How to Hire and Interview Employees During COVID-19

By Morgan Carpenter

October 2020

As companies recover and continue to march forward during these unprecedented times, many are looking to fill empty positions or expand their team. During a health pandemic, businesses are taking steps to limit in-person meetings and conversations. With this in mind, many businesses are seeking to transition into a virtual hiring and interviewing process.

Though conducting an interview via Zoom or Skype can be a new and daunting experience, it can also bring about advantages for the employer and interviewee. Virtual interviewing permits the employer to accommodate a variety of schedules. Additionally, employers can conduct interviews with people from another city, state, or country than the one in which their business is physically located. This flexibility allows employers to seek qualified candidates from around the world. Virtual interviewing allows interviewees to move forward with the job search without having to put their health, or the health of people in their homes, at risk.

Despite these benefits, there are some challenges. Below are some tips and tricks on how to thrive in the virtual process of hiring and interviewing.

Before the Interview

  • Give potential candidates time to do their research and prepare for the interview. While virtual interviewing grants the opportunity for same-day interviews, it will reflect best on you and your business to give the interviewee time. It is thoughtful, professional, and allows the candidate to feel more confident before the interview.
  • Consider on-demand interviewing. Instead of a “live” interview via Zoom or Skype, employers can utilize on-demand interviewing wherein candidates can record answers to pre-determined questions. Through on-demand interviewing, candidates can complete the interview at their own convenience and employers can interview a larger pool of candidates.
  • Test your internet connection. A quality connection ensures you will be able to hear and see your candidate without experiencing a frozen screen or missing part of the interviewee’s answer. It is also important to make sure your webcam and microphone are working. If you are still getting used to the Zoom or Skype format, practice using these platforms with a colleague and do a mock interview.

During the Interview

  • Be professional. Whether you are holding the interview at the workplace or in your home office, it is important to put your best foot forward. Dress professionally, be mindful of language, and limit any potential distractions.
  • Maintain eye contact. From time to time, we all catch ourselves staring at our own picture on Zoom or Skype. However, it is important to look into the camera so the candidate feels as though you are looking at them.
  • Give the interviewee time to answer. Even with the best internet connection, it is common to experience some lag time. Wait a few more seconds before jumping in.

After the Interview

  • Allow the candidate to ask questions. Since the interview is not held in-person at the office, it may be more difficult for the interviewee to get a sense of company culture and values. Set aside time for the client to learn more about the environment.
  • Let them know about the plan. Before you turn off the camera, the candidate should be informed about 1) the timeline for choosing a candidate, 2) how candidates will be informed about the decision and 3) if any additional information is required before a decision is reached.

Once you’ve decided to go through with a certain candidate, make sure to offer them a robust package including employee benefits. After investing all this time in the interview process, you want to make sure to offer your potential employees a competitive employee benefits package. Talk to our Principal Ron Bland on how to communicate employee benefits during the interview stage and on what plans are best to offer your employees. You can reach us at  or 650.348.6234 x12.

Disclaimer: Any information related to compliance or other subject matters in this blog is intended to be informational and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. The content of this blog is based on the most up-to-date information that was available on the date it was published and could be subject to change. Should you require further assistance or legal advice, please consult a licensed attorney

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