The phrase “candidate experience” might not be the first thing you consider when you’re interviewing a remote developer. It would be easy to assume that all you need is a working phone, a computer, and an Internet connection. Even though most of the interview process won’t happen in person, your candidate experience is still not lost on remote developers, for better or for worse. To help you make a positive first impression on remote developers, here are a few tips for creating a best-in-class virtual candidate experience.
Considering the number of reliable (and often, free) online conferencing platforms available to anyone with an Internet connection, video interviews should be a default for every stage of your developer hiring process. Still, even the most tried-and-true software can run into issues at inopportune times. While many candidates understand that video software doesn’t always cooperate, it can also be unsettling for a candidate to wait for you as he or she stares at a blank screen. To avoid any unforeseen technical hiccups, set aside a few minutes before every interview to ensure that it’s working properly. Once you’ve tested it, stay on the call and wait for the candidate. When a candidate sees that you’re scrambling, it's difficult for that person to settle in for the interview.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have your own office, it’s important to remember how easily most microphones pick up external noise. In an ideal world, you’d be able to tell your colleagues that you need absolute silence because you’re about to interview a developer. The truth is that everyone around you also has work they need to get done, and some of those things require long conversations at their desks. You can take matters into your own hands, and make it easier for a remote developer to respond to your questions, by reserving a conference room in advance for the interview. Not only will you be able to have more of a one-on-one conversation, but your effort will also show the candidate that their time is a priority.
Sure, it’s important to stay in touch with all of your developer candidates throughout the interview process, whether they’re remote or not. However, it’s only natural for remote developers to feel more like they’re being left in the dark if you don’t provide consistent updates. In some cases, you’ll need to reach out to let them know about upcoming interviews. Other times, you’ll need to reach out to remote candidates to let them know you just don’t have any updates. No matter what the circumstances are, make sure that you over-communicate with everyone you’re interviewing virtually. Even if you don’t necessarily have good news, developers will appreciate hearing exactly what you know, when you know it.