Employers – How To Conduct a Successful Video Interview

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a global shift in the structure of businesses and their employees. If you are an automotive industry employer with job vacancies you may well be faced with creating a remote hiring process. This is where a video interview comes in.

Why Use Video Interviews?

Video interviews make the hiring process easier, quicker, and more convenient for employers and candidates alike. Other benefits include:

  • DECREASED TIME TO HIRE: The logistics of getting all parties present is much easier, allowing interviews to take place more quickly.
  • INCREASED QUALITY OF HIRE: The most talented candidates are busy and in demand. This approach is far more convenient for candidates, which means talented, time-poor candidates will be more likely to attend your interview.
  • PROMOTES COLLABORATIVE DECISION MAKING: The ability to record the video interview means that other members of the hiring team can view it later. In this way, every stakeholder in the hiring process can assess the candidates and express their opinion.

Preparing for Video Interviews

Thoroughly prepare for the challenges of holding a video interview. An unpolished process can come across as unprofessional and can subsequently damage your employer brand.

CREATE A PLAN

Create a plan with your hiring team and communicate it to everyone. Include obvious information and details to minimise confusion. Further points to consider are below:

  1. How will the interview process change now that it is being conducted remotely?
  2. Will you prepare a slide presentation or will you share your screen?
  3. Is there anything the candidate needs to complete before the interview begins?
  4. What is your plan B if technical issues (yours or theirs) arise?

CHOOSE, INSTALL AND TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT

It is important to have experience with and understand the equipment you’ll be using. That is to say, you will have installed and practiced using it beforehand.

If the candidate requires a certain platform or their own login details, these need to be provided ahead of the interview, therefore also allowing the candidate familiarity with the software.

SOFTWARE TYPES

Depending on your unique hiring needs, there are numerous types of video software that allow for video interviewing. Examples of these include:

  1. ZOOM – Offers users a single solution for video and audio conferencing, messaging and webinars.
  2. GOOGLE HANGOUTS MEET: A simple transition for businesses already using G Suite. Participants need a link to join the meeting — which is easily shared through Google Calendar or Gmail invites.
  3. SKYPEThe platform offers HD video and audio calling, messaging, screen sharing, call recording and live subtitles.
  4. CISCO WEBEX MEETINGS – Interviews can be conducted via any device. It also allows features like in-meeting private messaging, screen sharing and recording functionality with automatic transcriptions.
  5. MICROSOFT TEAMS – allows for video conferencing between parties of 10 to 10,000, therefore allowing for group interviews. Plus, the connection with Office 365 allows sharing of Word, PowerPoint and Excel files in real time.

TIP: Hold a few test interviews with your team members to ensure everyone understands what they are doing. Above all, they need to understand how to use video and audio functions, mute themselves, share their screen and chat during the interview

NOTIFY CANDIDATES

Just like in an in-person interview, the candidates need time to prepare. Provide them with clear directions on how to use the interview software and communicate any expectations that you may have.

TIP: The quickest and simplest way to do this is to include all the required information in the interview confirmation. See an example of a confirmation email below:

Candidate Interview Confirmation Email Template

CREATE YOUR VIDEO INTERVIEW ENVIRONMENT

Have a designated interview space that is quiet and well lit. If your software has a test option, use it to your advantage.

Be aware that if the candidate has trouble hearing or seeing you, they are going to have trouble connecting with your company

TIP: Appreciate the candidate’s flexibility in moving the interview to a video format and ask them for their patience if things pop up. Additionally, don’t fault candidates if the same happens from their end.

CREATE A FEEDBACK PROCESS

Take the opportunity to learn new things and ask questions:

  • How successful was the conversation?
  • Did the software work well?
  • Is there anything that could improve the video interview experience?

TIP: Make the identity of the respondents anonymous. Candidates are more likely to be honest if they feel their answers wont affect the outcome of their application.

Conducting a Video Interview

When starting the conversation, use the following tips to ensure the video interview is professional and productive. 

NOT ALL LANGUAGE IS VERBAL

55% of communication is non verbal, with another 38% conveyed through your tone of voice. This means that the way you present yourself in a video interview is just as important as it is face-to-face. Make eye contact (look at the camera), don’t slouch and show your interested in what the candidate is saying.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY

The way you dress gives an insight into both your company culture and your attitude towards the interview itself. For instance, carrying out the interview in jeans and a t-shirt, (unless it is typical office attire for your organisation), will signal to the candidate that the conversation isn’t really important.

TIP: Whilst the candidate can only see the top half of you, it is still advisable to fully dress whilst conducting the interview. There are many situations where you my may have to stand up unexpectedly.

THINK ABOUT YOUR COMPANY CULTURE

Paint a clear picture of what it’s like to work at your company. Above all, infuse your culture into the interview. Embody your core values and treat the candidate the same way you would a colleague.

ASK CONSISTENT QUESTIONS

Don’t create more work for yourself. If you have a set of interview questions that you usually use for in person interviews, then use them! That way, if interruptions happen you’re better prepared to evaluate and compare candidates based on the merit of their responses.

PRE-RECORDED VIDEO INTERVIEWS

Do you need to be present in the interview or will a prerecorded format suit your needs better?

Provide the candidate with a limited number of questions and be mindful about the length of response each requires. Candidates can record themselves answering the questions and then send them through email. Alternatively, specific video software such as Launchpad could be used. Whatever method you choose, communicate it to the candidate.

ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B

Software problems, visual/ audio malfunctions or connectivity issues can happen to anyone – meaning a Plan B is always wise. In addition to this, you should always have the candidate’s telephone number should you need to call them.

TURN NOTIFICATIONS OFF

An interview is a two way process, with your candidate assessing you as much as your are assessing them. Give them your full attention and don’t get distracted by other notifications on either your screen or phone.

TIP: Your device’s built-in speakers can pick up and magnify notification noises which makes for a very unpleasant interruption. Check the room you are in to make sure there is nothing that could go off unexpectedly.

IF YOU’RE NOT EARLY, YOU’RE LATE

Being interviewed, in any format, can be stressful for some candidates. Be ready and logged in 5 minutes before you are due to start. This helps ease the tension and ensures that candidates aren’t left wondering if they have joined the right meeting.

In conclusion, the key to success is to treat it with respect. Check everything is working efficiently, be prepared in advance and maintain a consistent recruitment process.

Further Reading:

Video Conferencing Etiquette

Recruitment Process Checklist

Copeland are UK automotive industry recruiters who help you find industry expert candidates and reduce hiring times – focusing on quality over quantity. 

To learn whether we are the right agency for you see HOW WE HELP BUSINESSES. Alternatively if you’re ready to talk, get in touch: E: [email protected]   T: 07973 286342

Let Copeland help you find the right people for your business

Sign up for our salary guide, advice, jobs & more Sign up now