Our best tips for conducting video interviews

A woman smiles during a video interview
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Video interviews are most likely here to stay. They’re safe, extremely convenient and save both parties time and money. Both applicants and business owners like them because they don’t require commuting and all the inconveniences that come with it, they allow them to interview more people and attend more interviews than they regularly would if they were doing them in person and they may help ease the nerves of having a face-to-face conversation with a stranger for the first time when the stakes are so high.

However, there are some challenges that come with the new territory: the awkwardness of using technology that may be new and difficult to work with for you or your interviewee, maintaining a natural flow of the conversation and creating a meaningful connection when all you have is a poor resolution image of each other and being able to gather enough information from someone you haven’t actually met in person yet to decide whether they will be a good fit for your needs.

To help you navigate this new process, we’ve listed below our best tips for conducting video interviews:

1. Prepare

The best way for you to make a good impression on your candidates is by preparing. This not only includes having a set list of questions and a clearly defined goal for the meeting but also other minor things you may have overlooked such as knowing how to correctly use the devices and software through which you will be conducting the interview, making sure that you are in a location that is well lit, clean and organized and where there is as little background noise as possible and few distractions.

HigherMe makes it easy for you to schedule video interviews within our platform by allowing you to set a time and date, choose a format and send your interviewee a link for the Zoom meeting, the telephone number or, in the case for in-person interviews, your address.

2. Help your candidate feel comfortable

We are all still adjusting to the new normal of video calls for things outside of casual FaceTiming. Depending on your candidate, this may be the first time that they are using this type of technology – at least for purposes of a job interview. A lot can get lost during video interviews: physical cues, body language or some subtle facial expressions. Because of this, it’s important to create a friendly rapport with your interviewee by making sure to greet them in a warm and friendly manner and provide them with a brief introduction of yourself and the company. One very important thing to remember is that video calls often have delays and some apps will mute one of the users when another one starts to speak. Make sure you allow your interviewees ample time to answer their questions so as to not interrupt and mute them and also to allow time for any delays in transmission that may occur.

3. Get to know them and allow them to get them to know you

One of the advantages of video interviews is that they save time on traveling or commuting that can be instead used for a lengthier conversation where both parties will have a better chance of learning more about each other. Use this extra time to ask deeper and more thorough questions that give you a better insight into your candidates’ personalities. At HigherMe we’ve identified seven areas that any interviewer should pay attention to in order to choose candidates that will become assets for their business.

Think of extra questions or hypothetical scenarios you could ask them about that will help you better understand how their problem solving and decision making processes work. A longer interview is also a great opportunity to study your candidate’s communications skills and style and figure out if they are the right fit for your business.

4. Provide them with extra information

Since your candidates may no be physically visiting your venue until they have been hired, it’s a good idea to create an e-package with information on the company and your specific establishment. This can include a series of pictures or even a video tour, introductions of their future coworkers and information on how tasks are completed on a day-to-day basis. You can go further and provide selected candidates with remote training materials in order to speed up the training process and reduce trainees’ learning curve. Providing your candidates with as much useful information as you can will help them better understand where they will be working and what is expected of them and will also help them be better prepared for when they eventually start working.

Having a strong social media presence is very important here as it provides customers and prospective employees with information about your business and products and gives you a face and a voice with which to reach them. Linking to a dedicated careers page in your website and social media will help you attract more people, especially those who love your brand enough to follow it on social media.

5. Use tools to help you make an educated decision about them

There’s only so much that you can learn about someone during an interview, whether it’s in person or remote. This can be even harder when conducting interviews remotely. Using additional qualifying techniques such as questionnaires and personality profiling tools in addition to doing video interviews will help you make a more informed decision on whether an applicant will the right choice for your business. The HigherMe platform has a very useful set of profiling tools to help you out select applicants that match your business’ needs and culture and seamlessly integrate all of the steps in the onboarding process. Our unique Fitscore feature scores applicants based on their answers regarding their availability and distance from the workplace, plus their answers to a set of customizable questions to better understand their personality and habits. Once you’ve found a candidate that fits the role, the E-Verify and Checker tools will help you with the background and citizenship status checks that you’ll need to do in order to hire them.

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