Conducting interviews online via video is an easy and convenient way of carrying on with business as usual when things are anything but usual.
Especially at the first round of interviews for a role, a video interview can provide you with just as much information as interviewing face-to-face.
Once you begin the recruitment process it’s important to keep the ball rolling and remain agile so that, no matter what the possible scenario you’re facing, you’re still able to move forward. This ensures no momentum is lost in the process as you’re in a position to secure the candidates that you want. Businesses that adapt to technology are always better off and if you’re not doing online interviews then it’s entirely possible your competitor might be and they will be accessing the cream of the crop!
Many of our clients have successfully conducted online interviews and have hired without meeting in person during the interview process. While you may want to just do the first stage online or are happy to do the whole process online, the key to being successful is to treat the online meeting as any other interview – do your preparation, be timely and professional, and get the answers you need to help make your decisions.
When it comes to using technology and getting the best results from your online interviews, here’s what else you should know:
Test your tech
Cut down on technical difficulties by testing out your setup ahead of time using the same platform, internet connection, and hardware you’ll be using for your interview. If you can have someone video chat with you beforehand to make sure you can hear and be heard and see and be seen beforehand. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the programme you’re using (Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc.) and make sure you know the basics – especially how to mute and unmute your microphone. Glitches can happen online so be aware where you might have to allow time after you’ve spoken for someone to answer a question or to hear their answer. Choose a spot where you’re lit from in front and somewhere that’s quiet so you can concentrate.
Reading body language
It can be harder to read body language over a video interview, making sure your camera setup is good (as described above) will help you be heard and understood and you can always ask the interviewee to come closer or move further away etc. if you can’t see or hear them clearly.
Appear as professional and personable as you would in person
From what you wear to what you say to how you act, there shouldn’t be much difference in how you would conduct a video interview versus one that’s face-to-face. Even if it’s just your top half, dress appropriately like you would if you were meeting the candidate in person. When listening, smile, nod, and sit up straight to show the candidate that you are engaged in the conversation.
‘Show Up’ a few minutes early
Prepare your computer by closing all extra windows and tabs. And if you have something you’d like to be able to show via screen share during your interview, make sure that it’s ready in an easy-to-access, but minimized, window.
Open up the program where your video interview will take place a few minutes early. Before you fully enter the meeting, a lot of the common video interview software will give you a chance to check your shot. That way, when you click to join the call and the interview starts you’re all ready to go.
Allow for a difference in personality
In terms of assessing personality and cultural fit, allow for the fact that their personality might not shine as brightly in a video interview as in person. Some people find it hard to be as engaging online but encourage the interviewee to engage with you by using eye contact and listening to their answers and asking leading questions as you would face-to-face. You should be able to get a good picture of who they are and if they will suit the role you’re hiring for.
Follow up with next steps
Whether your interview is in person or over video, it’s always best practice to follow up with candidates afterward.