A successful video interview will require the right technology, strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills and a solid cultural pitch to engage candidates and uncover who has the personality, communication style, confidence level and experience to perform the job.
Research indicates that 60 per cent of hiring managers and recruiters used video technology in their talent acquisition process even before the pandemic, yet remote, work-from-anywhere and hybrid work models have ensured video interviews are now a standard part of the recruitment process. While the goals of video interviews are the same as in-person interviews, there are slight differences in how to achieve them.
Candidate experience should be at the core of the modern recruiting process, and this applies more than ever in video interviews. To maximize engagement and convert more candidates, interviewers should:
Create a consistent process
The Human Resources and Procurement team should provide centralized documentation to guide how video interviews will be run – including recommended platforms, company policy on video interviews and an FAQ section.
As your processes change, it’s important to ensure that everyone involved in the hiring phase is on the same page about how your organization will source, screen, onboard and effectively manage talent. You also want to ensure that the person you video interview is the person you hire!
For you and your team, an effective strategy may include documenting and sharing process changes in a central environment to provide guidance and minimize confusion on how to conduct a video interview.
Organizations like LinkedIn, for example, created a shared document where remote workers from around the world could post questions about the new video interview process and leadership would respond with answers and resources about how the company will be conducting their video interviews.
When extending a video interview, give a detailed rundown of the meeting and share the expectations, timelines and the names of the participants who will be involved in the video process.
Line up and test your tech
First thing’s first: Do you have a strong WIFI or internet connection for video?
Some areas in your home or remote working location will have better signal strengths than others, so make sure to test which area has the strongest one to perform your video interviews.
To minimize disruption and maximize the candidate experience during video interviews, it’s important to ensure you’ll have no hiccups with your audio/video capabilities or video conferencing tools. On your device, this means testing things like your microphone, camera and screen sharing capabilities.
Microsoft Teams and Zoom, for example, allows a user to choose a virtual background, effectively transitioning any space into a more professional setting.
Choose a distraction-free area
When conducting a video interview, choose a quiet space where you and your candidate can communicate with the least amount of interruption and distractions as possible. If you don’t have a home office or virtual backgrounds as an option, choose a well-lit room that has a plain background that’s devoid of things like photos or posters. It’s important to also be aware of how much light is in the room. Both too much or too little indoor or outdoor light can make it difficult to see during the video interview , and therefore, connect with your candidate.
Craft a compelling culture pitch
Social distancing and working remote do present some challenges when it comes to advocating for the company culture of your organization or your clients’. As candidates will not have the opportunity to be onsite and get a firsthand experience of the office, working environment and employees, it’s important to take extra time to prepare an attractive and engaging pitch for what it’s like to work there before the video interview takes place.
Telling a great story is always an effective way to do this. Take into consideration the organization’s values, vision and mission and how they tie into your candidates’ experience, values and goals.
Hone the Employee Value Proposition pitch
EVP often spoke for itself when interviews were conducted at the office, as candidates could see it demonstrated in action. But online, the interviewer’s pitch must do the heavy lifting.
Consider sending a company background
Organizations should consider offering candidates a company virtual meeting background to eliminate bias and increase candidate comfort.
Be aware of bias on video
Candidates may not own devices that are compatible with Zoom or Teams backgrounds or could be sharing living space with limited private quiet areas. Be aware of how video background and noise (out of a candidate’s control) influence your perception of their ability to do the job.
Act as you would in an in-person interview
When it’s time to interview candidates, it’s important to give the impression that the video interview is just as serious and professional as an in-person interview – even if you’re conducting it from your kitchen with a virtual background. This means dressing just like you would in an office environment with your phone off and resources (like their resume, the job posting, culture pitch, your interview questions, list of participants, etc.) ready. Close all tabs and have unnecessary devices turned off.
To provide the best candidate experience, remember to take notes and use the same body language and verbal communication skills you would in person.
Resume red flags
Video interviews broadly widen organizations’ talent pools to find the best knowledge workers on the global market. But they can also open employers up to additional risk: especially candidate fraud.
To reduce the chance of getting fooled by a fraudulent candidate, interviewers should look out for these red flags:
- The candidate’s video camera is “broken.”
- There seems to be a lag between their mouth moving and the audio feed.
- Photo ID isn’t available while live on camera.
- No LinkedIn profile or profile doesn’t match experience on resume.
- Minimal eye contact during the interview.
- Difficulty confirming the candidate’s references.
- The candidate is typing during the interview.
- Candidate appears to be listening offscreen.
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