How To Hire With Video Interviews

Charlie Waterman our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 6/18/2020 12:30 PM
Virtual interviewing may have erupted over the last few months but the trends are showing that this is something that is likely to last well beyond the remote reality that many people are facing. Virtual interviewing is not as easy as it seems, in fact we’ve found our clients asking us over and over again for advice on how to run an effective video interview process. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of our top tips for clients and hiring managers for a successful video interview: 

1. DON’T FORGET THE PRE-INTERVIEW PREP

Confirm: Just like you would confirm a face to face interview with an email with the right address, instruction of how to get there and what to expect – the same applies for virtual interviews.

  • Ensure to email candidates in advance with a link, information about who they are meeting and, most importantly, what you expect from a dress code. One of candidates biggest areas of concern is usually about what to wear for a virtual interview, so setting this out clearly in an email is a great way to start the process off on the right foot.
  • Do not forget to provide instructions for using the video conferencing platform. Whether it is zoom, skype, google hangouts or another – keep in mind the candidate may not be familiar with your platform of choice. 

Test: 

  • Make sure to log onto to the interview early to ensure your camera, microphone and set up works. Be sure to ensure that your image is clear and that the volume is adequate. 
  • It is likely that the candidate will do the same and will ensure that the first few minutes of the interview aren’t focused on the technical side of things and ‘can you hear/see me?’. 

2. PROVIDE A CLEAR STRUCTURE

Opening:

  • A usual face to face interview provides opportunity for warming a candidate up, however this time there is no shaking of hands and asking about commute.
  • Just because you are video interviewing does not mean therefore that icebreakers shouldn’t exist, consider still incorporating an icebreaker to put the candidate at ease. 

Ease concerns:

  • One of the biggest concerns that candidates have when video interviewing is that there is a lot more out of their control in comparison to sitting in a meeting room opposite your interviewer.
  • To ease any worries that the candidate might have, and to create a great candidate experience, let them know that background noise is okay and not to panic if the connection drops out.
  • It’s likely that the candidate will have done everything they can to stop both of these from occurring, but ultimately, they could happen and it’s important the candidate knows that this will not negatively affect their outcome. 

Set the agenda:

  • Once you are through the icebreaker and have eased concerns, make sure to set an agenda for the interview.
  • Let the candidate know what to expect. For example, introduction, CV run through, competency questions, Q&A and end.
  • End the interview the right way, finish up by telling the candidates about the next steps and the timescales that you expect for that. 

3. PREPARE THE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE

Due to the nature of video interviews, you will find the experience quite different to what you were used to. Usually you would have the CV and question sheet in front of you on the table, or on a laptop and the candidate separate to that. This time, you will potentially have all of that information on one screen. Preparing for how to optimise your screen and information therefore is important so that you can focus more on the candidate. 

Read up on the candidate:

  • Complete your CV read through and background prior to the interview to ensure that you do not need to rely wholly on the CV to make sense of the candidate’s answers.

Don’t try and wing it:

  • Prepare your questions in advance, have the questions in front of you and use them to help you to keep the interview on track and ensure all your questions get answered. 

4. BE AWARE THAT EYE CONTACT IS DIFFERENT

One of the biggest issues that clients and candidates alike feedback to us is that the concept of eye contact when video interviewing has as slightly different meaning. Having real eye contact in a virtual interview is challenging, because it means that you are going to be looking at the camera and not at the candidate, which takes some adjusting to. 

Top Tips:

  • Train yourself to look at the camera when you are talking, as this will give the candidate more of that personal feeling.
  • Avoid the temptation to gape at your image on the screen, or the candidate when  you are speaking. 
  • If possible, turn off your picture so that the only image that shows on the screen is that of the candidate – this avoids the very familiar desire to look at oneself. 

5. AVOID DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS

There’s only so much you can do to stop your child running into the room, or your partner forgetting you’re on an interview and heading to the fridge but you can control the digital interruptions. It is important that you give the candidate your full attention. If your entire process is virtual, these are the sole ways that the candidate has to judge whether this is the right opportunity for them – so remember that this is a key part of their experience.

Turn off notifications:

  • Interviewing on a computer means that you are more likely to be distracted by your emails, IM messages, we’d advise turning off your notifications for both emails and IMs and closing all unnecessary tabs.
  • Turn your phone onto airplane mode or DND.

Harnham are currently supporting our clients within the Data & Analytics space on running completely remote interview processes for candidates. If you're looking to hire we can help you optimise your process in order to get the best talent then get in touch with one of our expert consultants

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