Hiring During COVID-19: Video Interviewing Tips for Employers
Employers are implementing remote work policies and asking employees to work from home with the ongoing COVID-19 cases increasing daily. Hiring managers and recruitment professionals need to be able to adapt and move towards a digital hiring process and experience. Video interviews are being adapted by a number of organizations already and we will likely continue to see a rise in the use of video interviews as opposed to in-person interviews, especially during the screening phases of the hiring process.
At the core, video interviews should be the same as in-person interviews however they bring forth a number of differences in how the interview is delivered. Have you ever been on FaceTime with one of your parents where they can’t quite get the angle right? You know the look when they have the camera too low and you can see straight up their nostrils and their chin is the most prominent part of their face.
Video interviews bring forth a lot of benefits: time efficiencies, cost savings related to travel, scheduling simplification; however there are a number of considerations to think of in order to conduct professional and successful video interviews on both the employer and employee side.
Here are some video interview tips and considerations to use as a guideline to maximize the effectiveness of your recruitment process.
There are a number of technologies and softwares for interviewing candidates. Whichever one you choose, make sure the candidate experience is easy to use. Do they need to download an app to use it or is it simply a link to click? Which platforms have integrations with your current techstack? This could provide easier internal processes for screening and capturing the right data about candidates. Which features are a necessity – taking notes directly through the platform, recording functionalities, etc. these are all considerations before choosing your video interview platform of choice.
Some platforms have the ability to pre-record a video introduction and questions for candidates, which they can then prepare for and record their responses and send back at their convenience. This tactic is usually utilized when there are numerous qualified candidates that need to be screened more efficiently and effectively.
Camera and positioning:
Make sure to position the camera so that you are centered and at eye-level so that the camera angle is flattering. It is essential that you do not cut off the top of your head but also do not sit too far away from the camera so that you become grainy or eye contact is hard to make. Frame yourself from the chest up so that your face is the focal point of the screen.
Whether you are in your office or remote make sure that you choose a well-lit and quiet room. Do not do video interviews from your favourite cafes or in your car. Background noises can become too loud and distracting on both ends of the video. Make sure you can avoid as many interruptions as possible. If you have a closed door room that is preferred and make sure your dog isn’t coming in and out of the room. The background should be something simple and free of distractions and clutter.
Make sure that you wear what you would wear if you were conducting an in-person interview. Since you will be on camera try to avoid anything too bright and anything with too many patterns. For both in-person and video interviews be sure to research the culture of the company to make sure that you dress appropriately. For whatever reason there is a chance you may have to stand up at some point so make sure that you are fully dressed and professional from head to toe.
There is nothing worse than having a poor video experience. Test your connection, camera and microphone beforehand to ensure that everything is working properly. Close down any unnecessary apps of softwares on your computer so that you can maximize its performance while interviewing and avoid delays in video delivery. Just like an in-person interview make sure that you put your phone on silent before the interview begins.
There are a number of elements to body language to consider. One of the most important is eye contact. When you are on video, you need to make sure that you are looking at the camera instead of the candidate when you are speaking. This way you will engage in eye contact with the candidate as opposed to having your eyes looking down on their end of the video feed. Make sure you don’t look around the room while you are interviewing or it will give the impression that you are disengaged with the candidate.
Although you aren’t in person, the candidates will be able to see your face the whole time, even though it feels as though you are in the room alone. Keep a smile or pleasant look on your face to create a positive experience for the candidates and to make them feel relaxed. It is still appropriate to smile and nod as you are listening.
Gestures are still appropriate to show that you are engaged with the candidate however keep in mind that some of your hand gestures will be out of frame.
Ensure that your process is consistent across all candidates – this applies to in-person interviews as well. Make sure that you are using the video interview at the same point in the process and ask the same questions to ensure you’re able to evaluate candidates comparatively.