Conducting a virtual interview when hiring a remote staff can be a very challenging endeavor. Unlike typical face-to-face interviews where you can easily gauge the applicant’s mood and overall behavior, virtual interviews are trickier in that it can be a little impersonal. Remember, you may be talking to someone who is a continent away.
It can be very hard to tell over a video call or a phone call if the person you are talking to is someone that has integrity, can be trusted to work and able to manage important tasks on your behalf. This article discusses some helpful interviewing tips for clients to make the process easier and more efficient.
Before you set appointments with your prospective interviewees, you should review their resumes first to ensure that they have the credentials needed for the job. After all, you want to make sure that you are spending your time as efficiently as possible.
When conducting a virtual interview, it is also important that you have stable internet connection, earphones/speakers, and a microphone that work properly. In addition, have several carefully-prepared questions that will help you gauge their preparedness for the interview & work you want them to do, gauge how they respond to emergencies, give a glimpse of their general attitude, and to determine whether the two of you will be able to build a fruitful relationship over time.
While it is difficult to determine how a person will perform on the job based on just one interview, it is possible to be able to tell if you and the person will “click.” How the interviewee responds to your questions, their sincerity, how courteous and professional they sound, and their level of interest in what you say and your business will speak volumes on whether or not you will hit it off.
Here are some questions you can ask:
What can you tell me about my business? This is a good way to see if your interviewees took the time to research about what you do. Generally, those who take the time to learn about the company they are applying for are more interested and end up being more diligent on the job. If they can take a job interview this seriously, just think about how well they can perform when they’re hired. On the flip side, it’s okay to be wary of an interviewee who can’t even be bothered to spend a few minutes getting to know the company he or she is applying for.
Why do you think you are the right fit for my business and the position you are applying for? This can be a good follow-up question to the previous one. An applicant who understands what your business needs and its goals are in touch with the skills and experience that can help achieve those goals is often the right person for the job. If you are looking for someone to do marketing or sales, this question also tells you how convincing and persuasive they can be. If you are looking for someone who needs excellent communication skills, this question helps measure their eloquence and ability to reason out.
How do you determine your priorities? This question lets the interviewee paint a picture of his/her working and decision-making process. It also lets you know how they work, and if their working style is in tune with yours, and if it can address the needs of your business.
Are you currently working with other clients? Numerous interviewing tips for clients suggest that you should ask this question and urge the applicant to give an honest answer. The ideal answer to this question is no, especially if you are looking to fill a full-time position. However, the reality is that most VAs and independent contractors juggle multiple clients at a time, so it is best that you know how many clients an applicant currently must set your expectations. If you are looking to fill a part-time position, then expect that your applicants might have one or two more clients. Ultimately it will be up to you if you choose to go with an applicant who has multiple clients if they will be giving your business the attention it deserves and give you your money’s worth, or if you will go with one whose undivided attention, work-wise, will be only yours.
How reliable is your internet connection? Since your staff will be working virtually, having a stable internet is a must. In some parts of the world, the internet is quite unstable. Therefore, you need to ask about their internet stability. Wired connection is always preferable, plus they should have a means for a reliable backup in case of failure. You can ask for a screenshot of your applicant’s speed test to verify the response. An ideal follows up question to this will be what backup systems are in place to allow him or her to continue working in case there is a power outage or the computer crashes.
What have you done in the past year or the past six months to improve your skills? This question determines the person’s diligence and determination in self-improvement. You might even discover that the applicant has other skills you may benefit from. For example, you may discover that apart from the role they are applying for, let’s use bookkeeping as an example, the applicant recently attended a series of SEO workshops or is studying graphic design, you may find several other ways to utilize that person if need be.
Remember the goal, you are looking for someone who can be a productive member of your team. However, even the best applicants can get nervous and fail to answer questions properly, giving them multiple opportunities to shine will give you a round image of how they will do. Also, keep in mind that there is no 100% perfect candidate. You are looking for someone who has most of the skills that you need to take you to the next level.
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