6 ways to conduct effective video interviews

Being mindful of the medium and not forgetting to smile on camera are essential. Read on to find out more.

Sankar Pillai
May 18, 2020

Increasing numbers of HR departments are resorting to video interviews to speed up the hiring process and the coronavirus lockdown has only expediated this shift from manual to digital. These six tips are a surefire way for recruiters to manage video interview sessions more effectively and recruit the right staff.

  1. Prepare a process

Moving from a manual face-to-face interview to the digital realm can be equally daunting to both recruiter and interviewee. But as in all cases, a little planning will help the process to be as smooth as can be. For instance, as a recruiter, call a meeting of your HR personnel and plan a process on how you wish to approach the interview. Should there be a slide presentation readied that can be shared with prospective employees during the video interview that allows them to get familiar with your company’s corporate creed, its vision and mission? Or a short corporate video, perhaps on the company’s history and branding? Are there any steps that the candidates need to prepare or observe before coming on the video call? If there are then they ought to be informed of the process, in advance.

  1. Test your tech

While you inform candidates to check on their software and hardware before joining a video interview, it’s important as recruiters that you lead by example and do your due diligence as well. Checking your computer or laptop, your speaker and microphone and that your server connection is in order is essential before initiating a video interview, so you avoid glitches and dropped calls.

  1. Clarity counts

Considering most of your colleagues who are part of the hiring process are operating remotely like you, there is little opportunity to walk over to someone’s desk to clear a doubt during a video call. It’s important therefore that anything and everything you do or say that could have ramifications on the outcome of the interview and the fortunes of the prospective candidate, need to be well elucidated and coherent. Be very clear in your line of thought and how this translates while communicating with your candidates on the video chat.

  1. Be mindful of the medium

What does that mean? Well, continuing from the second point, how you speak and communicate with your candidates during a video interview could be radically different from how you present yourselves as a recruiter during a regular face-to-face. Things like pausing longer to allow for time lapses and delays caused by a slow digital connection on the part of the candidate, as well as staying away from asking unnecessary questions that could easily interrupt the flow of a good video interview are some of things that you ought to be mindful of as a recruiter.

  1. Say cheese!

Be it a face-to-face, or a digital video chat, some things never change in the interview process. One of them is to smile when interacting with your candidates. While it presents a sense of positivity about you as a recruiter every other time, what this also does is it puts the candidate at ease, promoting a sense of confidence in them and the feeling that here is a recruiter who cares.

  1. What do your prospective candidates have to say about the process?

It’s important that you gauge how successful the video interview sessions have been as a process and the best way to do that is to reach out to the candidates to find out. Establish a feedback process and request your candidates to write back and share their experiences and how they felt the video interview went, as well as how the session could be improved. It’s surprising how this feedback process could prompt candidates to present ideas and thought processes hitherto unknown to you or your HR staff and that could actually help improve your video interview sessions.

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