Video Interviews are here to stay…


Video job interviews were once only the ‘go to’ method for remote interviewing, where, for logistic or cost saving reasons, an employer would conduct all or part of the candidate screening process via systems such as Skype.

Fast forward to 2020, and with the Covid 19 virus impacting travel and business all over the world, video calling software became mainstream, with Zoom, Webex and Microsoft Teams all becoming household names, joining the likes of Skype, and the social connectors like WhatsApp, WeChat, Messenger and Facetime.

Business was forced to adapt quickly, even where previously slow to embrace change, and with the recovery from Covid expected to take quite some time to say the least, the use of these products will continue to be the norm.

With such a radical change to communication and operations for everyone it is likely that even when Covid is under control and we are back to normal, businesses will continue to use these tools, realising that you can achieve just as much with a video call and with the benefit of lower costs, reducing non-essential travel being a small win in the process.

So for most staff and management recruitment, businesses will increasingly use video interviewing as a standard tool when hiring.

A well-organized video interview can be helpful both to screen a potential candidate as part of your selection process or can be used instead of a personal interview if distance or other logistical barriers are present.

A video interview can be a powerful tool in your arsenal to avoid recruitment and selection disasters, but there are certainly some pitfalls to avoid if you want to successfully utilize these technologies successfully.

Here are 6 tips to make sure that you get off on the right foot with your potential hires…

1.           Preparation
You will not get the best from this process or the candidates, if you are not at least as prepared as you expect the candidate to be, so preparation is vital. Prepare for a video interview in the same way you would for a face to face meeting as if the candidate is sitting opposite, with your notes, plan, meeting questions and objectives.

2.           Technical details
Pay attention to the technical details and check everything is working prior to the call (video, sound, microphone, internet connection, laptop/phone battery life) – this is particularly important if you are not a regular video interviewer. ‘Amateur hour’ here makes you look unprofessional and sends the wrong message to the potential hire.

3.           Video messaging account
Consider setting up a separate account for professional/business use if you haven’t already – you probably don’t want to mix your personal and professional life for obvious reasons. This is another reason software such as Zoom or Webex are very popular – they are simple to use and ensure business and personal separation.

4.           Avoid Interruptions
Try to ensure you schedule the call at a time where you can fully concentrate and avoid interruptions. It is easy for your staff to think it is fine to wander into your office if they see no one there with you, or for switchboard to put through calls to you, so make sure you take steps to prevent these distractions.

5.           Eye Contact
We instinctively make eye contact with candidates during a face to face interview, but this is much more challenging via video call. Firstly, you need to concentrate on looking into the camera rather than focusing on the image on the screen (as these are general different) – it is easy to look at the image of yourself or something else in your room, but this gives the impression that you are disinterested or somehow distracted.

6.           Speech & Body Language
Try to be natural using your normal movement and gestures so the candidate can read and respond to your body language (although you do need to try to avoid fidgeting as this is accentuated on screen).  Speak naturally making sure your voice is clear but be aware of possible delays in the call and remember you will probably need to speak slightly slower than normal and to pause a little before you speak.

In a world where finding quality staff is increasingly challenging, remember interviewing is a two-way process – candidates have choices and if you want the best possible person you also need to make a positive impression.

Video interviews are here to stay and these simple tips can help ensure smooth interviews.

All Elite Search clients can receive our detailed ‘Video Interview Guide’ on request, so if you are looking for some additional help or information let us know…


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