Tips on conducting a video interview

For innumerate reasons, more and more employers are making the leap into conducting remote interviews.

With the steady rise of digital tech and the increase in remote work due to global pandemics such as COVID-19, it’s no surprise that interviewing would move into this format.

For some employers, video conferencing and interviewing comes as naturally as if it were an in-the-flesh meeting. For many though, conducting an interview online, via video can be a daunting process.

We thought we would break down the process to provide reassurance, advice and practical tips on how to conduct a video interview.

Don’t throw the rulebook out the window

The first thing to be encouraged by is that a video interview is very similar to a face to face one. You can still see the interviewee and will be able to base decisions on first appearances as you always have.

Much of what makes excellent interviewing applies to the digital space as equally as it does to the physical. Don’t be put off by the platform you use, 99% of what you do will be the same. The changes are merely about process and platform.

Having said that, some extra preparation steps are worth noting to give yourself the best shot at getting it right first try.

Invitations

Your candidate and yourself (and the rest of the panel if interviewing as part of one) must have all the necessary login details and invite codes to the software you are using. This is imperative.

Make sure the details are sent way in advance of the interview so that, on the day, it’s a simple click to join process.

Give your candidate a sense of what to expect. It may well be a new experience for them too, and it’s so worth trying to eliminate some of those potentially awkward moments early on at the invitation stage.

Do you want to record?

Many software platforms allow you to record your interview. This can be handy as it will enable you to focus on the conversation at hand as you have it. Later on, you are then able to replay the footage and take notes at a later date.

Make sure you decide in advance if you want to use such a feature and understand how to set that up for the day.

It’s always wise to communicate that the interview will be recorded and allow your candidate the opportunity to consent to it.

What platform are you using?

This article isn’t about what tech we’d recommend. We’re writing this article to ensure you feel well equipped to interview via video. Part of being equipped is knowing what software you plan to use.

There are a range of options available with different price points and features.

One key consideration is, how will the candidate access the platform? Do they need to download something in advance? Do they need to pay to access the software?

Equipment to consider

So, you’ve set the date, you’ve got the software. All set and ready to go, right?

Right. Except, it’s worth taking some time to consider hardware.

For example, there’s a vast difference between conducting a video interview via a cheap laptop webcam and mic and doing so via high-end hardware.

Many of these decisions depend on your organisation and what image you want to convey.

Back to the similarities

Like all interviews, ensure you’re confident what questions you will be asking. Make sure you’ve planned out your questioning order if asking questions as part of a panel.

Make sure you’ve got something to take notes with.

It’s worth pointing out that the novelty factor of video calling could become a distraction. It’s important to focus on the task at hand and ensure the same standards of professionalism you usually would have.

Final thoughts

As we’ve suggested, proper preparation is definitely key to succeeding with a video interview.

Be aware of potentials for a delay between your speech and theirs. Be prepared for awkward silences and drops in quality.

Most importantly, be prepared to enjoy the experience.