Learn how to conduct video interviews like a pro! Remote interviews are here to stay. Video interviewing saves time and resources but also streamlines the recruitment process.
Video Interviews: 5 Tips to Conduct Remote Interviews Like a Pro
The new normal: Working from home
As the pandemic hit, it led to organizations scrambling to find ways to cope. Almost every company across the globe has or is beginning to, enabled its entire workforce to work from the comfort of their homes.
They have invested in creating a good WFH environment for people, be it in the form of ergonomic setups or flexible policies, and are accommodating numerous practices to further ease the process. It was apparent the moment we entered this phase, that while we all have to maintain a social distance and accept remote work as the new normal, the show must go on!
We not only have to bring out the great results and keep our respective businesses running with the same enthusiasm, wherever we are, we also have to balance this with our and our family's needs. It is for this purpose, we have to be creative and approach things in a humane manner.
The new normal in recruitment: Hiring from home
That being said, the recruitment industry is no different. Human resource professionals are trying to figure out ways to keep the hiring process as smooth and effective as possible while keeping business continuity and WFH policies in the center.
💡 However, one of the biggest challenges lately has been staying in touch with candidates and hiring from home seamlessly.
What is video interviewing?
Video interviewing is one process that can ease the struggle for a recruiter working from home or hiring from home. It can be used in the initial stage of the recruitment process for candidates screening. This not only saves time and resources but also streamlines the recruitment process.
How are video interviews different from in-person interviews?
The video interview is nothing but a remote job interview process using video technology as the communication mode. It removes geographical constraints, automated candidate screening, and improves the quality of hire.
How to prepare for the video interviewing process?
Here are 5 essential tips that will help you prepare for conducting great video interviews with your candidates:
Tip #1: Decide the best suitable technology
For some HR folks, the video interviewing/video conferencing is a familiar process, but some are still trying to adapt and adjust to the use of new HR technologies. Choose a tool that is easy to use and can deliver maximum benefits. There are various tools available in the market.
But how to select the best video interviewing tool that meets the needs of your organization? Here are a few questions you can ask your potential assessment partner to determine whether they suit your needs:
- How do you ensure a friendly user experience?
- What basic functionalities can you adjust/modify according to the needs?
- What implementation, on-boarding, and ongoing support do you provide?
- What are your data security and privacy policies?
Tip #2: Consider one-way video interviews
More often than not, talent pipelines are full and time restrictions render you incapable of scheduling video interviews. In such a situation, opt for a one-way video interview with your candidates to remotely connect with them and evaluate crucial skills before the final interview round.
One-way video interviews are asynchronous, where candidates solve the questions while recording themselves over the video. Once done, they can submit the test, and on that basis, you can assess the candidate and decide whether the candidate is a job fit or not. Typically, one-way video questions entail asking the candidates questions like:
- To describe themselves
- Their previous experience
- Their future goals
- Their strength/weakness
- How to handle difficult situations at work, etc.
Tip #3: Communicate your processes clearly
For the seamless remote hiring program, ensure that your teammates and the candidates are well aware of your remote hiring policies and procedures. They should be aware of the dos and don’ts of your recruitment process.
Create a detailed document about your recruitment process, which you can share with your candidates, and keep them in the loop. Let them know that the job interviews are going to get done by video interviewing. Moreover, you need to give them certain specific instructions, such as:
- How to download and handle the video interviewing tool
- Who will be attending the interview
- Time and date of the interview
- How to connect in case there’s a glitch.
Tip #4: Choose your space
Choose a place without distraction for yourself to conduct an interview. Go for a quiet place from where you can have clear communication with the candidate without any interruption.
The most important thing is that candidates can see you and what’s around you, so make sure the background is clean and well-lit for the interview. It creates a good impression on the candidate.
- Ensure less distraction
- Make sure you are visible on the camera and your body is framed correctly
- Do a test run of the interview just to be sure.
Tip #5: Practice before the interview
You must have given this advice to many candidates, but it is equally important for recruiters as well. Make yourself ready, practice what you are going to say, and run through the set of questions you want to ask.
Check if they can understand the questions and hear you properly. The ideal way to do it is:
- Practice the interview with a remote employee you trust
- Ask questions and hear their experience
- Take notes and improve if there are any loopholes.
How to conduct video interviews?
