Employers – 6 tips to get the best from your Online/Video Interviews

With all the various video messaging options available these days via computers and smart phones (Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Facetime, Zoom and more), online/video calls are becoming mainstream and accessible to all, so can form a useful addition to your interview and selection process.

Skype is still often the first choice for businesses looking to conduct candidate video interviews (probably more due to the fact that Skype was the first, rather than any particular technological advantage) but the rules are the same whichever platform you choose to use.

A well-organized video interview can be helpful both to screen a potential candidate as part of your selection process or in some situations can be used instead of a personal interview if distance or other logistical barriers are present.

A video interview can be a powerful tool in your arsenal to avoid recruitment and selection disasters, but there are certainly some pitfalls to avoid if you want to successfully utilize these technologies successfully.

Here are 6 tips to make sure that you get off on the right foot with your potential hires…

1.       Preparation
You will not get the best from this process or the candidates, if you are not at least as prepared as you expect the candidate to be, so preparation is vital. Prepare for a video interview in the same way you would for a face to face meeting as if the candidate is sitting opposite, with your notes, plan, meeting questions and objectives.

2.       Technical details
Pay attention to the technical details and check everything is working prior to the call (video, sound, microphone, internet connection, laptop/phone battery life) – this is particularly important if you are not a regular video interviewer. ‘Amateur hour’ here makes you look unprofessional and sends the wrong message to the potential hire.

3.       Video messaging account
Consider setting up a separate account for professional/business use if you haven’t already – you probably don’t want to mix your personal and professional life for obvious reasons.

4.       Avoid Interruptions
Try to ensure you schedule the call at a time where you can fully concentrate and avoid interruptions. It is easy for your staff to think it is fine to wander into your office if they see no one there with you, or for switchboard to put through calls to you, so make sure you take steps to prevent these distractions.

5.       Eye Contact
We instinctively make eye contact with candidates during a face to face interview, but this is much more challenging via video call. Firstly, you need to concentrate on looking into the camera rather than focusing on the image on the screen (as these are general different) – it is easy to look at the image of yourself or something else in your room, but this gives the impression that you are disinterested or somehow distracted.

6.       Speech & Body Language
Try to be natural using your normal movement and gestures so the candidate can read and respond to your body language (although you do need to try to avoid fidgeting as this is accentuated on screen).  Speak naturally making sure your voice is clear but be aware of possible delays in the call and remember you will probably need to speak slightly slower than normal and to pause a little before you speak.

In a world where finding quality staff is increasingly challenging, remember interviewing is a two-way process – candidates have choices and if you want the best possible person you also need to make a positive impression.

These simple tips can go some way to help ensure smooth interviews – all Elite Search clients can receive our detailed Skype/video interview guide on request…

About the Author

rsz_tim_johns_cc1Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net


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