Remote Hiring Toolkit

Photo of hiring manager conducting video interview with job candidate

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Hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging. These tools and links will help guide you through the remote hiring process to ensure that you and the applicants have a positive experience.

Options for Virtual Interviewing

Option 1 (recommended): Replace the traditional first round of phone interviews with a one-way, video interview using a tool called Spark Hire. Once candidates have completed their interviews and you have selected your top candidates, you can invite them to a live, two-way interview using Spark Hire or Zoom.

Option 2: Conduct a phone interview and then invite your top candidates to a live Zoom or Spark Hire interview with hiring managers as well as a panel or committee, if needed.

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Virtual Interviewing Best Practices Guide

What are the most effective ways to communicate with candidates virtually? How should virtual interviews be conducted? What are the best practices for overcoming bias? Review the quick guide below for answers to your questions.

Tools for Virtual Interviewing

Zoom Spark Hire SkillSurvey

Zoom is an online video conferencing tool. It can be used for meetings and webinar and features real-time messaging and content sharing.

For more information, contact Leanne Otto at ottox303@umn.edu.

Spark Hire is a one-way recorded video interview tool used for screening candidates. Typically used to replace phone screenings, the videos are recorded and can be viewed at any time, allowing hiring managers to screen more candidates in less time.

For more information, contact Sondang Cornelia at corne030@umn.edu

SkillSurvey is an online, automated reference-checking tool. It makes reference checks easy and immediate by sending an automated survey to each candidate's references.

For more information, contact Jennifer Erickson at jrostami@umn.edu

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Preparation

  • Using the job description as a basis, decide which competencies will be assessed.
  • Determine the best approach for conducting virtual interviews using Option 1 or Option 2, above.
  • Select interview panel members. Ensure diversity both demographically and in skill sets.
  • Determine behavioral interview questions and develop a Virtual Interview Assessment Form for interviewers to record observations and make notes.
  • Refer to the Virtual Interview Prep Form so you have everything you need when conducting your virtual interviews.

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Communicating With Candidates

  • Send an initial invitation to interview before you send a confirmation email. If using Spark Hire one-way interviews, we recommend you let all selected candidates know that a video interview through Spark Hire will be conducted virtually.
  • Email an interview confirmation at least 48 hours ahead for adequate preparation time and include:
    • Date, time, and duration. If needed, include break times. (Recommended: Send candidate calendar invitation with details.)
    • Meeting link (Via Zoom or Spark Hire)
    • Details on what to expect, plus names and titles of all interviewers
    • Request for additional material to be provided ahead of time, if needed, such as work samples, etc.
    • An attachment or link to the benefits overview and job description for the candidate to review
  • For multiple virtual interviews in one day, prepare a Virtual Interview Agenda.

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Conducting the Interview

  • Prepare all interviewers with copies of the candidate's résumé and interview guides.
  • Be prepared to discuss salary, organizational and team structure, and University culture with the candidate. (Some candidates will not have the opportunity to visit our campus, so the more information you can provide, the better.)
  • Be honest and transparent about the status of the position and hiring time frame.
  • Provide adequate time for candidate questions at the end of the interview (now more than ever, candidates are going to want to assess what it's like working for you, your department, and the University).
  • Describe next steps, such as additional interviews.

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Overcoming Bias

Awareness of bias can help mitigate its effects during the interviews. Please review this short video on overcoming implicit bias. You may want to send the link to others on your interview panel.

Virtual Interviewing Tips

  • To ensure that both the candidate and interviewers are comfortable with video interviewing, you may want to share Indeed's Video Interview Guide, which explains the structure and what to expect regarding the proper setup, eye contact, body language, and so on.
  • Give candidates a chance to test the chosen technology (such as Zoom or Spark Hire) to make sure the video and audio are working ahead of time.
  • Ask participants to mute or minimize background noise when not speaking, if needed.
  • If glitches occur, be patient. Have the candidate's phone number available.
  • As with face-to-face interviews, video interviews (recorded or live) may provide personal information about candidates such as marital status, dependents, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliation. This information is considered protected and should not be considered in assessing a candidate.

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Additional Resources

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