A Guide to Video Interviewing for Hiring Managers

Madison Recruitment
5 mins read
Video interviewing
Employer employer guide hiring managers video interviewing

Video interviews are a great way to assess candidates remotely. Instead of meeting a candidate in person or speaking on the phone, hiring managers can interview candidates virtually using video interview software or online communication tools such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams. Here at Madison, we use Odro. It is an all-in-one video technology platform designed for recruitment agencies that helps us to facilitate both live (two-way) and solo (one-way) interviews.

Typically, video interviews are favourable in the early stages of a hiring process as it allows you to review a high volume of candidates effectively and efficiently. Additionally, they are an excellent way to engage with untapped talent, such as candidates in other locations seeking remote roles or those pursuing flexible working options.

Tips for conducting video interviews:

Prepare the candidate

One goal of video interviewing is to achieve the closest resemblance to an in-person interview as possible. However, like anything in life things do not always go to plan, which can be easily prevented with a little bit of preparation on both sides. Set some time aside before the interview to prepare the candidate who may not be as comfortable with the process as you are.

  • Let them know that, as it will be a video interview, they will be expected to use their camera. It is important for both parties to use their webcams as it allows you to notice non-verbal cues, not talk over each other and generally have a smoother experience.
  • Tell them what software you will be using so if necessary they have the chance to download it before the interview, or send them the link to your virtual interview room.
  • Provide them with tips and expectations for their physical set up. Good lighting, a neutral background and camera angles are all very important.
  • For international candidates, double check the time and date.

Prepare your questions

In order to provide the same interview experience to all candidates it is important to go into the interview with several prepared questions up your sleeve. Below are some examples of early stage interview questions:

  • What attracted you to the job ad and what made you decide to apply?
  • What skills have you acquired through previous experience that you think you will be able to apply to this role
  • Could you please describe your experience with XYZ program/tool/software?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team? Why is that?
  • What is your ideal working environment?

Remember that three of the key qualities that define a successful remote worker are being self-motivated, having excellent time management and great communication skills. So, include a few questions around these aspects to gain an understanding of how the employee would behave in a remote setting.

Test your tech in advance

Similar to the candidate, you should have the software downloaded beforehand and be aware of how to use it. Do a test run and try calling a co-worker or family member to make sure that your camera and microphone are working properly, or that you are comfortable with the process of sharing links. Also ensure that your camera set up is appropriate – ensure your lighting and background are suitable and that your camera sits at your eye line.

Sound check

While a working microphone is vital, be aware of the environment you are in while taking the call. If you are calling from home, be aware of who else is there and let them know you will be making a call and will need some privacy and quiet.

First impressions still play their part

A video interview is always going to be more insightful than a simple phone call. You want the experience to be as close to a face-to-face interview as possible so how you speak, act and look will all make an impression. Even though you are at home, you are still representing both yourself and your organisation, so dress and act appropriately.

Remember that interviews are a two-way street

Giving candidates a chance to ask questions not only shows you care about their concerns — it also helps you identify stand-out candidates. Asking insightful questions is an important way for candidates to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Additionally, take the opportunity to learn from each interview by asking candidates some feedback questions afterwards. Ask general questions about how candidates felt the conversation went, if the software worked well and if there is anything that could be done to improve the video interview experience. Use the information from this feedback to enhance the process as you go.

Have a backup plan

No matter how many times you test your software, problems can still arise. If audio or visual functions stop working, internet access becomes unreliable or unstable or simply that surroundings are no longer favourable for an interview, it is important to have a backup plan in place. Whether you move the interview to a phone call, or switch to another platform, make sure that you have another method in place for continuing the interview.

Video interviews are a great tool for a range of reasons – from reaching candidates in other locations to being known for leading with technology, convenience and consistency. We hope that these tips will help you embrace them!

Madison Recruitment
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