5 Tips for Conducting a More Organized Remote Interview

5 actionable ways to conduct an organized interview.
As we are limping back to the normal world (read: post-pandemic), we’ve come to one realization, that remote work is here to stay. As a result, 80% of organizations said their interviewing and hiring process is now completely remote ().
However, conducting remote interviews needs meticulous planning and proper organization. In this article, we talk about the latter. Well-organized remote interviews can be segmented into two parts—technical and non-technical.
Let’s deep-dive into both aspects so that both you and the candidate you interview have a great experience.
1. Invest in an Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)
As a recruiter, you want a candidate to leave with a positive experience; selected or not.
That's why it’s a good idea to use an ATS or applicant tracking system. An ATS helps in automating plenty of cumbersome steps in job hunting. For example, they provide auto-fill online applications, interview scheduling, and error-free, seamless, and consistent communication across recruiting teams.
“86% of recruiters reported that using an ATS has helped them hire faster” (source: Oracle).
Investing in an ATS can help you with organizing your interview better, here’s how;
Streamlined recruiting, especially for large-scale businesses. Businesses that are expanding at a good rate are always hiring for multiple positions. Without an ATS that process can turn out to be a mess. ATS lets organizations manage the entire hiring process, all in one platform. No need to juggle between tens of spreadsheets and tools to fetch basic information.
Seamless collaboration between recruiting teams. When you bunch together too many recruiting teams and too many candidates together with no proper process, then chaos is inevitable. ATS makes collaboration simple.
For example, you can assign a hiring manager to a specific candidate’s profile and then the hiring team can collaborate in a secure and simplified manner.
That way, all the people involved in the hiring process can access details like resumes, past experiences, assignment scores, interview transcripts, and other information needed to make the right decisions quickly.
Post and promote jobs across multiple job boards. Companies need to hire candidates and their first best bet is job boards. Like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster; to name a few. Companies do spend a good percentage of their recruiting budgets on such job boards to attract the right candidates. But it can be extremely difficult to manually juggle through these job boards because so many people apply across hundreds of positions. What's worse is that it's difficult to manually track where the best candidates come from. But an ATS removes these difficulties, here’s how;
Integrates with job boards to track applications from a single platform.
Cost of hiring is significantly reduced. Pay for the ATS, not 10 job boards.
Good applicant tracking software lets companies post job descriptions across multiple job boards with zero cost.
Filter out unsuitable candidates fast. Once a job post goes live on job boards, the slew of applications can be overwhelming to sift through. HR team needs to screen the applications quickly so that good candidate can be identified as soon as possible. ATS automates this process and filters out candidates who don't match the requirements, like experience level, location issues, skill set, and more. By auto-rejecting, the ATS ensures that only a vetted list of talent pool reaches the HR team to look into.
Manage candidates and track documents in a centralized and secure manner. Scouring through emails, spreadsheets, or docs to find candidate information can waste hours and hours of time. Automating such tasks is the best way out. ATS lets you find a candidate's history in a few clicks along with the necessary documents. ATS reduced the time needed to fetch basic information, make onboarding a breeze, reducing unnecessary paperwork, and more.
Drop in cost-per-hire. According to Freshteam, using an ATS can reduce the overall cost per hire by a whopping 40%. ATS has an impact on all the stages of an employee's life cycle. For example, no need to hire external recruitment agencies to parse through parsing resumes. Moreover, ATS simplifies the onboarding process, helps evaluate employee performance, and measures their performance as well as engagement on a real-time basis to ensure retention rates stay high.
Discover recruiting insights. ATS generates detailed insights and reports that can assist in making the right decisions at the right time. Get real-time reports, like;
Best-performing source of hiring (like social media)
Average time spent at each stage of the interview
Number of applicants interviewed in a time-frame
Employee resignation patterns, and so much more
Using these metrics you can gauge what processes are yielding ROI and vice versa so that you can take steps to remove the redundancies.
Brand building. Even if the candidate is not hired, a good experience with your brand can leave a lasting impact. ATS ensures transparency and effective communication which can in turn make the application feel appreciated.
Handle talent database. Having a solid talent pool is such a crucial aspect of an organization. Oftentimes, recruiters come across exceptional candidates who aren't the best fit for the current role and can be a great fit for future roles. ATS helps you find good potential candidates and create a talent pool so that you can find them with a click in the future.
Looking for a good ATS tool? Use Freshteam as a system for applicant tracking. Learn more about here.
2. Pick the tools that fit your needs.
Choosing the right tools does half the job when it comes to remote interviews. First of all, be clear about the format of the interview—phone calls? One-way video interviews? Live virtual interviews? Or, a medley of these three?
Generally, for full-time jobs, it's best to meet the candidate face-to-face, even if it's over a screen. Reason is, that it helps you evaluate their non-verbal cues. Jotform, Calendly, pymetrics, eSkill, Harver, HackerRank, Zoom, Skype, VidCruiter, and Spark Hire are virtual interview tools you can choose from.
No matter the platform you use, take note of the functionalities you need. Some tools out there offer features like interview recording or embedded evaluation forms. Another example could be if you want the tool to have a whiteboard because there are tools that offer such features too.
In nutshell, map out your needs before picking an interviewing tool. Additionally, ensure that the remote interview software integrates with the ATS, and is compatible across various devices.
3. Be transparent right from the beginning.
It’s wrong to assume that each candidate is versed with how remote interviews are conducted. For some remote interviews can be uncharted territory. For example, interns. It’s best to communicate the interview process in layman's terms. For example, the tools needed, duration, rounds of interviews, and what will be evaluated in each round.
4. Communicate extensively.
Oftentimes, with virtual interviews that in-person connection is missing. In order to ensure that the candidate has a good experience, it is recommended to overcommunicate. Send updates at each stage to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Doing so will make them feel valued and leave a good impression of your brand.
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5. Adhere to remote interview étiquettes.
Remote or not, a job interview is always professional. Tick this checklist before you go live.
Put your phone and computer on silent mode. Recurring notification pings can be distracting.
Dress like you would during an in-person interview.
Declutter your desk and remove any personal items from the background.
Position yourself in a way that the natural lighting is right in front of you.
Test run is a must. Discrepancies in your setup can ruin the remote internet and leave a bad taste. Check your internet connection, camera, and microphone before it interview begins.
Conduct a more organized interview for a good experience for everyone
Job hunters today aren't just seeking good salaries worth their time and effort. But also perks like a culture that aligns with their values, flexibility, and of course— a company that cares about their well-being. But the interviewers start gauging the company’s culture and work ethics right from the first conversation with the recruiter, and if selected, the interviewer.
That's why it’s necessary to ensure your processes are perfected to a T.
In nutshell, invest in an ATS, get the right tools, be transparent, present yourself like you’d expect the interviewee to present themselves, and be wary of remote interview etiquette for a wholesome and organized remote interview experience.

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