via a telephone or video conferencing works its magic. It offers immense flexibility to both the recruiter and the candidates and is a quick process. In fact, remote interviews are ideal in situations where select candidates need to be shortlisted from a large talent pool.

The benefits of remote interviews are definitely up for the taking, but without proper planning, it can add little to no value to your hiring process, or worse, result in your organization missing out on talent or hiring the wrong person. But by keeping the following 5 tips — on setting-up and coordinating your remote interviewing policy — in mind, you can totally bypass all the loopholes and make the most of it.

Focus on the end goal

To ensure that the candidate passes the preliminary stage of the interviewing process, you must plan ahead and understand what it is that you want to hear from them.

Try to have a questionnaire ready before the interview. To prepare a list of questions that you will ask the candidate, look at the job description, understand the specifications of the role, and build the ideal candidate persona. This will help you understand if the candidate is capable enough and suitable for the job role.

By following these aforementioned steps, you can guarantee that your video or telephonic interview process is as efficient as possible.

Know what you want to ask

An interview with long awkward pauses, off-topic discussions, irrelevant questions, and interruptions with no prior warnings is no good to any of the parties involved. You see, when an interview takes place, the dialogue between the interviewer and the candidate has to be conversational and free-flowing.

It allows both parties to evaluate one another: both the recruiter and the candidate will understand if the other is the right fit. To ensure this, the recruiter of the HR manager needs to come up with a planned structure which will ultimately serve two end goals — eliminate any interruptions or lapses in the interview process and get everything that is needed from the interview before moving onto the next stage.

Knowing how many questions to prepare for an interview is also important as you want to get straight to the evaluation without wasting much effort and time. It’s understood that a typical remote interview lasts for atleast half an hour for which you need to prepare a set of 5-10 questions.

Take the lead

As the recruiter, it is your responsibility to let the candidate know the scheduled time for the interview and the concerned person who will be handling it. Since it is a remote interview, you have to make sure that the contact details of the candidate and the interviewer are known to each other.

If this step isn’t taken care of in advance, both parties can wait for the other to make contact and the interview might go down as a failure. Moreover, this waiting game can reflect poorly on both sides. More so for the employer as they’re the ones who should take the charge, schedule the interview and inform the candidate.

Keep distractions at bay

Although both the recruiter and the candidate know that it is a telephone interview or a video conference, others might not. It’s a good practice to first let your peers know that you’re taking an interview and that you do not wish to be disturbed during the interview time. The recruiter has to ensure that the interview moves forward without any distractions or disturbances which is precisely why you can seal off the room where you will be conducting the interview; not allowing anyone or anything to interrupt.

You might also want the interviewee to reciprocate. Although they might not have the luxury of a dedicated room for their interview, you can suggest a secluded environment where external or internal disturbances do not throw a spanner in the works.

Create a comfortable environment

You need to understand that not everybody is used to the idea of remote interviews. Some candidates might be experiencing it for the first time and can feel nervous about the entire process. The recruiter’s job is to pick up on any personality traits and body language cues of the candidate.

But you must also understand that candidates are responding or behaving in a certain way, not because they’re being themselves, but due to the fact that they’re nervous.

It is, therefore, your approach in this scenario that will stamp out misinterpretations and end nervousness. You can start by starting the conversation with a greeting, and follow up with questions about how their day has been so far and the like.

This will create a comfortable environment for the candidate and help the conversation flow. You can even save the harder and trickier questions for the latter stages of the interview process where the candidate has gained enough confidence and is comfortable.

Author Bio:

Digvijay Singh Kanwar is a professional content writer and digital marketing expert and he loves to write about finance and tech based articles. For more details, you can contact him at