As changes have developed, some employers have found themselves in need of additional workers to fill gaps in their supply chain, sales team, frontline workforce and other critical roles. If that’s you, then you still need to recruit, screen, and interview these candidates like always. While you may already handle many parts of your screening process via email or phone, you probably also rely heavily on the in-person interview to make final hiring decisions. But that’s no longer the best option in many cases.
Enter the video interview.
Video interviews are nothing new. In fact, our Engage2Excel Recruitment Solutions team has been doing it for years. They’ve been in use for quite some time, especially for early-stage screenings. Now, however, your hiring managers will need to use them for many or most candidates, and they’ll have to be able to assess the candidate’s personality, skills, and interactions without the benefit of meeting them in person.
To do that, you need to have a strong process in place for assessing candidates, for conducting the interview itself, and for keeping the candidate engaged and informed.
Here are six tips to help you navigate this process effectively:
- Set expectations for the candidate.
Communicate with your candidate about what to expect and how the interview will go. This may be the first time some candidates have ever experienced a video interview, so take time to explain the process. Be sure they understand how to download the technology, what audio and video capabilities they will need, and how to connect to the platform.''
- Do a dry run beforehand.
There are some key differences between conducting an interview by video and doing so face-to-face in your office. For example, be sure the camera is positioned at eye level so your candidate isn’t looking up at you (or up your nose!). Find a quiet place to conduct the interview so you won’t be interrupted or have to compete with background noise. Also, be sure your computer’s webcam and audio controls are working and that you know how to connect with whatever technology platform you are using.
- Think about your presentation on screen.
Consider what you will wear and what is in the background behind you. Colors sometimes render differently on a screen, so dress in dark colors and always wear the same professional clothing you would normally wear for an in-person interview. You’ll also want to be sure you aren’t sitting in front of a busy wallpaper pattern or a cluttered desk, since these things can be distracting or make you look disorganized. Present yourself professionally so you can put the candidate at ease and help them feel confident about your company.
- Choose a technology platform.
Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting or Skype all have the basic features you need for a professional video interview. Talk to your tech team about which one will work best, and be sure the candidate knows how to download and launch the platform.
- Be as natural as possible during the interview.
Talking through a screen already feels strange to a lot of people, so it’s important to act as naturally as possible. Look directly into the camera when you are speaking rather than at the candidate’s image on the screen. While this may seem awkward at first, it will appear to the candidate that you are making eye contact rather than looking down or to the side.
- Consider the total candidate experience.
The interview is just one element of the candidate experience. You want your candidate to feel comfortable throughout the entire process and to walk away with a positive impression of your company. With this in mind, be sure to follow-up by email after the interview, thank the candidate for their time, and let them know when they can expect to hear from you.
As you conduct each additional interview on screen, you will become more comfortable with the process. Remember, however, that while the experience may be familiar to you, your candidate may be navigating his or her first video interview. Break the ice by acknowledging the differences and do what you can to put them at ease.
Remote work as a necessary measure for health and safety will eventually come to an end, but many companies will likely incorporate these opportunities more frequently as part of the evolution of the workplace. Now is the perfect time to polish your technology skills and get comfortable with video interviews, because they’re going to be standard operating procedure as we forge the new work experience of the future.