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Are you ready to interview and hire virtually?

It’s a given that we expect candidates to be prepared for a virtual interview, with many articles, Sumner & Scott’s included (, explaining how to do this.

Are you, as a hiring manager, also prepared?

As candidates spend time planning for their interviews, you should devote considerable time in doing the same.

It’s easy to think that in 2021 there are candidates a plenty, however if you’re looking to hire the best for your business, thorough preparation is key in maximising your chances of a successful hire.

Here are some key tips to help you prepare for interviews

Know your job description

It takes time to create a detailed job description and rest assured the good candidates will know the JD inside out.

Are you able to expand on each point, responsibility, skills needed to successfully answer any questions that may arise? And they will arise!

Is the JD still up to date? If not have you sent out a revised version?

Interviewing in a panel? Do your colleagues know the JD inside out?

Research the Candidate

Have you thoroughly read through the candidates resume, cover letter and any supporting material, such as tests?

Have a printout of the interviewee’s resume and your list of questions. You might want to log in a few minutes early so you know all the technology is working and you’re not rushing when the interview begins.

Have you checked their online profiles?

Have you made notes on any questions you may have on their resume etc?

Is the interview structured?

To get the best out of the situation it is important to have a structure to the interview, making sure that all involved are aware of the process.

How many topics will you be covering?

Is there an opportunity for Q &A?

Have you scripted the key questions? You should draft, refine and write down the most essential questions for each interview.

As the interviewer, it’s up to you to set expectations with the candidate beforehand about the remote interview details. Figure out who will place the call, what online meeting platform you’ll use, and give the interviewee the names and titles of any other people who may be joining the interview. Clearly communicating the details of the meeting will put the candidate at ease and make the entire process run more smoothly. 

Prepare your technology

Conduct a technical trial run of your video conferencing platform — common ones include Skype for Business and Zoom — a day or so beforehand, giving yourself enough time to adapt if anything isn’t working.

Check your computer camera, microphone and internet connection, and make sure you know your login information, especially if you haven’t used the videoconferencing application or tool in a while.

If you’re using your laptop or tablet, check your Wi-Fi connection and ensure your equipment is charged and ready to go.

How will you conclude the interview?

When concluding the interview, tell candidates what’s going to happen next in the process and ask them if they have any questions.

Be sure to thank them for their time as well.

Ultimately, you are representing your company during an online interview. Knowing how to effectively conduct a video interview will help you leave candidates with a positive view of both you and your business.


Finally, something that we often forget in this situation…remember to look at the camera when you’re speaking, not your own image or the other person’s image, as tempting as that may be.

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