Conducting Remote Interviews

By Amanda Beattie
22 Sep 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause changes to how we operate. One of these changes is how we conduct the interview process. While most of us will be no strangers to using video calling software, interviewing candidates for a role is a whole new ball game.

Here are some top tips to get this right...


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Conducting remote interviews

Choose your method

Decide if you are going to interview someone by phone or video call, or a combination of the two. Clearly planning the process beforehand can help keep things simple and avoid confusion later.

Pick appropriate software

Try to use software that is free and easily accessible, such as Microsoft Teams or Skype – candidates will likely have used both of these before. Prior to the interview, run tests to make sure that there are no connectivity issues on your end.

Provide all relevant information to the candidate

Tell the candidate how and when the interview will be conducted, and who by. Send them clear instructions as to what they need to download, or do, beforehand. Some candidates won’t have access to a webcam, a computer, or the internet. Others may have a disability, making it more difficult for them to set up the software. Consider an alternative process to accommodate them.

Manage the call

As always in interviews, remain calm, inviting and professional. Provide time for the candidate to answer after asking a question to account for any lag in the video call. Address your questions directly at the camera—try to avoid staring at yourself on screen!

Have a backup plan (or two)

Internet issues could cause the interview to be cut short early, so make sure you plan for this! Provide time to try and reboot equipment, such as a webcam, or consider continuing the call with just sound if the camera refuses to work.

Exchange phone numbers with the candidate, instructing them to continue the interview via phone if need be.

If none of these options work, reschedule the interview as soon as possible. Just because a candidate has poor internet does not mean you should not consider them!

Expert support

As lockdown measures become more strict, you'll have to adapt to a new way of working. For assistance with any new measures, call one of our experts today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.

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