Whether you’re expanding internationally or your applicants are living abroad, in a world without barriers, you need to be ready for the international candidate. Actively adopting a global recruitment strategy will require a slightly different approach, but how does one prepare for the remote interview?

Naturally if a candidate looks amazing on paper you will want to interview them. For the international candidate, it is not simply a matter of picking up the phone and inviting them into your place of business for an interview. You will need to plan accordingly, considering several factors. It will firstly pay to know the difference between your time zones. You will not get a warm reception should you contact them at 2am on a Sunday, albeit your 9am Monday. A simple online zone converter will help you to coordinate the logistics of time.

There are several means to communicating with others over a long distance. To ascertain if your candidate is worthy of a position in your company you will want to glean as much information as possible in your first encounter. And that means video! Yes, you can undertake an initial phone interview, but overseas call rates are expensive. Connecting through video, now this is where you can gain an insight into their body language. Sooo much information is communicated non-verbally. This may take two forms. Firstly, a one way video where candidates record their responses to a key set of questions for the interviewer to watch and review later. This is powerful in ascertaining early in the recruitment process if a candidate is worth pursuing. Assuming you asked the right questions. Plan well to get this right. Secondly there is the two way, interactive live interview, perhaps held via Skype. Both forms will give you the opportunity to replay the interview several times over as you determine if the candidate is shortlisted for the next round.

The next step in the process comes when you reach the final selection stage. Assuming your candidate is a shining star and would be a great fit within your organisation, you will now be considering a face-to-face meet and greet. Do you travel to them, or do you request that they come to you? Perhaps you could meet half way if it suits. Regardless, you should subsidise the travel costs. If they’re worth chasing they will be worth the investment. Considering the effort it will require for one party to make the journey, you as the interviewer are responsible for a well planned, well organised interview schedule.

Clearly technology plays a key role when preparing to screen overseas candidates. Mastering the virtual interview is therefore a must. A professional setup will ensure a strong Internet connection and an easy to use and accessible platform with recording capabilities. Be sure to let your candidates know that you are recording them. Of course you must test everything; sound quality, video quality and Internet connection. A delayed interview can create stress and make you appear amateurish. A back up strategy is essential. Ensure you conduct interviews in a quiet environment with no distractions, and wear professional attire. You can be guaranteed that your candidate will look the part.

At each stage of the recruitment process, pay attention to your candidate’s responses and how they communicate. Not to be taken for granted is the potential language barriers and cultural differences. You will naturally want your candidate to be fluent in the company’s native language in order to be able to effectively communicate with and interact with both clients and team members.  Some well structured questions can help to define a candidate’s behaviour in different types of situations, how they manage difficult scenarios, interact with others, work habits and whether their values align with your company’s. You don’t want too many surprises after they have commenced the role. If you think it will be beneficial, consider an introduction with other team members. Though if you have prepared well, you may already have all the answers you need.

A worldly recruitment strategy to seek out the best talent may quickly become complicated with differences in time, language and culture. If you are well prepared and flexible in your approach, the process will flow somewhat similar to your everyday recruitment practices. Thus there is no need to be intimidated by the remote interview. Rather you should be excited to endeavour upon a path to build a workforce filled with different cultures and backgrounds with fresh perspectives ad innovative views.

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