Remote Interviewing: Our top tips and learnings!

By October 16, 2020October 19th, 2020No Comments


In a globalised world, with unseen levels of mobility remote, interviewing is not only used by remote-first organisations but by every organisation that wants to recruit globally.

Whether a recruitment process is fully remote, partly remote, depends on different factors such as company culture, available resources, and the role itself.

One may think that interviewing candidates remotely comes naturally to Raketech, but as everyone else, we had to learn things through experience.

Here is what we learnt…

Learning #1: Mi casa, su casa

By interviewing remotely, we allow each other to get a glimpse into each other’s most personal space – our homes!

“Never forget that as an interviewer you are a virtual guest in the candidate’s home!”

Even though as an interviewer you are the one setting up the interview, it is the candidate who allows you into their space. We must be respectful, objective and should not let our judgment be clouded by what we may see.

As an interviewer, make sure you represent yourself and the organisation well. Avoid using a virtual background image and always switch on your webcam. It’s a virtual interview and not a phone call.

Therefore, wherever possible, both interviewer and candidate should use their webcam. As an interviewer you should respect if the candidate wants to keep it off.  However, most candidates will switch their webcam on once they realise that yours is on.

What you see in the background may not be the tidiest or the most beautifully decorated space, but it is perhaps the quietest in the candidate’s home. Irrespective of whether you like their decor style or not, keep in mind that it has nothing to do with their ability to do a great job.

Therefore, keep it professional, focus on what really matters for the job and be aware of unconscious bias.

Learning #2: Expect the unexpected

Even if the interviewer and candidate are fully prepared for the meeting, either one of you may run into situations that  are highly unlikely if the meeting takes place face to face in an office environment.

The list is endless, so expect the unexpected – be it a family member who steps into the webcam view, or pets joining the interview, neighbours shouting or turning on loud music, or even technical glitches.

Don’t worry about the uncontrollable – things happen! Interviewers should keep in mind that these situations are not in the candidate’s control and give them a chance to address the situation. On the other side, as a candidate you should feel comfortable addressing the situation and if needed, ask to reschedule the interview.

Trust us, these unexpected situations are great icebreakers and trigger great conversations.

Learning #3: Internet, your worst best friend

When interviewing remotely, a strong reliable internet connection is one of the most important requirements.

Even though most of us have 24/7 access to some sort of fast internet connection, sometimes it feels as if technology has a mind of its own and stops working when you need it most.

It is difficult to predict if your internet connection will be fast or slow during the interview, but if your internet connection is not so powerful, it might be a good idea to stop any streaming services during the interview time and ask the people on the same network to do the same.

What is important is that as an interviewer, you should not draw any conclusions because of slow or failing internet connection, and it shouldn’t be a determining factor whether someone is a good fit for the role or not.

Learning #4: Keep on improving

At Raketech perfection does not exist; we believe in continuous improvement.

As an interviewer besides assessing and reflecting whether the candidate is right for the role or not, also try to assess what you, as an interviewer, can do better next time. There is always something one can do better, and small improvements along the way will help you in providing your candidates with a better interviewing experience.

Naturally, the same applies for candidates. What is important is that you assess what you can do better for the next interview and take some learnings from each experience so that you improve your remote interviewing skills that will eventually help you in getting the job you want.

Have a look at our vacancies, perhaps we get the chance to have a remote interview together!