Remote Interviews that WOW

Share this post | 4 min read


It’s not only work that’s going remote; hiring has gone virtual as well. 


In the Zoom Age, more than ever, companies need thoughtful interview practices designed for a fully digital hiring process.


How to host virtual interviews that WOW

According to Talent Board, candidate resentment has increased by 40% in North America since 2016. Candidates are less likely to apply to the same company 

again based on their experiences and less likely to recommend the company to others.


The experience you give your candidates is your employer brand and it’s now even easier to tarnish (even if your internet connection is to blame). So how can you deliver a virtual interview experience that helps you hit your goals and also leave a positive impression?

Based on our own research, the top 3 desires of active candidates help us define a successful process: 

  1. I want to feel prepared and confident before each interview
  2. I want to grow from the experience and be better prepared for future interviews
  3. I want to know where they stand throughout the process


A few specific curiosities cited by candidates repeatedly in our sample included: 

  • Insight into the interview process steps upfront
  • Understanding the company’s culture
  • Opportunities for growth

How can we deliver on these expectations without ever meeting face-to-face? Below are techniques employed by top virtual recruiting teams: 


Standardize your digital toolset

  • Do you use Zoom, Hangouts, or the trusty telephone? Define upfront which tools you’ll use, and commit to them. 
  • Draft a 1-pager that outlines the tactical steps for how each video link or phone number is shared and accessed - not only by candidates but also by the interviewees themselves. 
  • Document the “small stuff.” Unknowns such as requiring a download to access the video conference can throw off an interview with everyone starting on the wrong note. 

Build an “interview guide” for candidates and interviewers


Create and share an “interview guide” document with candidates that outlines the interview process, what they can expect at each stage and how to best prepare. Reduce candidate anxiety by sharing the planned schedule as part of the guide ahead of time and include access to each video link. 


Take this opportunity to proactively answer curiosities with information like interviewer bios, your company’s mission and values, and additional links or blog posts about your company’s history and culture. Since candidates have a strong curiosity about what the company’s culture is like, sharing this information in your guide also creates buy-in early in the interview process. 


The clearer you can set expectations are upfront, the less anxious and more confident candidates can show up. This is not only beneficial for them - it helps you assess more accurately how they might perform under normal working conditions not biased by interview anxiety (which is all too common). 


Sharing detailed guides with helpful information and expectations is also a powerful way to create buy-in on both sides early on - and throughout - the interview process. 


Offering candidates feedback can be a huge differentiator 


You might be surprised to learn that no engineer has ever sued a company because of constructive post-interview feedback. Yet, a top desire of candidates is to find a workplace with opportunities for growth. What better way to showcase your opportunity than by offering growth during your interview process? 


Offering candidates positive and constructive feedback during an interview process can seem scary, but if done right, it can be a massive advantage to win your top candidates. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: ask your candidates what they learned about themselves during your interview process. 


Crickets? You might have an opportunity to provide feedback. 


If a candidate walks away from your interview process having grown or gained awareness of their strengths or growth areas, you’ve already won half the battle. If you’re looking for growth-minded talent, this is not only a good way to assess how they respond and adapt to feedback, but it can also be the most effective sales tactic you have. 


Triple check the details


As with anything critical to your business, test, test, test. Run through the full process and note the small details that come up, and the questions asked by participants. Poll your interviewers to learn where they are uncomfortable, feel underprepared, or feel pain.  


Remind candidates and interviewers to find a quiet spot, charge their headphones and test their audio and video set up before the interview starts. Make sure to share contact information of a primary interview contact in case candidates experience technical difficulties. Communicating these details early and often will save you headaches down the road. People are busy, multitasking, and (especially when heading into an interview) anxious: It’s easy to forget a detail when in this state, so doubling down to prepare your team and candidates pays back in spades (or hires, I should say).


Transparency is King


If there’s a theme that emerges throughout all of our research, it’s transparency. In fact, it was the single most cited word from our research group. Lack of it, and desire for it. 


This illustrates that any initiative you create to increase touch points and information sharing during your virtual interview process is well worth your time. Over 70% of surveyed candidates said the quality and frequency of communication during the interview process impacts their perception of the company, and ultimately their job decision.  


Spending a little time upfront to create collateral and iron out kinks can be the difference between hiring amazing people - and not. 


To learn how to thrive with in the Zoom Age with virtual tools & Optimism,

Join our DH coach|sultants™ for interactive Mini-Sessions, 

Adapt & Thrive.



About the Author

Troy Sultan

Troy Sultan is the Founder and CEO of Resource, makers of candidate experience software Guide. Prior to founding Resource, Troy led recruiting initiatives at Google and Grooveshark and consulted with dozens of technology companies to help empower healthier cultures and hiring practices. Check out to build your own interactive interview guides.


Subscribe to our blog