Conducting an interview remotely during COVID-19

As a result of the pandemic and remote work, hiring managers are encouraged to conduct interviews with a virtual meeting or phone call. Here are some best practices to assess a candidate’s competencies for a position.

Best Practices for Virtual Interviews

  • Be mindful that not every candidate will be able to access virtual interview technology and may need to reschedule or determine an alternate method for interviewing.
  • Test your technology prior to the scheduled interview time.
  • Ensure you pre-establish expectations and house keeping items with the interview panel and the interview participant. For example, before the interview begins, discuss the timing and format of the interview, establish confidentiality and agree to not record during the virtual meeting.
  • Questions must be the same as what you would have asked in an in-person interview.
  • Keep detailed notes.
  • If you plan to video chat with a candidate, make sure you’ve allowed them to prepare by letting them know they’ll be on camera.
  • Present yourself appropriately through attire and background.
  • Be mindful and accommodating of potential audio and/or video delays, and empathetic if a pet or child make an unexpected appearance in a video interview.
  • Remember this is an unprecedented remote working environment and candidates may feel the additional stress of a remote interview.

Interviewing by Phone

  • Call the candidate from your work phone number or block your personal number if possible. 
  • If hosting a group call, remind interview participants to mute their lines when not in use to ensure smooth communication and avoid interruptions.
  • The university also uses Google Meet which can support both a video meeting as well as a dial in line. Wherever possible, we recommend using Google as a resource.

Interviewing Online via Google Meet or Zoom

The University of Alberta’s preferred video chat tools are Google Meet or Zoom. Additional tools are available through Talent Acquisition to support you with your hiring process, including the Interview Template Creation Tool, and online skill and behavioral assessments through HireSelect. If you would like any additional information on accessing these tools to support your interview and selection process, please reach out to hrstalentacquisition@ualberta.ca.