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Posted on July 31, 2013

Employee Experience – Technology to create connections

This is the last in a series of blog posts about the importance of creating a meaningful hiring process to build employee engagement. For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking here about why companies need to think carefully about their interviewing and hiring processes. Our award-winning Employee Experience survey found that an interview process that accurately conveys information about the job, including all that it involves and with whom, is related to higher engagement among employees.

But what about when you’re interviewing candidates from a distance? It’s a challenge to build relationships, convey details about the role and help the candidate understand the overall company culture and vibe when you’re across the country rather than across the room. Thankfully, there are a number of outstanding technology resources that can narrow the distance.

A few months back, we were interviewing candidates for a position in our headquarters office in Oakland, California. Before making an offer to the most promising candidate, the team wanted me to do a virtual interview (since I’m based in New York), and when she suggested we use a Google Hangout, I decided to give it a shot. The experience was a lot like Skype – connecting with audio and video for live, virtual interview. It was a whole lot more personal than a simple phone call – it’s always meaningful when you can connect with eye contact. We had a fantastic conversation about my background and hers, what it’s like to work at Brilliant Ink (awesome!), and what her role on the team would entail. Ultimately, we hired Ruth and hopefully our virtual interview helped contribute what will be strong, lasting engagement.

Fast Company recently had a great article about various ways you can use a Google Hangout – from internal or external meetings, to training, to a virtual roundtable discussion. Here are a few more tips for an outstanding virtual interview:

  • Test out the technology ahead of time to ensure you have a basic idea of how to use it and avoid hiccups during the actual interview.
  • Make sure the area where you’re sitting has sufficient lighting – turn on your webcam to preview what the person on the other side will see, and adjust accordingly.
  • Try to minimize background noise and other distractions, which can detract from the quality of the experience.
  • Follow all the same rules you would with any interview – plan some solid interview questions to get to know the candidate, but also think through some things you can share about your background and what it’s like to be a part of the team.

Have you ever used technology to conduct a virtual interview? How’d it go?

Brilliant Ink