With COVID-19 a lot of things are changing and one of them is how hiring managers, recruiters, and employers are conducting job interviews. Video interviews are not a new concept, but a lot of people in the industry are still behind the trend and not familiar with the use of video conferencing technologies.
To avoid technical problems during the interview and to ensure that it goes as smooth and straightforward as possible, follow these helpful video tips for employers.
Always do a test run before the interview
It does not look good for you and for the company you represent if you start the interview process struggling with technology. Make sure that you are familiar with the video conferencing platform you will use and spend some time in advance to research any potential difficulties you might face – such as using screen sharing, for example.
Before the interview begins, ensure that the computer’s audio and webcam are working properly, and check the stability of the internet connection. Don’t forget that you should have enough battery for the duration of the interview or just keep your computer plugged in.
Give instructions for the video conferencing platform
Keep in mind that the candidate might not be familiar with the video conferencing platform. Provide instructions beforehand if the software needs to be downloaded first, or do they need to create a username and a password. This way you will not lose any time while waiting for the candidate to connect to the interview.
Schedule more time than anticipated
Keep in mind that no matter how prepared you and the candidate are, there could always be unforeseen circumstances. Schedule more time in your calendar for the video interview to make sure that you have enough room in between meetings. And always set separate rooms for the different candidates, in case you are conducting back-to-back interviews. This way, if a candidate decides to log in earlier, there is no chance that they will end up in the same room where you are still interviewing the previous one.
in a professional and well-lit space
You might be interviewing from your living room, but that does not mean you should not be aiming for a professional background setting. Choose the place where you will be positioned during the interview cleverly and remove any distractions in the background. Make sure the space is well-lit – in case there is direct sunlight, close the shades to avoid being blinded, and if you are sitting next to a window, make sure that you can be seen clearly.
Plan ahead the questions for the interview
Prepare for the interview ahead in time to avoid wasting time and failing to ask for important information. Keep the questions in front of you and keep notes in order to track the progress and ensure that you get all the answers you need.
Remember, that the video interview might be a novelty for the candidate too and they might not be as comfortable as they would have been in a face-to-face interview. Start with some icebreaker questions, then move to more in-depth questions to find out about their skills and work history. Include some behavioral-based questions as well to learn more about the way the applicant has used particular skills to deal with certain situations in their past work experience.
Find a quiet location for the interview
Background noise can be very disturbing so make sure to prevent any possible interruptions. Warn everyone in your household that they need to keep quiet, and mute notifications on your phone and computer to ensure a quiet setting. Of course, sometimes there is nothing you could do in case your dog starts barking or your neighbor decides to mow their lawn, but just make sure that you control the dialogue and do not let the candidate feel awkward.
Be as professional as you would in person
It might be a video interview, but there should not be any different from a face-to-face interview – from the way you look and are dressed to the way you act. Dress accordingly just as if you were meeting the candidate in person. Sit up straight, smile, and nod to ensure you are listening and are engaged in the conversation. And remember that eye contact is as important as it is in real life – look directly into the webcam, not at the candidate.
Don’t forget to follow up
It does not matter whether the interview is in person or online, you should always follow up with the candidates. Even if you do not have a decision, or you have chosen another candidate, a short and quick email to the candidate would make all the difference.