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  • With a rise in COVID-19 cases and our continued efforts in support of the well-being of our faculty, staff and students, hiring authorities are asked to continue managing candidate interviews using virtual platforms.

    In support of this request, you’ll find alternatives for in-person interviews along with a few best practices that will assist with maximizing the virtual experience for both the interviewer and interviewee below.

    Conducting Virtual Interviews During COVID-19

    Phone Interviews

    If it is not already a normal practice for you to conduct phone interviews as an initial step to qualify candidates prior to bringing them in for an interview, now is the time to start!  The phone interview can be used to assess candidates for a high-level fit for experience, pay expectations, availability for specific work schedules, and location.

    Virtual Video Interviews

    If you do not have the capacity to conduct a high volume of phone interviews, an effective and efficient option can be to conduct virtual (one-way) video interviews.  Virtual interview platforms such as Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans, SparkHire, etc., allow you to screen candidates 24/7.  As a benefit, candidates can complete the interviews at their convenience.  You simply choose the questions you want candidates to address, send out an interview invitation, and watch candidates’ recorded responses at any time that works best for you.   Managers have leveraged video interviewing to keep their recruiting processes moving forward safely during the coronavirus.

    Live Video Interviews

    After qualifying a candidate through either a phone or virtual on-demand interview, the next step could be to coordinate a live video interview.  There are several video conference platforms available. However, you can also consider using video platforms that may already be in use by your college or unit such as Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans, SparkHire, etc.  This is a great way to include decision-makers in your organization who are working remotely and still allows you to engage with the candidate at a high level. Choose the platform that works best for you, keeping in mind that there are differences, including some that record the interview.

    Preparing for Live Video Interviews

    Preparing Interviewers

    Although there are some differences in the steps to preparing for video interviews, good basic interviewing prep still applies. For example, all interviewers should still review the job description and candidate resume, have prepared interview questions, and follow a shared agenda for the interview. What’s different is the need to make sure that all interviewers have access to your video platform. They should also conduct the interview in a quiet, well-lit room where they can be seen and heard easily. We recommend testing this prior to the interview to ensure cameras and microphones function well.

    Also, set the stage for what to expect in the interview, including start time and expected length. Be sure to allow an opportunity for questions in advance of the interview to alleviate any concerns of those who may be new to the virtual interview experience.

    We recognize that it is very challenging to conduct efficient and effective interviews for essential positions that are needed to continue during COVID-19.  Hopefully, these tips and best practices will help you to successfully identify and hire the best candidates to meet your hiring needs.