5 Tips for Conducting Successful Video Interviews
Shelter-in-place orders and social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic have changed how companies conduct business in many ways. Many organizations that relied on their brick-and-mortar offices and in-person meetings have needed to assume new systems and processes, all without degrading their team culture or creating logistical nightmares. For many businesses, this is also the first time they have needed to interview and hire remotely. Below are five ideas on how to prepare and what to consider when conducting video interviews.
1) Prepare Your Technology
When scheduling your video interviews, send clear log-on instructions to each candidate. Make sure they have any dial-in or compatibility information well ahead of the interview so that they have time to download any necessary apps and prepare their devices.
If the candidate does not have a device that supports your application or software, try to find a comparable solution. It is also a good idea to prepare a back-up plan in case the platform you are using refuses to cooperate on the day of the interview.
2) Consider the Candidate Experience
Just as you would prepare and clean the office or interview room for an in-person interview, the surroundings of your video interview reflect on your company and team. Choose a tidy, distraction-free space for conducting video interviews, and remember to consider your lighting and location. Avoid sitting directly in front of a window or in a chair that is too low or too high. Use a light that illuminates you from the front if needed. If you are unsure of how you and your space will look on camera, test it out with a teammate in advance.
Additionally, make sure your location receives a strong Wi-Fi signal. If a phone signal tends to be more reliable for you, and your platform supports it, opt for the dial-in audio option. If you do, remember to mute your computer’s microphone and speakers to circumvent audio-feedback.
3) Reevaluate Your Hiring Process
Consider not only the number of phases of your interview process, but also the number of people involved. When conducting interviews in an office setting, it is easy to have multiple team members pop into a room to meet a candidate. When including multiple team members, the phone screen, in-person, and technical interviews all likely feel different enough that the candidate feels as though they have received new insight and information into your team and company during each round. Now that everything is done virtually, multiple phone calls and video interview sessions will make your hiring process feel arduous and could damage the candidate’s impression of your company culture.
If it is necessary to involve each of your existing team members in the hiring process, consider a group video interview for one of the rounds. If you choose to do a group video, it is best to assign interview roles and questions in advance to avoid any chance of people talking over each other.
4) Give the Interview Your Full Attention
When conducting an in-person interview, you might normally prepare for it by printing the candidate’s resume, jotting down relevant questions, and closing your laptop while you sit down to talk with them. These days your laptop is a necessary tool for conducting video interviews. When giving a virtual interview, it is advised to prepare in the same way you would for an in-person interview. Remember to mute any computer notifications, close out of your email, and give the candidate your full attention. If you are distracted during your video interview, you will come across as disinterested, which can in turn make the candidate lose interest in you and your company.
5) Clearly Communicate Next Steps
At the end of an in-person interview, you might walk the candidate to the door, shake hands, and give them some indication of what to expect regarding next steps. Your closing is just as important when video-interviewing, if not more so, as you’ll be missing the personal connection you would normally make when face-to-face.
Set clear expectations for what the candidate can anticipate from you following the interview. If the candidate is advancing to the next round, what will that round consist of? Who will be involved in the interview process? Make sure to follow through with whatever you have promised, or if your process changes, clearly communicate that in your follow-up.