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Virtual Interview Guide For Employers


In order to comply with social distancing, keeping our candidates,
consultants and their families safe from the COVID-19 coronavirus, we
moved our interviews and assessments of candidates to a virtual safe
space.


During the past month of office closure and consultants working from
home we have interviewed hundreds of candidates and arranged
numerous virtual interviews with clients.

Whilst we have years of experience interviewing and gaining an accurate assessment of a
candidate face-to-face, things are a little different in a virtual space and
the recruitment process has become even more important to get right.

A face-to-face interview can often be an intimate experience between
two or more people, usually in a confined space where natural air is
shared providing a greater opportunity for the transference of the virus. We
are impressing upon our staff and our candidates the importance of
following government isolation measures and we will notify you of any
candidate who is displaying symptoms or who is known to have
been with someone with symptoms.

We implemented this early in the
first signs of the outbreak in the UK when we asked candidates to let us
know and therefore not to attend interviews if they had been in contact
with anyone who had been tested positive or who was showing
symptoms and follow the recommended timeline for isolation.

We are all being asked to prepare to continue with social distancing
when measures are lifted and we return to the office. With that in mind,
we are recommending that as many interviews be conducted
virtually with clients and candidates to limit close proximity even
after lockdown.


We also recommend that additional virtual interviews should be
added to the usual recruitment hire process in order to build the
relationship and avoid unjustified bias.


Once the candidate has been selected, much of the onboarding can be
done remotely and the candidate can start on a solid footing and
become as effective and productive as quickly as possible.


We will need to adapt to a new way of working and operating but if we
can be creative and opportunistic, we may find that we are more
efficient, productive, fulfilled, and happier as a result.


Here are a few flags and tips to consider before connecting with your
potential employee in a virtual world.


1. Preparation is key not just to maximize the accuracy of your
assessment of the candidate but to ensure your favorite
the candidate is impressed by you.


2. Prepare an accurate Person Specification considering skills,
experience, personality, cultural fit (detail gained from current
incumbent, their team, and managers for priorities).


3. Prepare a recruitment process considering additional interviews
(Virtual) than usual with individual team members and as a
group. If the candidate is aware of the process at the beginning
Your consultant can manage their expectations and other jobs
they are applying for.


4. Give your Consultant any information on the job spec, company
including any employee benefits so that you have an interested
and informed the candidate to interview.


5. Give your Consultant your preferred virtual platform so that we
can ensure they have the software/app downloaded, tested and
the invitation is ready. If you are new to virtual interviews do a
quick screen check with your Consultant to ensure you have a
suitable background!


6. Send a reminder of the interview schedule 15 minutes prior to it
starting so that you are both on time and ready.


7. Read the CV and mark it up with notes and relevant questions
considering skills, experience, and character fit for the position
referring to the person’s spec. This helps to focus your attention
on the critical hire factors rather than irrelevant distractions,
keep the interview flow and impress the candidate.


8. Start with open questions to get the interview flowing … “tell me
about” is a good one to get the candidate talking and relaxed.
Equally don’t be afraid to probe further with a “what, when, why”
question if you feel the candidate is being vague, off-point or
irrelevant or a “could you tell me more” if they are struggling to
articulate.


9. Be mindful of employment law and keep off any unlawful
questioning such as age, marital status, and children.


10. Have your list of questions ready and your CV and agency profile
summary printed off with a pen and paper for making notes.


11. Notes should be answers to questions and be factual and not
derogatory. Try to be as objective as possible referring back to
the person’s spec. The notes can then be used to assess,
shortlist, and provide feedback to the Consultant and
candidate.


12. Give the candidate the opportunity to ask questions. If you
don’t know the answer you can pass this on to your Consultant
later.


13. Write up an assessment of the candidate after the interview so
that you can help remember each candidate accurately and
provide objective feedback to your Consultant.


14. Compare the notes of all the candidates referring to the person
spec criteria. It can be helpful to give them out of 10 for skills,
experience, education, personality, cultural fit and enthusiasm
to compare them particularly if you have several who you are
finding difficult to differentiate you can discuss objectively with
your Consultant.


15. Use the feedback from your Consultant to assess the
candidate’s enthusiasm for the role and what other roles they
are being offered.


16. Make the recruitment process as short as possible to ensure
you secure your chosen candidate. Whilst there are few jobs
during lockdown, we are anticipating a high demand when the
jobs that are on hold come back on. If you can move as far
along the recruitment process now, you will be the first in the
queue to select the best candidates.

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