Employers – Tips on how to video interview potential employees
Social distancing has meant that companies have been required to get creative with their recruitment processes with many turning to virtual methods, such as video conference calls to maintain business continuity during these difficult times.
It’s not just candidates who need to be prepared for video interviews; employers need to do just as much preparation. No matter the size of your organisation, video interviews will help you to identify the best candidates for your open positions in a fraction of the time.
Employers should prepare for video interviews like they would for in-person meetings, but there are some additional considerations:
- Video conferencing equipment, have you got the appropriate video software? There are lots of options out there to choose from such as Zoom, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts and many more. You need to make sure you choose the right option for you and that you are practised at using it.
- Check your connection, the most important preliminary step you need to take before your live video interview is to check your internet connection to make sure it’s not lagging and right before each call, test your camera, microphone, and speakers.
- Interview confirmation, send the candidate an email with detailed, yet simple, instructions. Or, consider calling them to explain the process. Timelines, titles of everyone on the call, who will contact who? And what the interview will entail. This will allow the candidate to be fully prepared.
- Preparation, do you have the candidate’s username and telephone number ahead of time? Have the candidate’s number to hand just in case you experience any technical issues and you need to call them to resolve it or re-schedule the interview.
- Staging is important, pick a room free of distractions. Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions. Be mindful of the background that is within view, ensure there isn’t anything distracting or inappropriate behind you. Also, lighting and windows can cast shadows.
- Be professional, don’t relax just because this is a video interview, keep in mind that video interviews can be stressful for candidates considering they’re basically talking to a screen and they may feel nervous. Help them feel more comfortable by maintaining eye contact and showing that they have your full attention. Conduct the interview in the same way you would a face to face interview.
- Body language, you can’t handshake so always give good eye contact and smile. This will put the candidate at ease and remember you are selling the company to the candidate as much as the candidate is selling themselves to you. You want the candidate to leave the interview on a positive note.
- Be engaging, the best interface is your face together with your voice, tone, and body language. It’s tempting to check yourself out on the screen during video interviews but remember to look at the camera instead, so it appears you’re talking directly to the individual. And don’t forget to speak loudly and clearly into the microphone.
- Dress code always dress appropriately from head to toe as you never know when you will have to stand up and avoid bright colours. Dressing the part will help you get your head in the game.
- Plan and practice run through your questions ahead of time. If you wish to share your screen ensure that there is nothing else open on your computer that you wouldn’t want the candidate to see so close down any unnecessary web browsers, tabs or applications ahead of time. Have a piece of paper and a pen ready just in case you need one and so that you are not scrambling to find them later.
- Feedback let the candidate know what the next steps involve and when you will be in touch. Always give relevant constructive feedback.
Benefits of online video calling:
- Reduce time to hire, learn more about your candidates in less time and make consistent decisions with on-demand and live video interviews. Hire the right talent in hours or days, not weeks or months
- Virtual hiring in days, quicker than phone screens, maintain business continuity
- Flexibility, interview from anywhere, evaluate interviews any time
- Make consistent decisions, get better outcomes with structured interviews
- Improve recruiter and hiring manager collaboration
- Eliminate scheduling challenges
- Only invest time and effort into the best candidates
- Avoid bad in-person interviews
Remember there can sometimes be a downside to video calls so you need to keep in mind, technical issues, something could go wrong i.e. the interview could drop out which could make the process stressful. Don’t be too harsh on the candidate if this happens, reschedule and hold a follow up another time.
We all need to use video conferencing, especially now, so let’s not shy away from it, lets embrace it.