How To Conduct A Remote Interview?

A candidate may not always be available to do an in-person interview. For instance, the interview location, the candidate’s availability, or when the world faces a global pandemic, Remote interviews are the only way for an employer to assess their candidates.


Most companies that use a hybrid work model, or a completely remote work model, use remote interviews. Sometimes, even when an organisation temporarily has a remote work model, it may use a remote interview.

It is undeniable that an in-person interview offers the hiring manager and the employer a multitude of data about the candidate. The way they engage in a conversation, the candidate’s body posture, and the style of their handshake all offer a variety of insights into the candidate and can help you hire the best person.

On the other hand, a remote interview can help the company to reduce the hiring cost. Since they don’t need to wait for the candidate to be physically present at the office. Regardless of the time zone the candidate is in, the employer and the candidate can agree on a schedule that works for both of them.

Even though the medium in which the candidate attends the interview is different, it should be noted that the candidate’s experience should not be negatively affected. You must keep the candidates engaged and evaluate them entirely before hiring them to your organisation.

Tips to Conduct a Remote Interview

The following are some tips to ensure that both the candidate experience and the evaluation process of the remote interview are maintained.

Tips To Conduct A Remote Interview

Revamp Your Current Interview Style

For most organisations, there might not have been a need to conduct remote interviews. This is understandable since remote working has gained attention very recently. This means you need to change your recruitment process to work well with a remote interview style.

This means you need to work with your team to find the right fit for your organisation. The challenge is that you do not get much face-to-face interaction with the candidate. Coming up with the best candidate for your job role with minimal interaction is how a remote interview works.

To hire efficiently, you need to use assessment tools. Make sure that the tools you use and the questionnaires you ask the candidates to fill out cover their skills in the necessary domain and their personality based on your company culture and values.

Communicate Properly

Since there is minimal to no face-to-face interaction, you need to provide all the necessary information to the candidate to keep them at ease. Inform the candidate about everything they need to know for the remote interview.

The tools you use for the remote interviews might be well-known, but that does not mean the candidate will be familiar with them. Do not assume anything and help the candidate understand everything about the remote interview.

Ensure that the candidate understands everything from the time zone for the interview, the interview panel members, information about them, the interviewer’s expectations for the remote interview, and any stationaries the candidate might need to keep in handy. Do not leave any places for surprises.

When the candidate understands your company’s remote interview process and standards, there will be no time wasted in remote interviews, and the candidate can focus on performing their best.

Follow Remote Interview Etiquettes

Just like with an in-person interview, you need to treat the candidate precisely like that. You need to understand the expected etiquette in the remote interview.

The following are some of the basic etiquettes for remote interviews:

  • Always keep the background neutral and professional during a remote interview.
  • Dress professionally just like you would if you were interviewed in the office workspace.
  • Always lock your door even if you are interviewing from your office space. The same goes for when you are at your home.
  • Turn off notifications or silence them on your mobile and your computer.
  • Beware of the lighting. Check your video quality to ensure you are visible to your candidate.
  • Stay in a place that does not offer distractions for your remote interview. 

Stay Focused and Listen Carefully

One of the most important aspects of any interview is listening carefully to the candidate. This helps in two ways: the candidate will feel heard, which encourages the conversation to stay two-sided. The other way this helps is by making it easier for you to evaluate.

Most of our conversations are non-verbal. This means that we convey more of our thoughts through our body language. This should be noted in the interview. When you are in a remote interview, it is harder for you to concentrate on such nuanced details. Pay close attention to the candidate and observe them to gain more insight.

This can help you find the right candidate based on their personality. How they answer questions, how they take time to think of their answers, and their posture throughout the interview should all be considered.

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes the remote interview setup fails. Any connection error might occur. There might be some issues on either side. To counter this, it is always advisable to have a backup plan in place.

There might be a connection problem on the candidate’s side, or their device might have a low battery. Whatever the case is, give the candidate some time to get back to you. If not, get the candidate’s mobile number and talk to them about the issue.

Reschedule the remote interview if the problem cannot be solved within a short time. Or try to work something out to get the interview going. Do not include the technical issues when it comes to evaluating the candidate. This occurrence could happen to anyone.

Final Thoughts

The remote interview model can help you in many ways when hiring a candidate from different parts of the world. It might seem like an inconvenience now, with having to evaluate a candidate without face-to-face interaction, but this might become the norm in the future. You must stay ahead with various interview mediums to offer options to the candidates for their comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a remote interview differ from a face-to-face interview?

The main difference between the face-to-face interview model and the remote interview model is the lack of human interaction. In a face-to-face interview, you get to talk to the candidates and observe them. In a remote interview, it is hard for the recruiter or the hiring manager to completely gauge the candidate’s body language. 

What are the advantages of remote interviews?

The main advantages of remote interviews are:

  • Easy to schedule.
  • Works on flexible timings.
  • Reduces cost to hire. 
  • Is more inclusive

What are some prerequisites for a remote interview?

The following are some prerequisites for a remote interview:

  • Attend the interview in a quiet place.
  • Avoid any distractions.
  • Have a good internet connection.
  • Dress professionally. 
  • Keep your surroundings and background clean.


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