It is undeniable that remote interactions have become increasingly relied upon in the post-pandemic world – especially for conducting technical interviews. As a new tool for employers and employees alike, many hiring managers are struggling to choose the appropriate candidates based on remote interviews.
This article examines the skills you need to evaluate during a remote interview, including communication ability, time management, personal responsibility, and more.
Furthermore, by the end of this article, you will know the best way to structure your questions to accurately evaluate hard and soft skills.
Conducting a remote technical interview
- Clarify expectations
Typically, a remote interview will require more set-up time than an in-person interview, so make sure to consider the following factors when preparing:
Make sure you understand which time zone you’re in compared to your candidate. Ensure their availability by clarifying which time zone the interview is scheduled for, and be prepared to conduct an interview at unusual times.
In the case of remote interviews, the “place” refers to the medium of the interview. This can be a video call, an audio call, or a simple, instant message meeting.
The wide selection of applications facilitating remote interviews means you will need to inform the candidate exactly where the interview will take place.
Introduce yourself prior to the interview to give the candidate a chance to greet you by name and feel more comfortable going into the meeting.
- Conduct video interviews
Whenever possible, conduct interviews by video call. The advantage of video conferencing over a phone call or email is that you’ll be able to see their facial expressions and can form a better relationship with the candidate.
Platforms like Zoom, GoRemote, and others are widely available to enhance the remote interview process.
- Prepare in advance
Make sure to test out the platform before you actually sit down for the interview by trying out the microphone, video feed, and internet connection. Waiting until the last moment might present a problem and turn candidates away from your business.
Likewise, choose a quiet and professional location to conduct the interview – far away from noisy distractions.
- Avoid improvisation
A good employer already knows exactly what he or she is looking for, so there’s no excuse to be unprepared. Take time to prepare your interview questions ahead of time to ensure the candidate can give clear and meaningful answers.
Avoid asking too many questions about similar topics or asking questions too fast. Try to divide your questions up to address hard and soft skills. Sometimes, it might be prudent to conduct two separate interviews – one for technical skills and one for preferred traits.
It can also be beneficial to conduct interviews in a group, taking notes of how candidates interact and problem-solve with each other.
Likewise, having multiple employers interacting with a candidate can provide fresh insights and gives the hiring team an opportunity to discuss a candidate’s qualifications as a group.
- Set the tone
Although some aspects of in-person interviews cannot be replicated remotely (like handshakes), there are still certain steps an interviewer can take to form a strong connection with the candidate.
As an interviewer, you should try to set the tone of the interview by speaking as if you were both in the same room. Being cordial and open to answering questions can help to relax anxious candidates and make them feel comfortable in front of the webcam.
- Ask technical questions
There are various ways to evaluate technical ability when seeking highly-qualified professionals like developers. Of course, technical interviews are always easier when the interviewer has a similar background.
Coding assessment: This is a simple test administered to the candidate in order to prove some kind of technical competency. The interviewer will set a problem or task and assess how the candidate solves the problem. A coding test can be conducted remotely through websites like Google Docs and GitHub.
Technical question: A technical question can be expressed verbally or by writing and gives the interviewer an opportunity to review not only the candidates’ technical knowledge but also their ability to communicate effectively. These can include open-ended or highly specific technical questions related to past problems.
- Hire better
These tips combined will vastly improve the quality of your technical interviews and enhance your evaluation of potential candidates.
By setting clear expectations, connecting with candidates, and preparing tailored questions in advance, you can transform your remote interviews into efficient and streamlined evaluations of potential workers.