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How to get the most out of video interviewing

In these times of uncertainty, we’re all trying to keep life going as much as possible. For the Hiring Managers amongst us, that means finding new staff to keep our businesses running smoothly and effectively despite the Coronavirus outbreak. With some obvious incompatibility between social distancing and the traditional face-to-face interview, Managers are having to rapidly adjust to new ways of working.

Luckily, video interviewing is a great solution. To help you prepare for a video interview with prospective employees, we’ve created the following tips to help you get the best out of your video call.

Tips for a successful video interview:

  • Ensure you’re already signed up to the platform you want to use prior to your call. Leaving registration and downloading of software until the last minute may cause some unwanted technical issues and will not create a positive environment for the candidate. Test your set up with friends, family or colleagues first if you haven’t used it before.
  • Send out the invite to the candidate in plenty of time, providing them with full instructions, then they can get set up before the interview takes place.

  • Test your audio and camera before you start by calling a friend or colleague to make sure everything is in working order.

  • If you’re working on a laptop, elevate it to avoid staring down into the camera, ensuring your face and shoulders are in the middle of the screen. Make sure to look into the camera and not the screen, eye contact is vital during a video interview to build real and lasting relationships with prospective employees, getting them to buy into your business.

  • Check the lighting and don’t sit with your back to a window as this may cause a glare on your screen. If possible, position yourself at a table, against a plain, neutral background to reduce distractions.

  • Dress professionally and avoid just wearing a smart top and casual trousers; if you have to get up during your interview, you’ll regret it!

  • Close all other applications on your laptop, remove any personal or confidential files from your desktop so you can share your screen if needed.

  • Silence your phone and disable vibration. Nothing says unprofessional like a personal call midway through an interview! Don’t forget about any other notifications on your computer, for example, emails and Instant Messaging.

  • Have a copy of the candidates resume and the job specification to hand so you can easily refer to any relevant experience or particular aspect of the role that you want to discuss. One of the advantages of video interviewing is that the candidate can’t see your notes, so take advantage of it.

  • It’s fine to make a few notes but try not to spend too much time writing when you’re conducting a video interview. It can stop you listening to what the candidate is saying or distract the candidate from their answer. Why not ask the candidate for their consent to record the interview so you can play back the key points at any time?

  • Attach post-it notes around the laptop screen with prompts or questions you wish to ask. Given the current climate, why not start with something informal? Asking the candidate how they’re feeling is a great way to engage them on a personal level and to help you set the right tone for the interview.

  • Tell your family or housemates about the interview and ask them to respect your space, excluding children and pets fromthe room for the duration of the interview where possible.

  • Have a glass of water next to you and a pen and paper at hand.

  • Have the phone number and email of the candidate to hand in case video connection is lost.

  • Send a “thank you” email after your interview and make sure to provide prompt and constructive feedback to the candidate.

In these unstable times, hurdles are inevitable. However, hurdles are made to be overcome, and for those with pressing hiring needs, adapting your interview technique is an excellent way of navigating your way through this uncertainty. If you would like more advice on interviewing or working remotely in these challenging times, please contact us for free and impartial advice.