Video interviewing is here to stay. Here’s how to make sure you nail it.
Forget phone screening. According to recent research from my friends at GreenJobInterview, video interviewing is growing rapidly in organizations big and small.
Not sure what video interviews entail? We’re talking about:
For example, let’s say you’ve got your shortlist of candidates you want to screen more intimately. You invite them to your video interviewing platform, they log into the system when it’s convenient for them, follow the instructions on setting up their profile, prepare themselves for the recorded interview process and even do some test recordings to make sure they’re comfortable with all the hip gadgetry and functionality.
You might even require the candidates to answer not only a series of questions via recorded video clips, but also other text-based questions, assessments and other screening devices baked into the process.
Live virtual interviews
Yes, some smaller companies use free services like FaceTime, Skype and Google+ Hangouts. But many larger enterprises use secure virtual platforms built just to conduct interviews one-on-one and in groups.
With live virtual interview platforms, the candidates again log into the system, follow the instructions on setting up their profile, prep themselves for the interview and do tech tests. If you’ve done it, you know it’s the next best thing to being there.
And it’s certainly the next best thing to using the phone. Who calls anymore, anyway?
Why bother with video interviews?
Here’s the short answer: because of the time and cost savings for both recruiters and employers. You’ll also see a more natural side to each candidate because video interviewing reduces the number of lies they’ll have to tell at their current job to interview with you in person.
When you invite your candidates to a video interview, don’t just turn on the webcam and start babbling away about why they should want to work for your company. Instead, keep these tips in mind:
1. Have the right equipment—and know how to use it
Make sure you have what you need to participate in video interviews: an up-to-date computer, decent webcam, quality headset and solid broadband Internet connection. And it’s worth checking ahead of time to make sure your candidate does, too.
2. Practice using that equipment
This might sound obvious, but how many times have you tried to Skype with someone who doesn’t know how to turn their headset on?
Make sure you practice with your setup—and encourage your candidates to do the same. (Usually the vendors and/or you will give the candidates a “tech check.” See #6.)
3. Set up in an appropriate environment
Set up in a well-lit, quiet place where you won’t be interrupted (not a public place like a Starbucks or Denny’s). Make sure there’s either a blank wall behind you or something conservative and non-offensive.
4. Wear something nice
Default to an outfit between business casual and business formal (depending on your company culture). Even though you’re not in the same room as your candidate, they’ll still want to see that you dressed professionally.
5. Look at the camera
Try to make eye contact with the person you’re talking to as though you’re right there in the room with them. Try to avoid looking at yourself in that little screen in the corner, as appealing as that might be.
6. Use tech support if it’s offered
Even after you do some of the above, most video interviewing platform companies offer tech support services, usually 24/7. They’ll tell you what to wear, the best lighting to use and so on.
Most free services, however, do not offer any such support. So if you’re interviewing via Skype, keep that in mind and double-check that everything works fine before the scheduled time.
7. Know your candidates
Last, but certainly not least, become familiar with the candidates you’re interested in working with before the interview. Video interviewing is no less important than real face time with the candidates, so take the time to know how and why they might be the guy or gal for the job before you even ask them the first question.
Video interviewing is here to stay. If you and your candidates prepare properly, nailing the virtual interviews can get you the right hires. In some cases, the virtual interview could even be the final interview. (They hope—and sometimes, so do you.)
Kevin W. Grossman has been in the human resource and recruiting marketplace for over 13 years. His first career management book titled Tech Job Hunt Handbook is now available from Apress. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @KevinWGrossman.