- June 10th, 2015
In a recent blog post, we discussed the merits of working with a remote employee: a skilled individual who lives in a different geographic location and/or works from home. Our blog focused on the virtual assistant, a position which naturally emerged as a result of an Internet-focused (and constantly connected) work world. However, there are a variety of roles which can be handled remotely, producing great success.
Once you’ve decided to branch out and consider a remote employee, several questions arise. One of the most pressing focuses on selecting the new team member from afar. How do you interview a candidate for a remote position? It stands to reason that such a position will make extensive use of online technology. So what better way to start then by utilising that technology to interview your prospective new addition.
Internet connectivity will likely be a must for your long distance worker. He or she is probably already familiar with video chat software and programs such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and others. You can interview in this way even for non-remote positions, if you’re thinking of hiring someone who will be relocating to your region.
Skype is the most popular of video conferencing programs. All you need to connect is a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. You can download the program to your computer or get the Skype app. All you need now is a reliable Internet connection and perhaps a quiet space to sit and focus on your interview.
Tips for Conducting an Interview: Prepare and Focus
In many aspects, interviewing via Skype is very similar to interviewing in person, but requires a slightly different approach.
First, you will need to be more prepared and focused as the interviewer. When someone is in the same physical space, it is easier to remain engaged and attentive. When using technology, the mind has a tendency to wander. Keeping this in mind will assist you in giving the candidate your full and undivided concentration.
Prepare and write down your interview questions ahead of time. Conversation in person often has a more extemporaneous feel to it, and flows more naturally. To avoid wasting time and to make sure you get the information you need, a list of queries can help keep the interview on track. As well, because there is less available body language to be read, you may need to ask more questions than you would in a typical interview.
Opportunities to Shine
It can be hard for an interviewee to make their finest first impression via the Web. Therefore, you can create certain circumstances to help you understand them more keenly and that give them a chance to do their best.
Before the interview, exchange Skype screen names so that you and the candidate can add one another. This will not only make things go more smoothly on the day of the interview, but it also demonstrates if the individual can follow directions and perform tasks in a timely manner. This guages both their responsibility and their interest. In addition, ask the candidate to send you a Skype chat message when he or she is ready for the video interview. If he or she shows up a few minutes early, this is a good sign and indicates an enthusiasm and promptness: qualities that will be important in a remote worker.
You can also take note of general things that your interviewee does. If they have taken the time to set up their computer or device in a quiet, well-lit environment, this indicates an attention to detail and a courteous regard for others. If he or she is in a noisy or darkened place, this reflects poorly on their own interview skills and may be reflective of their work ethic.
A Great Resource
Whether you choose Skype or another method to interview a potential remote employee, this technology is a wonderful resource. If you ask the right questions and approach the interview with patience and open-mindedness (technology does fail now and again), you are sure to have a positive experience meeting with possible new members to your team.
Though we specialise in local and regional recruiting, if you need assistance locating highly-skilled employees anywhere, we at On Line Recruitment and Labour Hire would love to be of service. Give us a call today to discuss your options.