Now that you’re all set to conduct remote interviews, consider the tips below for conducting successful video interviews with your candidates:
Tip #1: Focus on your company culture
In today’s candidate-driven market, even employers/companies get evaluated by candidates. Today, one of the biggest challenges in conducting a video interview is candidates do not get a chance to walk around your office and understand the company culture.
To capture their attention and interest, try to highlight your company culture through the interview process. Communicate your company’s vision and mission and make them understand how it is going to help them pursue their dreams. Let them know about:
- How your team members enjoy their work
- Employee benefits program
- Employee security
- Office facilities
- Measures you’ve taken for your employees during the pandemic.
Tip #2: Do not spend time interviewing unsuitable candidates
We all have experienced the effort it takes to identify one suitable candidate. The process demands time and money, and a wise recruiter/hiring manager would never spend their time interviewing all the candidates knowing the fact that time is precious. So, how does one save billable time and identify the best suitable candidate?
- Use a pre-employment screening method to get a clear picture of what the candidate is like, how are their communication skills, tech skills, and whether you find them a perfect fit for their organization or not.
- Conduct a video interview with the most relevant candidates.
- Observe the candidate’s first 40 to 60 sec of the interview. If you see the spark, you are good to go. If not, move to the next one.
Tip #3: Be ready with your interview squad
The more the number of interviewers, the more effective is the candidate assessment. However, when it comes to remote interviews, more interviewers are not needed. Including more people in the video, interview process can be confusing and distracting for the candidate. But the presence of more members of the relevant departments is important as the candidate is going to join their team(s).
So, to make it simple:
- Invite only direct managers or immediate teammates
- Assign observation and note-taking responsibility to a few of them
- Once you are done with your questions, introduce the hiring manager
- Keep the candidate informed about all the interviewers.
Tip #4: Be ready with your plan B
Consider you have made all the arrangements for the video interview. The software is in place and it is working fine, you have tested everything. But an error can still arise. So, to handle such unforeseen circumstances, be ready with your plan B.
- Ensure alternative method for conducting the interview (phone/Skype/Hangout)
- Reschedule the interview as per the convenience of candidates
- Switch to a pre-recorded interview.
Tip #5: Get feedback to improve the hiring game
Once you are done with the video interview, stay in touch with the candidates by sending them a thank you note for their cooperation and giving valuable time. Getting feedback about the recruitment process can be the best way to make them feel valued. You can also ask candidates about their interview experience.
Ask general questions like:
- How did the interview go?
- What did they feel during the conversation?
- Did the interviewing tool work well or not?
- What are the possible areas of improvement in the interview process?
The feedback will give you an opportunity to structure your own thinking and you’ll know how candidates really feel about the interview process. This will help you in making a more objective hiring strategy.
Top 3 benefits of video interviewing
Till now, we have seen the best practices or tips to conduct a video interview successfully; now, here are a few benefits of conducting a video interview:
Benefit #1: Eliminates scheduling issues
Most of the time, scheduling an interview as per the candidate’s as well as interviewer’s convenience is a task for the recruiter. Generally, it takes a week to schedule an interview via email.
The use of a one-way video interview, pre-recorded interview, or video interview can solve the issue without asking the applicant to take an off and travel to make it for the initial screening interview. Here, applicants can answer all your questions in their own comfort zone and time. Plus, you do have to meet each and every candidate in person and that saves cost as well.
Benefit #2: Helps you to design a standard screening process
Video Interview is extremely useful for the initial phase of recruitment. Using the right video interview tool, you can evaluate an applicant's soft skills, body language, and facial expressions, etc.
This way, you will not be shortlisting the candidates only on the basis of their resume but their skills, experience, and knowledge as well. In comparison with face-to-face interviews, this method helps you evaluate more applicants effectively.
Benefit #3: Gives positive candidate experience
Positive candidate experience plays a major role in attracting quality candidates to your organization. It's equally essential for you as well to create a good impression of your company on applicants even if you do not consider the position.
By using video interviewing tools, you can become a technologically advanced company. And, in turn, will attract more applicants. This way, applicants will also understand that their time and efforts are respected.
About the author
Pankaj Deshmukh is in the field of digital marketing. He works at Interview Mocha and produces content for a variety of blogs that cover topics like recruitment, social media hiring, and candidate assessment. He believes that learning is a never-ending process and stays updated with the latest trends that are useful for producing valuable content.