How to get the most from a Video Interview

The pandemic made video interviews a must, but as we return to the workplace, many clients see video interviews as a key resource and time-saving solution for hiring managers with a high volume of interviews to complete, or who simply cannot attend a face-to-face interviews.

Whilst we do not believe that video interviewing could ever replace face-to-face assessment, it’s important for clients and candidates to know how to effectively conduct video interviews if that is the preferred process. “We’ve seen a significant preference for video interviews by some clients even as we return to the workplace, and some of our clients actually preferring them over face-to-face interviews ” comments Miles Greenslade. 

“As clients battle to secure talent in a candidate-driven market, it allows them to speak to more candidates and speed up their hiring times, at all levels.”

Video interviews however do come with some limitations and preparing for video interviews and what you want to get out of them is vitally important. Here, we offer our top tips on how to get the most out of your video interviews. 

Prepare for the interview beforehand

As you would with a face-to-face interview, it’s important that you prepare for a video interview too. Testing the video software before the interview can help avoid any delays in the process for both the client and the candidate. You should test the computer or tablet you are using to carry out the interview and the internet connection as well to ensure the interview runs smoothly.

A bad internet connection or poor-quality camera can throw the interviewer and interviewee’s concentration during the interview and can often cause delays and ultimately a bad experience – distracting both parties and affecting the standard of the interview performed. If the quality of the screen or sound is poor, it can also skew what you take from the interviewee’s response.

Testing can help avoid these setbacks by being prepared for the video interview as much as you would be for a face-to-face interview. When managed and prepared effectively, video interviews can be just as successful as face-to-face interviews – you can gauge a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, their ambition and motivation within their responses and additional factors that can be judged from a paper-based CV.

Structure the interview for the candidate

Before the interview goes ahead, confirm the structure and format of the interview with the candidate. There are two types of approaches to video interviews – live interviews and pre-recorded interviews.

Live Video Interviews – this is similar to the face-to-face interview. You’ll speak to the candidate in real-time over a video connection using video interview software. Live videos enable you to recreate the traditional interview format without requiring the candidate to travel to your office, meaning you can recruit from anywhere in the world and overcome any barriers to travel.

Key benefits of a live interview process is it can overcome barriers that prevent face-to-face interviews, such as cost of travel or restrictions on travel. They also offer huge commercial value to clients with a high volume of interviews to complete, offering both a time and cost-saving solution.

Pre-recorded Video Interview – less personable than live video interviews, however pre-recording candidates is a fast and efficient way of generating a high-quality shortlist of potential new hires, utilised by us within our fast-paced Business Support division.

Often, pre-recorded interviews can be used to replace early-stage interviews to display the candidates’ level of skill and to get their personality fit across in the early stages of the process – creating a digital shortlist for clients of pre-determined interview questions under a specified time limit.

Approach it the same way you would an interview in-person

The traditional paper CV relays a candidate’s skills and capabilities, so use the online video interview as an opportunity to identify softer skills of the potential recruit. Asking open-ended questions to get candidates to talk about their experience – as motivation and passion is difficult to fake. Ensure you ask candidates about their interests away from work, I always do this as part of our early conversation, it helps loosen a candidate who may be nervous, and asking them about something they love and enjoy will help you get more from them when the work questions begin.

Be personable

It is easy to lose your personality when talking on a screen. I have witnessed both clients and candidates becomming totally different people when faced with a camera a microphone. If you are in any doubt, record yourself doing a video meeting and see if you have fallen into this trap. One of our recruitment technology partners shared that he was told to imagine you were on the other side of the screen with them, and you are watching it, they found it made their behaviors more natural. For both candidates and clients, being yourself and showing the ‘real you’ is vital. We don’t know how video interviewing will progress. Will we all return to face to face, or will AI and VR interviews be the next big thing? No matter what, moving with the times is essential, but we must remember we are people, we are hiring people and we must never lose the human touch!

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