Connecting Digital Experts

Tips on how to run brilliant video interviews

 19th Mar 2020

 
In light of the present situation, companies all around the world are initiating self-isolation of their employees as part of social distancing efforts to slow the spread of the virus outbreak. This means, recruiters and hiring managers shift from face-to-face meetings to online interviews using softwares such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp. 
 
While conducting online interviews requires a different skill-set than a traditional face-to-face interview, the goal remains the same: to determine whether a candidate has the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform effectively within a role. After all, the technology we need to conduct successful online interviews has become mainstream, so online interviewing has become a simple and effective way to interview candidates for employment.  
 
In short, online interviewing: 
  • Saves money 
  • Reduces time-to-fill positions 
  • Easy to conduct 
Based on our expertise and experience we’ve put together some tips on how to successfully conduct interviews, take a look below. 
 
Before the interview  
  • Since you are fully dependant on your technology to interact with a candidate, you need to make sure all of your equipment works and functions properly - this includes a webcam, microphone, connection speed 
  • The most common mistakes occur when the hiring manager is interviewing in a noisy environment, or, even worse, diverts their attention to a distraction - no multitasking
  • Avoid conducting online interviews in a public setting. The background should be:  
    • Inviting and well-lit (daylight is preferable) 
    • Clean, positive and professional
  • Communicate with the candidate 
    • What software/app will you be using 
    • Do they need to install anything before the interview 
During the interview…
  • Sometimes the answer to a question can only be as good as the question itself. While open-ended questions can be revealing, they usually have little to do with the candidate's capability to perform on the job. 
    • Pay attention to how a candidate answers open-ended and/or hypothetical questions and what you value in your company. 
      • For example, if you value company culture and a candidate answers all of your technical questions correctly, but provides an awkward answer to an open-ended question, you may want to consider giving him or her a pass.
  • There are 3 main questions hiring managers need to ask themselves about their candidates:
    • Do they have the ability to do the job?
    • Do they have an interest in doing the job?
    • Will they be manageable on the job?
Creating a comfortable environment
  • Ensure that you put your candidate at ease. It’s a bit more difficult to establish a personal connection over video and its important for hiring managers to remember that it may be a candidate’s first time doing an online interview and they may be very nervous. 
  • A smile goes a long way - quickest way to communicate positivity and openness. 
  • Eye contact - too much eye contact may be a sign of aggression and cause discomfort, too little shows disengagement. Follow the 50/70 rule - making eye contact for 50% of the time while speaking and 70% of the time while listening. 
  • Use short and simple sentences - long sentences and complicated questions put candidates on the defensive. You will facilitate positive interaction with more simple sentences. 
Red flags during an online interview 
  • Changes in behaviour show nervousness
    • Verbal variation and tone will tell you when the candidate feels stressed or if the situation becomes complicated for them - if someone uses complicated sentences, switching to one-word answers is a red flag.
  • Fast, sudden movements - our brains interpret sudden movements as potential threats, triggering a fight-or-flight response. 
  • Furrowed brows/frowning - a sign of confusion, discomfort or disengagement 
  • Lack of eye contact - shows dishonesty. 
  • Self-touch and fidgeting - fidgeting and self-touches on the hands are used to overcome discomfort by distracting the speaker from what they are saying.
  • Too much “me” and not enough “we”. 
Bottom Line: Interviews, whether in-person or via online video, will always be pivotal in the recruiting process. When you’re properly prepared for the interview, you show respect for the candidate’s time, your time, and the company’s time. A good hiring manager must sell the opportunity to the applicant just like the candidate must sell their qualifications to the interviewer. 
 
The process should get easier and more effective with practice. If it doesn’t or you simply don’t have time for interviewing, we’re here for you. Get in touch here and we will happily take care of that for you.