A couple of years ago, it was common practice by big companies to fly in candidates from all over for face-to-face interviews. This, however, was an expense that quickly added up when the search for the right candidate takes time than what was expected.
It wasn’t long before aggressive Internet-based recruiting through email and online engagement took over the phone as a better and quicker way to connect with potential candidates. The world of recruitment has gone digital. Many HR professionals and recruitment consultants are now using video interviews when traditional in-person interviews with their candidates are not possible or simply less convenient for either party, making the hiring process faster, cheaper, and more convenient for both the employer and the candidate.
With the advancements happening in technology day by day, more remote jobs have opened up enabling firms to hire remote workers all over the globe. And because of this global trend, video interviews have gotten more necessary and are deemed to replace face-to-face interviews.
It’s important to maximize this technology and make sure that you are effectively conducting video interviews. Here are five things to help you efficiently conduct one:
Properly Make the Schedule
This advice is more inclined to be done by the recruitment agencies, hence, if you’re the employer, be sure to coordinate this well with them before implementing the process. Similar to scheduling interviews, it’s important to set a specific date and time with the candidates. The agency should take into consideration the time zone difference between them and the candidate. And lastly, they should not forget to send a calendar invitation to the candidate and take note of the schedule in their own calendar as well.
Provide Instructions to Candidates
The recruitment agency must provide the candidate with clear instructions before the interview to help them prepare. The instructions may include tips about checking their web camera, looking for a quiet stop where they wouldn’t be distracted, adding you or the interviewer on Skype as a contact, and so forth.
Schedule Candidates Systematically
Because of the convenience of conducting video interviews, you can save your effort by allotting a certain amount of time for each candidate. For instance, you can allow 30 minutes for each candidate. You can block off the rest of your afternoon and dedicate this time to interviewing four applicants in a day. This lets you maximize time and immediately determine who among the batch fits what you’re looking for.
Check your Hardware and Software
There are two types of video interviews and you need to have a computer that can handle them. The first type of video interview is the standard one usually done using Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts video call that allows for a live or real-time video interview. Take note though, that not all countries have the same video and messaging apps, some are region prohibited (Saudi Arabia had just lifted their ban on some of them, though others haven’t followed yet), so you should definitely clear this up first with the candidate to be able to agree on a common interview format. The second type is what they call an asynchronous video interview where the hiring manager pre-records the interview questions and the applicants are asked to record their interview using the same tool. The actual interview is not done live or in real-time.
The success of your interview is dependent on your internet connection and hardware such as the computer you will be using, speaker or headphones, and microphone. Check to make sure that these are in mint condition to prevent delays due to technical difficulties.
Regardless of whatever platform you decide to choose, it’s important to establish a system and make sure that the initial goal of the interview is achieved – to further gauge whether the candidate is the right hire for your company.
Before anything else, it is important to deal with agencies with a solid IT infrastructure (leased line/fiber, etc.) for online interviews to go smoothly. This is due to the fact that not all of the candidates will have a fast and stable internet connection. Most of the time, there would be a delay, whether the agency is interviewing local or offshore candidates. In such a case, the interviewer should ask questions in a clear manner, allowing for a long pause, without interrupting the interviewee.
Prepare your Questions
At this point, you now have a pretty good idea of what your primary interests/concerns are for the candidate. By having your questions prepared, you can also better control the length of the interview.
No Multitasking During the Interview
It’s imperative that your interviewees know that you, as an employer are treating these interviews like a traditional job interviews. Turn off your phone. Put aside your other tasks. Don’t type out a work email while conducting a video interview. As much as you want your candidate’s undivided attention, they too deserve yours. Show respect to them by giving them this allocated time.
Remember to Smile
Put the candidate at ease by smiling early and often. Note that the interview process is a two-way street – you’re interviewing the candidate with the intent of making a hiring decision and the candidate is interviewing you with the intent of making an employment decision.
At the end of the call, let the candidate know what the next steps are – this should be a part of your goodbye spiel as you end the call. Leaving the candidate hanging won’t leave them a positive experience with your company. Take note that conducting video interviews should make your company’s hiring process better and more efficient, not worse.