Virtual interviews may be a necessity for today’s work environment, but even outside a pandemic they’re still advantageous. For example, virtual interviews offer job seekers more opportunities than what’s logistically available to them, and also provide employers with greater access to an expanded talent pool.

Whether you’re new to conducting virtual interviews or have been doing them for years, here are 7 best practices to follow to ensure your experience is a success:

1. Ensure your technology is working smoothly ahead of time.

Find out the best method for conducting a video interview with your candidate and test it well before the interview. While applicants are expected to sell themselves in an interview, interviewers are expected to sell the company as a desirable workplace. If an applicant experiences technological glitches due to this being the first time you’ve used a particular communication channel, it will send a negative first impression.

2. Look your best.

While this isn’t an in-person interview, you still want to treat the interview as if it were in-person. If your office dress code is casual, consider dressing one level up as business casual for the interview. You may also want to consider making adjustments to the camera, lighting and sound for optimal video quality.

3. Establish professionalism.

To accompany looking your best, ensure your tone, dialogue and dress hold the same level of professionalism and respect as an in-person interview.

4. Make the interview comfortable.

Help the candidate feel at ease by conversing in a way that closely replicates an in-person interview. Be sure to steer away from asking illegal questions during the non-scripted small talk, such as asking about their family or other personal topics.

5. Find out if the candidate is a good cultural fit.

Have a list of predetermined questions to help you decide whether they’d fit within your company culture. Studies show that employees who share a company’s core values perform better, stick around longer, and have a greater ROI over time.

6. Ask what the applicant has been working on recently.

A lot of people have been working differently or lost their job due to the pandemic. How have they handled their situation? If they haven’t been working, have they spent their time wisely by learning new skills, reading self-help books, and volunteering — or have they sat back collecting unemployment and watching Netflix?

7. Hire based on qualifications.

Be sure the criteria you’re using to hire the right employee (education, experience, technical skills, soft skills, etc.) is job appropriate. If you have several great candidates and need help selecting the right employee, consider reading these Three Insightful Tips for Interviewers.

For more information on recruiting and hiring guidance, please contact our HR experts at If you’d like information on how to be a more competitive employer to hire key talent, please download this Guidebook for Competitive Hiring.

Stacey Gibson, Director of Human Resources

Author Stacey Gibson, Director of Human Resources

Stacey is a certified Professional in HR (PHR) and the reason her clients would never consider leaving When not at work, you can hear her at one of her children’s sporting events -- she’s the one whistling louder than the refs.

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