NOW is the time to Interview – Tips for Conducting a Seamless Video Job Interview

By Rhonda Werner, Recruiting Consultant – Partner

Think about it.

You, as a hiring manager, more than likely have more time on your hands than normal.  So do many of the most talented people in your field right now.  There’s probably never been a better time to access top talent than right now and most people are pushing off hiring or interviewing until “things become a bit more clear.”

Don’t sit back idle when people are more apt to talk about their career futures than ever before.  Even if you can’t physically bring a new hire on for another month, now is the time to start that process, and if there’s ever been a time where candidates were “understanding” of a slower hiring process it’s now.

Perhaps you’re not a pro at conducting video interviews.  Most candidates aren’t pros at doing video interviewing, so it’s time to learn the process together.  Here’s a few tips for conducting as seamless of a video interview as possible:

Communication is Key

Most know what the process looks like when you are interviewing face-to-face, but the process and expectations will be different for video interviews.  Make sure everyone is on the same page.  Over communication is better than less in these situations.   Make sure the candidate, as well as all of those from your organization who are participating in the video interviews, has all the details on how this will proceed.

Test the Technology

Although we are more understanding in these situations when technology is not working properly, it’s hard to be yourself when you are flustered with technology, so be sure to do all you can to test it before. Make sure the candidate tests the link and their equipment before hand and the same for your team.  With more people working remote, their internet signal may not be as strong as if they were in the office, so it’s just a good rule of thumb for everyone to test things out before the interview time.

Overshare the details

In times like this, oversharing is acceptable. Make sure the candidate is aware of the software/technology needed to do the interview and they have plenty of time to test it out.  Make sure they understand the expectations of the video interview.  Is this just the first step or will this be fully taking the place of a face-to-face interview?  Also, make sure they have all the details of who will be on the call, even a photo of what each looks like so they know, back-up numbers to reach you if technology totally fails and when to expect to hear from your team next.

Know your background

You may not be in your office to conduct these interviews so do a quick glance around. Make sure you have a bright area where interruptions will be as minimized as possible and the background isn’t too distracting to others.

When your office can’t sell itself

Many folks feel like their offices and facilities do a good job selling themselves to a potential new hire. So how does that work when no one is physically in the office and cannot lay eyes on those “perks?”  Be ready to describe the company culture, benefits of working for your organization, etc.  Perhaps you have some pictures or other visuals you can share, but spend some time thinking about how to discuss these with a potential hire who cannot physically be there to see and feel that company culture.

Keep up the professionalism

You may honestly have to try harder to seem open and friendly on a video call than you would in person, but you still need to remember and do some of those key parts to any interview. Smile, make eye contact, speak clearly and give body language/responses so the interviewee knows you are listening. But, while trying to keep things as professional as possible, this is also a time to be more forgiving than normal.  If the doorbell rings, the dog barks, or a kid comes barging in, remember life isn’t normal right now, and we can all look past some of these issues that may normally cause us to give pause to their seriousness in the interview.

Don’t forget follow-up

Give feedback and ask for it as well. This is a learning environment for everyone and the better you become at hosting video interviews, the better you and your organization will come across.  So, just like candidates appreciate feedback, you may want to ask for feedback as well to help up your interview game.  Let the candidate know what to expect next, your timeline, and try to stick to it.

Although video interviewing can be more awkward than traditional face-to-face interviewing, more than likely we are going to have to adapt to a world where this is more and more the norm.  Don’t use your lack of experience to serve as an out to hold off on hiring right now, candidates are more accessible than ever RIGHT NOW.

If you don’t have a great platform to do interviews, we at Ag 1 Source can help as well, as we provide a video interviewing platform for our clients to use.  This is a unique tool because it’s specifically for interviews, not just Zoom meetings.  You can record the interview, share it with colleagues and they can even rank/rate candidates and make notes and suggest follow-up questions.  It’s a great tool to keep you hiring the very best in a time where many are hunkering down and missing a golden opportunity. Click here to learn more about our video interviewing tools.