Remote interviewing has become a mandatory skill for hiring managers and recruiters, with the latest polls showing 86% of organizations conducting virtual interviews to screen and hire new talent.

Remote interviews are an incredible opportunity to expand your talent pool and find the best people. Even though in-person meetings are now possible, the ability to conduct a successful remote interview remains vital. Although some recruiting skills carry over naturally, such as asking discerning questions, having an insightful conversation, and following up on the meeting, remote interviewing presents a unique set of challenges for both employers and candidates that must be addressed.

Developing a Setting for Success

Using the right video conferencing tools is the beginning of the conversation.  There are numerous highly functional options for video conferencing tools that you can utilize during remote interviews. In addition to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, Google Meet, GoTo Meeting, and more offer effective platforms to conduct your interview.  Optimizing your environment, including a green screen for enhanced video (particularly if you use backgrounds), clear audio, and a proper ergonomic setup are elements of that setting.

Transmit Energy and Enthusiasm

The process of screening and assessing talent includes a presentation of your brand, the career opportunity, and the company culture; energy and enthusiasm are key to presenting well. Without the benefit of other physical cues, candidates’ experience will be heavily influenced by your facial expressions, the tone and pitch of your voice, and the enthusiasm you express in your eyes more than otherwise. Make an extra effort to demonstrate your excitement about the candidate, the opportunity, and the brand.

Communication and Explore Values Alignment

Fundamental elements of successful interviews remain critically important.  For example, it remains true that core values guide company culture. Culture is seen in how employees work on projects and interact with each other, and leadership works to ensure those values are maintained and elevated. Even one new person can affect company culture.

Remote interviewers should share company values and assess a candidate’s alignment and understanding of those values. Particularly in a remote setting, values serve as the north star, guiding business decisions by people you cannot physically see and shaping how colleagues treat one another and lead business units and teams.

Define and Evaluate Candidate Fit

Every interview process should include a discussion about what it looks like to be successful in the role. Remote interviewing doesn’t change this and raises the bar for discernment.  Hiring managers need to envision where they want their ideal candidate to be after a successful year on the job, discern through job specifications how to express that success and communicate success both in the questions and dialogue that ensues in the interview. This process helps refine what key attributes are vital and need to be explored.

Remote interviews accelerate the candidate assessment process by eliminating some of the time elements associated with travel, scheduling and distance.  Providing a setting for success, using the right tools, and transmitting energy and enthusiasm about the brand and opportunity are critical elements in making remote interviews effective, accurate and compelling.


BrainWorks is a prominent boutique executive search firm offering a 29-year track record of successfully sourcing and placing top talent. By harnessing proven strategies, collaborating with stakeholders, and leveraging a diverse and talented candidate network, BrainWorks helps businesses find, attract, and ultimately hire talented professionals that create differentiated results. To learn more about how Brainworks can help you, contact us.


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