Virtual Bad Habits To Avoid When Interviewing

When interviewing candidates virtually, there are certain habits you'll want to squash!
Interview Tips
September 3, 2022
Virtual Bad Habits To Avoid When Interviewing

Interviewing candidates has never been more efficient than it is now with so many having the technology at their fingertips to interview remotely.

Just as you would have tidied up and ensured a professional office environment to prospective candidates interviewing in-person in the past, there are certain habits you’ll want to squash when hosting interviews online.

1. You haven’t been clear as to who will be on the call.

No candidate wants to be surprised by a name they weren’t expecting or, worse, a second interviewer joining the call unexpectedly. Take a moment to ensure all parties have their names listed on the invite.

2. Don’t keep distracting programs open.

Shut off the internal message apps and close your email so that you can give the candidate your full attention without the distraction of pop-ups and notifications.

3. Don’t be late.

While colleagues will understand you flipping between meetings back-to-back, this is the candidate’s first impression of you. Schedule that previous meeting to end with a five-minute grace period so you can arrive on time.

4. Don’t read the resume while you’re on the call.

This comes across as being unprepared and conveys to the candidate that you may not value or respect their time while also making them question how much effort goes into the hiring processes throughout the organisation.

5. Don’t think up your questions on the spot.

Have a structured set of questions that you ask all candidates to ensure that you are assessing each fairly against the other. Be aware of any biases you or your organisation may hold when curating these questions. Be familiar enough with them to be able to ask them conversationally without reading them off the screen. Coupled with specific questions about the candidate’s employment history, this allows you to keep the integrity of the interview process intact while personalising the candidate's experience.

6. Don’t start talking full steam ahead without providing structure.

Giving the candidate a breakdown of what you expect the next half hour or hour to look like will put them at ease. State whether you are open to questions throughout or if you prefer questions to come at the end.

7. Don’t cut the candidate off.

If there are technical issues, it can be tricky not to talk over each other, but make sure the candidate has finished their answer before moving on to the next question. Saying a simple “thank you” after each question can provide you with that transition to the next question.

8. Do not show your laundry pile.

If you are working from home, either have a professional background or have it blurred so that the candidate is not distracted by your home life.

9. Don’t stare down at the camera.

Using a laptop stand to elevate your camera and placing your face in the centre of the screen makes for a much more engaging experience for the candidate and will encourage them to open up more in their conversation.

10. Don’t leave the candidate in the dark as to next steps.

At the end of the call, clearly outline the next steps in the process or the timeline as to when the candidate can expect to hear back from you.