Best virtual interview practices for your executive search process

HR Insight

Virtual interviews have become more commonly used in executive search as COVID-19 continues to spread out. As a recruiter, how good are your virtual interview skills?

When Googling “virtual interview”, you can easily find thousands (or even millions) of pages with tips, tricks, and guides aimed for candidates. What about recruiters, who get involved in the executive search process but have no way to meet candidates in this time of Coronavirus?


Here is your guide to conducting effective virtual interviews for both general recruitment and executive search:

Ensure technology quality

Remember the rising panic when your webcam isn’t functioning? Or being asked to share your screen when you’re totally clueless? Save yourself from these awkward situations by running a technical test beforehand.

Make sure you know how to set up all essential features correctly, including the microphone, speakers, screen, webcam or camera. Check the sound and video quality to see if they’re working properly. And don’t forget to test your Internet connection speed!

Also, advise your candidate on the technical preparations. Include a simple guide in the interview invitation to walk them through what they need to work on, such as install a certain app or ensure the Internet requirements.

And just in case, notify them of your solutions to handle any tech hiccups that may occur. After all, the Internet isn’t always stable. Even with the most elaborate preparation, there’s still a chance that the connection suddenly drops, the screen freezes and sound cuts out. So let everyone know your plan B when things go wrong.

These attempts ensure you can get off on the right foot with your candidates and conduct a more productive, less distracted virtual interview.

Find a distraction-free location

Remember the live interview on BBC that the professor’s kids hilariously interrupted him as they enter the room? Well, that’s funny. But what you need in the executive search is professionalism. So let’s find a distraction-free space for your virtual interviews.

Okay, you probably don’t have any toddlers running around in your office. But still, a well-lit and quiet room is ideal for all kinds of interviews. Don’t need to be completely silent as “A Quiet Place” the movie, but ensure you already eliminate all sources of noise. And don’t let your colleagues be milling or popping in and out in the background.

Use body language in a positive manner

It’s far harder to build a good rapport with a stranger through the screen, so utilize your body language. Why? Because 55% of our communication is body language! Plus, the candidates can still see you. The more professional you are, the more cordial they’ll be in later rounds of the recruitment. 

So, sit up straight. Smile, but not too much or you will freak them out. Make eye contact with the candidates by looking directly at the camera. Nodding when appropriate to let them know that you aren't zoned out. And don’t try to multi-task, they will know.

If possible, ask your coworkers to help with a dry run. Keep it real. Go through your interview questionnaire, let them ask you unscripted questions, and get honest feedback about your expressions on camera. Then you’ll realize which aspects require more works to be improved.

Beware of the red flags

You should always look out for red flags when hiring, especially when it comes to executive search. Without face-to-face interaction, there’re even more warning signals in a virtual interview.

Do they only follow your guidance at the last minute and cause a delay in the interview?

Are they too informal like they’re just chatting with friends in a regular video call?

Or are they conducting interviews in bed, in casual clothes, or with a too cluttered background behind?

These behaviors secretly tell you a lot about their personality and if they are the best fits. So keep an eye on all everything you see on the screen.

Bottom line

Well, it takes lots of effort to master the virtual interviews. But it’s worthy, after all, to improve candidate experiences and reach out to remote candidates, especially in this COVID-19 season.

If you need help with the recruitment during and after the outbreak, contact Adecco Vietnam now! As an expert in executive search, we know where and how to find talents and fill your vacancies in the shortest time possible.  Send us your query here for the fastest support!

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