Your real estate brokerage is likely one of the thousands of companies all over the world that implemented a work-from-home policy because of the pandemic. Now that more restrictions are being lifted, however, things have probably gotten back to the “old normal.”
That said, you may still want to incorporate certain practices in today’s increasingly hybrid workplace. One of these is conducting virtual interviews for real estate agent recruitment. In fact, you may want to consider making it the norm, considering its many benefits that include:
- scheduling flexibility
- cost effectiveness
- time savings
All of these factors allow you to interview more potential candidates, which gives you more opportunities to hire the best real estate agents.
Whether your brokerage is familiar with the concept or if you haven’t implemented this process yet, it’s still helpful to keep in mind certain tips to maximize virtual interviewing. Here are some things that can help you conduct efficient, effective virtual interviews:
Make Sure Your Tools Are Ready
In order to conduct a virtual interview, you’re going to need the following:
- a computer with an internet connection
- a webcam, if you aren’t using a laptop with one built-in or if you want better picture quality
- a headset OR a microphone and headphones/earphones
If you’re having a panel interview, you need to provide each panelist a headset. If you’re conducting the panel interview in a single location (e.g., your office), you can opt to set up external microphones and speakers instead.
Whatever your situation, make sure that all of the equipment is in good working order before you conduct an interview. It won’t give the candidate a good impression of your brokerage if your video feed is blurry or your audio is choppy. For the best results, make a practice call first a day before and at least a couple of hours before the interview. This way, you can fix any issue and ensure a seamless video interview experience.
Prepare a Script
To keep the interview organized, it’s important to prepare a script. This helps you stay on topic but still maintain spontaneity. Brokerkit has some tips in preparing recruiting scripts, which are useful for interviews, email marketing materials, and calls.
Keep in mind that a script doesn’t necessarily mean having to say only specific things. Instead, you can use the script as a guide to ensure that you’ll cover all the essential points and ask each candidate standardized questions. The latter is especially crucial in comparing and contrasting answers in order to determine which candidate is truly qualified for the post.
Perhaps most importantly, a script can help you avoid bias by helping you focus on assessing the candidate’s capabilities.
Have a Company Showcase Ready
If there’s a downside to a video interview, it’s that the candidate can’t visit your brokerage’s office for it. As such, you need to bring your company to the interviewee. You can use a video presentation for this, showcasing not just your office but also your employees. Try to incorporate “day in the life” snippets both inside your brokerage and of real estate agents in action.
In addition, discuss your brokerage’s mission, vision, and values. This will make it easier for the candidates to see themselves working with you and see if your goals align with theirs.
Let the Candidates Know What to Do and Expect
Once you have everything set up, make sure that your interviewees have all the information they need. For example, if you’re using a unique video conferencing technology, provide instructions on how to download and operate the software.
You should also provide a link to the virtual meeting room, as well as instructions for things they need to accomplish before or alongside the interview. For example, do they need to fill out a form first, sign up for a free webinar, or use a specified background? It’s also helpful to provide an alternate link or site where you can conduct the interview in case there are any glitches with your preferred set up.
You can also share some points of discussion that you’ll tackle during the interview (don’t give the exact questions, though!). Doing this will help make the interview go faster because the candidates will be better prepared and you’ll be able to avoid irrelevant topics.
Treat Virtual = In-Person
Finally, for successful virtual interviews, you need to treat them the same way as in-person interviews. They’re just as serious and important, perhaps even more so because it’s certainly more difficult to interpret body language through a screen.
To prepare for a virtual job interview, make sure to dress up appropriately. Remember: you’re representing your brokerage to talented real estate agents. You should also mute all notifications on your devices from all sources: calls, texts, email, chats, and social media. In addition, close any unrelated tabs on your browser.
It’s also important to maintain eye contact with the interviewee. Again, you’re not in the same room so you need to make an effort to convey your sincerity and interest in the applicant and what they’re saying.
In a post-COVID world, industries will definitely be using more remote practices with proven results and virtual interviews is one of them. Take note of these tips to get ideal results from your brokerage’s own virtual interviews.