Video is becoming incredibly popular in the interview process and for good reason. Large companies that need to fly top talent to their headquarters for interviews have come to the realization that ticket expenses quickly add up and can be an inefficient way of interviewing candidates. Popular programs like Skype have burst onto the HR scene as an effective way of interviewing clients who aren’t close to the job site—and even those who are.
If your company is transitioning to video interviews, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure it will go smoothly.
Conduct a pre-interview checklist
Technology isn’t always foolproof. Glitches can occur, videos can freeze, and the Internet can suffer downtime. ZipRecruiter suggests taking time before you get on the screen with the candidate to check a few things:
- Microphone: Make sure the microphone is working by running a quick test before beginning the interview. The last thing you want to do is waste both the candidate’s and your time fixing things that should have already been working.
- Office: Try and secure a meeting room for the interview. Background noise can be a distraction, and you want to treat the candidate with the same respect he or she would get during an in-house interview.
- Practice: Run through the process a few times before your first interview of the day if time allows. Practice looking at the camera, rather than the screen. Consider recording a run-through so you can look back at it after to see where you can improve.
“If things don’t go smoothly it will reflect poorly on the hiring company,” Tony B. Nelson, president of TBN Consulting, told ZipRecruiter. “Ultimately you want the candidate to leave with a good impression of your company.”
Video interviews can be different from in-person ones in the sense you don’t have the opportunity to check for emotional intelligence or body language as you would in the office. Normally, the first person a candidate meets is the receptionist. After the interview you would be able to ask for the secretary’s impression, but with video you can’t. This means the few questions you can ask are paramount.
Sonru, a video software company, found that 75 percent of completed interviews last between five and eight questions, while 46 percent of interviews go between 10 and 14 minutes. Plan on this time frame to make sure both you and the candidate get the most out of the interview process.
Stay away from generic questions and use the time to sift through the candidate’s résumé. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to efficiently sort pertinent data in the application process so it’s easy to organize, highlight, and work through during the interview. Personalizing your questions and catering them to the résumé will provide the best feedback to objectively score a candidate after the session has taken place.
Above all, make sure to dress professionally. Just because it’s a video interview doesn’t mean you can wear pajamas with a collared shirt. Do your best to treat this just as you would an in-house interview.