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5 Tips For Successful Remote Interviews During The Pandemic

5 Tips For Successful Remote Interviews During The Pandemic

26 Jan 15:00 by HR & Management Reads

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When the pandemic hit Malaysia, organisations scrambled to make adjustments to adapt their business operations to one where staff worked from home. From the hiring perspective of talent acquisition, this also means reassessing how interviews should be conducted effectively online, whilst ensuring the hiring process doesn’t come to a standstill


Even though video interviews are not common practice for local firms, unlike in global remote teams, many hiring teams in Malaysia are still not accustomed to not meeting their candidates in person. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you're probably struggling with it. Our recruitment specialists at BGC Malaysia have some tips for employers to get started: 



1. Choose a video conferencing platform that you are most comfortable using


There are over dozens of video call software that exist out there. With each platform offering different features, how do you decide which one is the best one to use? 


The key is to opt for a platform that you and your team are most familiar with. This is the most important factor you should consider before you decide which video conference software you want to use. Some of our favourite video conferencing tools to use in Malaysia include:


  1. Zoom - Zoom offers a variety of plans for its user. With paid plans starting from RM 57,  you can surely find the best plan for your team 
  2. Google Meet - If your workspace is ecosystem is google friendly, we recommend using google meet
  3. Discord - Discord is hugely popular among tech-savvy individuals. Its features include video calls, screen share, audio chat rooms and text chat rooms. Usually used in tech & startup companies



If the software provides advanced features that your hiring panel struggles to use, then don’t use it until it becomes second nature to you. There is no shame in being a little bit behind in technology as long as you can continue the hiring process without a hitch! 





2. Outline the flow of the remote interview process and share that with the team and candidates


While the process of interviews conducted virtually and physically can appear similar, there are slight differences between the two. There might be several changes in terms of practice, procedure, policies or flow of the interview. For example, Some hiring teams record the interview session so that team members who were not present may review the candidate at a later time. 


In a seamless hiring process, everyone involved must have a clear understanding of the whole process. Provide clear instructions and reminders and include everyone involved in the loop to ensure streamlined communication. 


You will also need to ensure that candidates are aware of how the interview will be conducted. If the platform you’re using requires an account to access, let them know beforehand so that they may create one before the interview. 


Pro tip: It's good practice to brief candidates early on so that they may familiarise themselves with the platform beforehand. This practice could also smooth out the interview process because it prevents candidates from experiencing any last minute technical difficulties.




3. Have a designated, distraction free space  to conduct your interview


With the MCO reinstated, employees working from home may not have the luxuries of a quiet office space that is conducive for an interview. This means that effort is required to set up a proper space. 


Our suggestion is to find a well-lit and clean looking space so that you will appear professional during the interview. The candidate may not be able to take you seriously if they find something distracting in the background. For example, kids running in the room. Therefore, we advise you to have a designated, distraction free space that you can use for interviewing purposes.



Pro tip: If you live in a busy household, give everyone a heads up that you will be conducting an interview. This practice can help minimize interruptions from household members.



4. Test your equipment and software before the interview


Imagine this situation. You’re interviewing a candidate that you really like for a position that you have been looking to fill for a long time. However, your microphone was not working properly during the interview. You spent most of the interview session repeating yourself and talking loudly into your microphone. Talk about an awkward situation! 


Test your audio setup beforehand! Make sure to listen out for noises that could come from house appliances like your a/c or refrigerators. Sounds coming from traffic and such could distract you from paying attention to your candidate. 


It is important to take awareness of your surroundings and before the interview starts. Such situations leave a bad impression on you as an employer and your employer brand. Enter the meeting 10 minutes beforehand, and do a test run with your colleagues to be sure that you can hear each other clearly. Aside from that, you must also ensure that your internet connection is stable so that there will be no audio or visual lag during the session.


Prepare a secondary mobile internet connection as backup, just in case your internet connection acts up during the interview. This practice allows you to continue the interview despite having a bad internet connection.




5. Buffer additional time for the interview session


Interview sessions conducted virtually may take longer than a face to face interview. Technical difficulties may take up a chunk of the session. Avoid having back to back interviews, and this will give you ample time to carefully assess your potential hire. 


As the pandemic looks set to drag on, we believe that it's important for hiring managers and job seekers in Malaysia to master the process of conducting virtual interviews. Mastering this practice will go a long way as the number of cases in Malaysia continues to go up. 


For more HR related advice and management tricks, check out our other blogs! We post new and relevant content every week. 


BGC Malaysia provides tailored hiring solutions for businesses in Malaysia. Should you face any urgent hiring problems that need solving as you work from home, get in touch with our recruitment team in Malaysia! 


Do you think that we have missed out any tips on how to successfully conduct remote interviews? Let us know in the comment section below!


Read more:

6 Steps To Hire Quality Candidates For Full Time Jobs In Malaysia

What HR Managers Have Learned In 2020: A Recap In The Hiring Trend