In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers and employers alike have been working remotely. Because of this, many recruiters will need to conduct interviews with potential candidates via video.
While many of the same rules for conducting a good interview apply to video interviews, there are a few nuances recruiters will want to be aware of. Before you conduct your next video interview, here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind.
1. Test Out Your Technology
The first thing you will want to do is choose a video interviewing software. There are a lot of different options you can look into like Spark Hire, HireVue, and OutMatch. Whichever software you end up using, make sure you familiarize yourself with the software and the available features you may need to use during your interview. Find out what the candidate will need to do before they can attend the interview. Will they need to download software? Will they need to create an account?
You'll also want to make sure that your camera and microphone are working well beforehand. You may want to do a test interview with one of your co-workers. It may even be helpful to put together a "cheat sheet" for candidates if there are a lot of features you plan to use. Encourage candidates to test out the software before the interview as well.
2. Create a Good Interview Environment
Find a quiet, well-lit space in which you can conduct interviews. Make sure there is lighting in front of you and not behind you. Make sure you can be seen and heard clearly by the candidate. If they have a hard time seeing or hearing you, they won't be able to connect or communicate. Make sure there aren't a lot of background noises going on when you are conducting your interviews.
3. Present Yourself Professionally
Just because there may be a screen in between you and the candidate does not mean that you shouldn't pay attention to the same things you would pay attention to in an in-person interview. You want to dress professionally and be aware of your body language and the way you are presenting yourself. It can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen, but try to look straight into the camera to make virtual eye contact. Sit up straight, and nod along as the candidate is speaking to show that you are listening.
4. Use the Same Interview Questions You Would Ask In Person
While you want to be aware of the different format, you also don't want to conduct the interview differently than you would an in-person interview. Make sure you are asking the appropriate and important questions. Don't let the video format become an obstacle that throws you for a loop.
5. Have a Backup Plan
Even if you test your technology beforehand, interruptions and complications will always occur. Have a backup plan. You may need to switch to a phone call or conduct your interview on Google Hangouts or FaceTime. Pre-recorded interviews are always an option as well; you can give the candidate a list of questions and have them record their answers. Remote work presents challenges and obstacles that aren't always there in person so be flexible and accommodating to make candidates feel more at ease.
6. Mute Notifications and Silence Your Phone
You don't want your Facebook messenger noise to be going off every five seconds during your interview. Just as you would silence your phone before an in-person interview, make sure you remember to silence your phone before a video interview. Give the candidate your full attention.
7. Be Early to Your Interview
Log on to the interview five minutes early to ensure that you're on time to the interview without any issues. Candidates will appreciate your punctuality.
Conducting a video interview may seem a little strange at first, but once you get used to it, they can become as useful as in-person interviews. Although we won't be experiencing a pandemic forever, it's good to get used to video interviews regardless. You may need to use one in the future if you're interviewing a candidate who lives outside of your geographic area. There also may be a permanent shift to remote work for many employers and candidates. According to a new survey from Gartner, for example, 74% of CFOs have reported they intend to make the shift to remote work a permanent one for some employees.
Regardless of what happens in the future, recruiters should learn how to conduct smooth video interviews that are as productive and helpful as in-person interviews.