Virtual Interviewing - Using the research to promote best practice

23 Apr 14:00 by Kai Theriault


By Rianne Silvey - Senior Business Psychologist at Psychological Consultancy Ltd

Organisations have certainly embraced the use of technology within their recruitment practices. With Covid-19 this switch to virtual interviewing is likely to become the norm, at least for the time being. I’ve been hearing lots of comments, questions and some concern about managing the move to a more virtual selection process. After undertaking a deep dive into the research around this topic – here are some suggestions to support you. PCL are currently working on a more in depth blog piece, but thought you’d appreciate some tips in the meantime:

  1. Ensure you are interviewing all candidates in the same way – whether in the end that is face to face or online. That they will only be compared with others in the same cohort any disadvantages pertaining to technology medium can be mitigated.
  2. Evaluate fairness. All interviews should be fair and unbiased. The use of technology has the potential to adversely affect individuals or unintentionally decrease diversity of the applicant pool. You need to check in with candidates ahead of time that they have a stable internet connection and a space at home in which they feel comfortable to undertake their interview. Also, as you would for any interview you need to establish if a candidate requires any reasonable adjustments which could potentially impact their performance (which could include disability or mental health concerns).
  3. For structured interviewing competency scoring will remain very important, and you should continue to align to your competency scoring rationale. However, do bear in mind that there will be difficulty interpreting facial cues, establishing eye contact and time lag could affect your interpretation of a given answer. So be careful in your scoring of these elements, always make more notes supporting the evidence for the scoring you have awarded.
  4. Give the candidate extra opportunity to ask questions – perhaps checking in with them, before moving onto the next question. Do you have anything to add before we move on?
  5. Do what you can to reduce anxiety & try to establish some rapport (maybe make a joke about the perils of VC interfacing and that they’re not going to be negatively rated because of silences, time delays, speaking over another person). Remind them that this is to be expected. When creating rapport – maybe have some questions up your sleeve that aren’t simply How are you doing during this time?
  6. As it is harder to give visual cues back to the candidate re: their answers/performance – perhaps make a more concerted effort to give verbal feedback commentary as you are going on … That was a really robust answer – thank you…….You provided a lot of detail in response to that question….
  7. Make a point of discussing fairness with candidates – let them know that they are being subjected to the same experience as other candidates. Remind them that you understand VC might be trickier to navigate and so do encourage them to follow up with anything they may have forgotten after the interview…. Anything you can do to manage their perceptions of procedural justice is likely to really benefit their experience and their performance
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