Optimize the Video Interview Experience

offshoreVideo interviewing is becoming increasingly popular with employers because of its big benefits.

Candidates, too, are becoming more comfortable with its use because of their familiarity with consumer-friendly video technology such as Skype and FaceTime.

Among the benefits of video conferencing are:

  • It eliminates travel costs for getting a candidate or interviewer to and from an in-person interview.
  • It allows interviews to be scheduled quickly.
  • It’s more personal than a phone interview.

But a video interview, while convenient, inexpensive and relatively simple, can go bad quickly because of poor preparation, execution and etiquette.

Don’t lose out on a good job candidate because you weren’t prepared — or didn’t prepare your candidate.

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Here are 5 tips to getting the video interview right:

1. Select the right technology.  Pick the right software for your purposes. Do you want it to be onsite or cloud-based? If you don’t know, ask your IT person or call a vendor that specializes in this.
2. Sell the benefits. Candidates might be wary, especially if they’ve never done one before. Talk up the fact that it will be more convenient for them and also more personal than a phone interview.
3. Explain the experience. Provide detailed instructions and technical support, if necessary. For example, make sure the candidats have a webcam, speakers and microphone on their computer or clarify if the technology you’re using can be used on an iPhone, iPad or another tablet and whether special software is needed. Finally, remind them that they should dress and act just as they would for an in-person interview.
4. Choose the right spot: Make sure you conduct the interview in a quiet room with no strong lighting or windows behind you. Close the door and post a “do not disturb” sign so no one walks in during the interview. Silence your phone(s). If you can’t use a private room, make sure your microphone doesn’t pick up background noise. Also, remove all distracting or inappropriate pictures from your desk/background. Most video systems will show you “picture in picture” view, in which you can see yourself, so that you can preview what the candidates will be able to see. Share these same tips with your job candidate to set up their interview space.
5. Do a test run. You’ll want to ensure the video quality is acceptable by testing it in your office, not just relying on a vendor demo. So conduct a mock video interview with a colleague or friend. Ask them to follow the same process you will ask your candidate to follow so that you can practice not only the interview but how you instruct the candidate to participate.

Video conferencing doesn’t always have to take the place of an in-person interview, but it’s a convenient, cost-saving alternative, especially for first interviews. Follow these step to ensure you and the candidate get the most out of the experience.

MORE: Connecting with Millenials in the Video Interview

Rob Sable

Rob Sable
Rob Sable is chief information officer of Alliance Solutions Group.

Rob Sable

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