When you use video interviewing to hire talent, your candidates will show their true colors — here’s how you can tell the difference to hire the right person.
Remember Goofus and Gallant? The two opposing boys were the stars of a children’s comic strip that debuted in Highlights Magazine in 1948. Goofus was always getting into trouble, while Gallant seemed to have it all figured out.
When hiring talent for your organization, you’ve probably come across your share of both Goofus and Gallant-type candidates.
The candidate who shows up late is a Goofus; the candidate with an actionable plan for improving your company’s next quarter is a Gallant. But what if you’re not meeting candidates in-person? What if you, like six out of 10 companies, are using video interviewing tools?
Like any new technology, you have different waters to navigate to find a great candidate and avoid a bad hire. You need to quickly be able to determine the qualifications and potential fit of your candidate, so you can move on or move forward. Below are some tips on how to tell if your candidate is a Goofus or a Gallant during the video interview:
Goofus hasn’t checked his technology before the video interview. He appears on-screen as a wobbly blob in a vague human shape. His voice sounds like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon and after two minutes the feed cuts out. Goofus clearly hasn’t done any interview preparation.
Gallant checked all his technology before the interview. He chatted with a friend to ensure his webcam was working, his Wi-Fi was functioning, and everything he said could be heard. Gallant’s picture is crystal clear, allowing you to see what a great fit he could be for your organization.
Goofus decided to research your company, pulled up Google and ended up watching cat videos instead. Goofus clearly doesn’t know anything about your company. He doesn’t even seem to know what your company does. When you ask for questions, Goofus asks questions that could be answered with a five-second skim of your company webpage.
Gallant spent days before the interview researching every aspect of your company. He’s looked up news alerts, read your company blog and has big ideas about the value he can bring to the company. When you ask for questions, Gallant asks insightful questions you’ve never considered.
Goofus thinks connecting in a video interview is awesome, because he imagines it means he doesn’t have to change out of his sweatpants. In fact, it looks to you as if Goofus didn’t even bother to change out of his pajamas. Also, you’re pretty sure Goofus hasn’t combed his hair in days.
Gallant understands that the same rules apply for video interviews as for in-person meetings. He puts on his best suit and doesn’t forget to wear pants just because you might not be able to see them on-screen. He looks professional, allowing you to imagine him as an asset in your office.
Goofus hasn’t done laundry in what looks like six months to a year. You know this, because right behind Goofus is a giant pile of laundry. In fact, Goofus has put so little effort into staging you can barely see his face because the lighting is so bad.
Goofus seems like he might need a Hoarders intervention, but you can’t imagine his “superior organization skills” are as good as he says.
Gallant knows everything you can see in a video interview gives the employer information about your candidacy. He’s chosen to connect with you in a bright, clean room without any distractions to take away from his message. Behind Gallant is a bookshelf containing a few awards he’s won for great work; no laundry in sight.
Goofus is a popular guy. For some reason, there are beeps from his email and buzzes from his text messages throughout the interview. At one point, you see Goofus looking off-screen and realize he’s trying to subtly text one of his bros. If he can’t even pay attention for a short interview, what will his attention span be like on the job?
Gallant has silenced all his devices and informed family and friends of his interview so there will be no distractions. His television is off, his phone is on silent, and he’s ready to have a serious conversation about his qualifications without any interruptions.
The video interview can be a great way to connect personally faster than in the traditional hiring process, and is an easy way to schedule around even the most packed schedule. (Click here to tweet this quote.) Just like every other aspect of the hiring process, however, video interviews have their own etiquette rules to follow.
A great candidate, like Gallant, will make sure to take advantage of the medium to show off skills and fit. A terrible candidate, like Goofus, will take advantage of the video interview to show off all the reasons not to hire him.
Don’t waste your time on a Goofus. Instead, focus your energy on the Gallants in your talent pool to ensure you hire the right person.
What do you think? What are the most “Goofus” things a candidate has done during your interview process? Share in the comments.
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Learn more about finding the best and avoiding the worst in a video interview and connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.