14 April 2020 · Absolute IT

Video interviews are a great way to assess candidates remotely. Instead of meeting a candidate in person or speaking on the phone, hiring managers can interview candidates virtually using video interview software or online communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams. Here at Absolute IT, we use Odro. It’s an all-in-one video technology platform designed for recruitment agencies that helps us to facilitate both live and solo interviews.

Tips for conducting video interviews:

Prepare the candidate

The goal of video interviewing is to achieve the closest resemblance to an in-person interview as possible. However, like anything in life things don’t always go to plan which can be easily prevented with a little bit of preparation on both sides. Set some time aside before the interview to prepare the candidate who may not be as comfortable with the process as you are.

  • Let them know that as it will be a video interview that they will be expected to use their camera. It is important for both parties to use their webcams as it allows you to notice non-verbal cues, not talk over each other and generally have a smoother experience.
  • Tell them what software you will be using so they have the chance to download it before the interview or send them the link to your virtual interview room.
  • Provide them with tips and expectations for their physical set up. Good lighting, a neutral background and camera angles are all very important.
  • For international candidates, double check the time and date.

Prepare your questions

In order to provide the same interview experience to all candidates it is important to go into the interview with several prepared questions up your sleeve. Below are some examples of early stage interview questions:

  • What attracted you to the job ad and what made you decide to apply?
  • What skills have you acquired through previous experience that you think you will be able to apply to this role
  • Could you please describe your experience with XYZ software?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team? Why is that?
  • What is your ideal working environment?

Remember that the three of the key qualities that define a successful remote worker are being self-motivated, having excellent time management and great communication skills. So, include a few questions around these aspects to gain an understanding of how the employee would behave in a remote setting.

Test your tech in advance

Similar to the candidate you should have the software downloaded beforehand and be aware of how to use it. Do a test run and try calling a co-worker to make sure that your camera and microphone are working properly or that you’re comfortable with the process of sharing links. Also ensure that your camera set up is appropriate – ensure your lighting and background are suitable and that your camera sits at your eye line.

Sound check

While a working microphone is vital, be aware of the environment you’re in while taking the call. When you’re calling from home be aware of who else is there and let them know you’ll be making a call and will need some privacy and quiet.

First impressions still play their part

A video interview is always going to be more insightful than a simple phone call. You want the experience to be as close to a face-to-face interview as possible so how you speak, act and look will all make an impression. Even though you’re at home, you are still representing both yourself and your organisation so dress and act appropriately.

Remember that interviews are a two-way street

Giving candidates a chance to ask questions not only shows you care about their concerns—it also helps you identify stand-out candidates. Asking insightful questions is an important way that candidates can distinguish themselves from the competition.

Additionally, take the opportunity to learn from each interview by asking candidates some feedback questions afterwards. Ask general questions about how candidates felt the conversation went, if the software worked well and if there is anything that could be done to improve the video interview experience. Use the information from this feedback to enhance the process as you go.

Have a backup plan

No matter how many times you test your software, problems can still arise. If audio or visual functions stop working, internet access becomes unreliable or unstable or simply that surroundings are no longer favourable for an interview, it’s important to have a backup plan in place. Whether you move the interview to a phone call or switch to another platform, make sure that you have another method in place for continuing the interview.