ACR blog_Online tips for hiring managers

Online Interview Preparation: How Hiring Managers Can Ace Their Virtual Video Conferences

By Carrie Calamel

In-person interviews can be unnerving for both candidates and employers alike. The same can now be said about virtual video interviews.

The pressure to provide an exceptional candidate experience remains at an all-time high. Long gone are the days of one-sided interviews where it is the candidate’s job to impress the employer. Today, it is equally important that you compel the job seeker with reasons why they should bring their talents to you.

In our business, we hear the good, bad, and ugly stories about interview etiquette, and many of them lead to hiring managers being underprepared. The virtual interview environment now creates additional things to keep in mind to ensure you represent the company and opportunity in the most favorable light.

I get it… Interviewing is hard! To add insult to injury, many hiring managers receive little to no formal training in proper interview etiquette. So I want to share some helpful tips with hiring managers on how to perform at the highest level during an online interview with a candidate.

Here are my top tips that can help ensure a successful virtual interview success for hiring managers:

First and foremost, take a deep breath!

It’s no secret that both you and your candidate will be nervous before the interview. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you! When interviewing virtually, try to find a quiet room in your house that can help you to feel comfortable and relaxed. If you do your best to settle yourself and ease your nerves, you’ll be well on your way to a successful interview.

Share your story

Find a comfortable talking point to begin the interview that sets the tone for the conversation. I often recommend that hiring managers talk about how and why they joined their company, a conversation that can prove to be authentic and relatable. Storytelling can help the interviewer to express a sense of honesty, sincerity, and sometimes even humor before shifting to a deeper, more serious part of the discussion.

Talk about your company’s values

A company’s ability to consistently articulate its mission and values is the “secret sauce” for attracting AND retaining top talent for any organization. Candidates, especially those from younger generations, place significant emphasis on a strong set of core company ideals that drive the company’s priorities and clarify their vision for the future. By conveying a clear and precise understanding of your organization’s foundational values, the candidate will be able to envision their potential fit within your company.

Blend technical questions with behavioral ones

While it is critical to understand how proficient your candidate is with relevant platforms and software before making a final hiring decision, don’t overwhelm them with technical inquiries. Striking a balance between personal, behavioral, and professional questions is important to maintaining a sense of interview harmony. The more you can discover about a candidate’s psyche and character makeup, the better off you’ll be in determining whether he/she will be an appropriate culture fit within your organization.

Reveal what projects your department is working on

The candidate will ultimately be seeking to discover more about your organization and any unique or exciting assignments that you are currently involved in. Share some nuggets of information about challenging projects or innovative opportunities that you’re tackling. Provide the candidate with enough time to ask questions about your job. If your work sounds appealing and rewarding to the candidate, you’ll instantly boost your chances of getting the opportunity to hire them.

Sample questions

Looking for some practical and productive questions to ask your candidate? Here are some of my favorites:

  • Describe your ideal work environment.
  • Which of your attributes/strengths most prepare you to be successful in this position?
  • What work experience have you had that most closely aligns with our role?
  • What did you like the most about your last company?
  • What has been your biggest success story to date?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable? How do you need your manager to assist with keeping you accountable?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?

Most importantly, be yourself!

Don’t try too hard to overly impress or “woo” your candidate. By keeping the interview as genuine and candid as possible, you’ll be guided by a sense of authenticity. Remember – you serve as the face of your organization.  Be prepared, be yourself, and have a little fun!

For more virtual interview tips and advice for hiring managers, be sure to visit our blog.

To learn more about Carrie, be sure to connect her on LinkedIn or email her at with any follow-up questions.