Sourcing exceptional employees mean that the hiring managers need to give their best during the interview process. Remote interviews give them access to a larger talent pool and consequently, there is a higher probability to find outstanding candidates.

However, it is not just about the potential employees, it is also about how you, as a hiring manager, conduct the interview. Preparing for your remote interviews will streamline the process and help you assess the best candidates.

In a study by Owl Labs in which they interviewed 1,202 workers, 62% of them were working remotely. As more people turn to remote working, the hiring managers have more candidates to choose from. Even though having such diversity is great, it can also bring some difficulties as choosing just one candidate among so many can be challenging. To decrease the pressure of hiring the ideal candidate, the hiring managers need to prepare a comprehensive list of questions prior to the interview. What is more important for the role - soft skills, eagerness to learn, niche experience with a competitor, etc.? If you do your part, spotting the right candidate will be much easier. Look into these ins and outs of preparing for a remote interview and you won’t have to worry about a thing. 

Specify What You Are Looking For in Candidates

Mapping out the necessary skills and qualities of an ideal candidate will narrow down your process much faster. Since you already have had to single out several candidates based on their CV and experience, it is time to focus on their personality. During the interview, you'll have a chance to find out how the candidate would fit into your work environment. For that reason, it is essential that you know which qualities you are looking for.

The evaluation strategies can be related to:

  • Communication skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Collaboration skills
  • Adaptability
  • Cultural fit
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management

Share your key qualities with the hiring team (if you have one). It is crucial that you all focus on the candidates that will be able to collaborate well as remote workers.

Prioritize Employee’s Skills, Qualities, and Experience

You need to be aware that there will probably be several candidates who seem to be the best of the best. The best way to recognize the ideal employee is to prepare in advance on what is the most relevant aspect.

For example, some companies might put experience above everything else, while others emphasize that their ideal candidate needs to be a team player. While it would be perfect to find a candidate who embodies all the qualities your need and lots of experience, that might not be the case. That’s why you need to prioritize.

Determine what you find to be the most important requirement for that job position. During the interview, navigate the questions so that you can find out whether the candidates fulfill that requirement.

Share the Interview Plan in Advance

The fewer interviewees know about the interview, the more nervous they will be. By sharing the overall interview plan you'll help interviewees to prepare fully for the interview and present themselves in the best light. Additionally, you'll present yourself as a responsible and serious company.

Include all the information that candidates might need to prepare themselves for the interview. This may include but is not limited to:

  • The time and date of the interview (and your time zone)
  • Will it be a video interview or audio-only interview
  • The means of communication (phone call, Google Hangouts, Skype, remote conference line, your company’s software, etc.)
  • Expected length of the interview
  • Interviewer or team of interviewers who will be conducting the interview

Send out an introductory email that will have all of this information as well as the introduction of the interviewer. If a candidate's time zone is different, discuss the best time that works for both of you.

One day before the interview, send a reminder to all interviewees to ensure that they have all the information. Make the message welcoming and personable to put them at ease.

Create the List of Questions

To avoid looking confused or unprepared, you should create a list of questions for the interview in advance. This will ensure that you don't forget to ask something crucial.

Start by preparing some topics for small talk. Beginning the conversation with simple questions will help you ease into the interview and lower the candidates’ nervousness.

''Once you get to know the candidate a little, you can lead to more challenging questions. These are the questions that need to reveal whether the candidate fulfills your requirements. Adapt the questions to the challenges that come with that specific job position as well as the challenges that come with working remotely,"- says Melanie Sovann, HR Manager at TrustMyPaper and GrabMyEssay writing services.

Here are some examples of questions you can ask:

  • How do you plan to organize work as a remote worker to eliminate all the distractions that come with the home environment?
  • How will you communicate with your coworkers to ensure the project gets done on time and efficiently?
  • What do you expect your biggest challenge will be as a remote worker? How do you plan to deal with that challenge?
  • How do you manage to stay motivated as a remote worker?

Before you complete the preparation of questions, review the candidates’ CVs, and mark if you have any special questions for certain candidates. It is easier to review their experience now than on the spot.

Do a Test Run

Ensure that the interview will go smoothly by doing a dry run. Make sure that there will be no problems with equipment on your end. Adjust everything so that you have a perfect set up for the interview.

Remote hiring is becoming more popular with years and for a good reason. You'll have a wider range of potential employees to choose from. These tips for preparing for an interview will maximize the possibility of hiring the ideal employees. Your readiness for the interview is just as important as the expertise and experience of the candidate. If you go through all of these steps you won't have to worry about conducting the interview. You'll be all set.

About the author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks, and empowers using the magic of a word. Now she works as a freelance writer at TopEssayWriting and ClassyEssay. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors.