It's great that lockdown is easing and things are starting to get back to some kind of normal in many workplaces but with the Government continuing to advise caution, many of our clients have decided to continue to conduct their interview process remotely.
Video interviewing is not an entirely new phenomenon; in recent years, as a result of advances in technology and a more global marketplace for talent, we’ve seen a marked rise in remote and digital hiring, particularly the use of video interviewing.
That said, many hirers who are more accustomed to in-person interviews now find themselves having to make decisions based on digital screening processes alone for the first time, which brings with it new challenges including having confidence in getting the company message and culture across to candidates, as well as assessing the candidates thoroughly for both skills and company fit.
We’ve put together our top tips that will help to keep your recruitment process moving and give you confidence in conducting video interviews effectively and in selecting the right candidate for you.
1) SET YOUR STRUCTURE
It’s good to decide how your interview process will run, noting any key requirements for covering the company profile, timings, standard questions, resources needed and make sure this is documented clearly. This will give you a consistent benchmark for interviews and ultimately make the assessment of the candidates easier.
2) COMMUNICATE CLEARLY WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES & CANDIDATES
Putting a structure in place means you can make your team members and colleagues aware of the process in advance. It can be tough to communicate effectively when everyone is in different locations so it is worth agreeing ahead of time who will ask which questions or lead on different parts of the interview which will make the interview flow more smoothly.
Alongside this, in our experience, setting the expectations for the candidate in advance will give them a much better overall experience of you as a potential employer. Think about how long the interview will last, what the format will be, which platforms you are using etc. It will put candidates at ease and allow them to perform to their best.
3) TEST YOUR TECH
Decide which technology platforms you will be using and test the process in advance. There’s nothing worse than having connectivity problems and starting late which may fluster the candidate and the panel and affect the interview outcome.
If the interview will include testing technical skills, you can avoid any awkward interruptions by checking in advance that the tools are set up in a way that makes it as easy as possible for the candidates to complete any online tasks.
4) PICK YOUR SPOT
Think about where you will set up for the interview. We all know that working from home can mean there are distractions and interruptions, so it is worth setting up a quiet space where these are less likely to impact the interview session. It’s important to have your mobile phone on silent mode so that the interview flow is not disturbed, and you can give the candidate your full attention.
5) BE PREPARED
In any interview situation, we would always advise you to take the time to familiarise yourself with the candidate’s CV and the job description afresh to give the online interview the same formality of an in-person meeting. Preparing questions in advance about the candidate’s specific experience will personalise the experience and convey your interest in the individual.
6) PRACTICE YOUR PITCH
One of the disadvantages of online interviewing is that the candidate will not get a sense of your business by seeing the site and the people. It’s good to consider in advance how you can get key messages across effectively about culture, environment, vision and mission. A good way of achieving this is through screen-sharing and making use of visual aids where available and appropriate.
The best candidates are likely to have more than one opportunity they are pursuing so it is really important that you present yourself as an employer of choice.
7) BE PROFESSIONAL
It should go without saying, but for most of us, video conversations are usually social affairs and it can be easy to slip into this tone. We recommend that your language, personal presentation and behaviours are the same as they would be for a traditional face-to-face interview.
8) GIVE CANDIDATES SPACE
It can be more challenging to pick up on normal social cues and body language when video interviewing so in order to get the best outcome, pause and leave space for the candidate to consider and deliver their answers. It’s also really good practice to allocate some of the time at the end of the interview to respond to any questions the candidate may have about the role, the company or the process.
9) CLOSE EFFECTIVELY
It’s important that candidate expectations are managed so it’s useful to summarise at the end of the interview, clarify on the process from this point on, set clear timescales and the format for feedback and outcomes.
10) GATHER YOUR THOUGHTS
We recommend booking an extra 15 minutes at the end of each interview, so you have the time to write up any notes, to discuss any aspects of the interview with colleagues and to decide next steps where appropriate. Doing this immediately after the interview means the candidate will be fresh in your mind and your notes that drive the decisions on who to appoint are likely to be better.
Here at Jonathan Lee Recruitment we’ve been using video interviewing tools successfully with our clients and candidates, globally, for quite some time. Our team is ready and waiting to help you with your video interviewing needs.
There are real benefits to be gained from taking your interview processes online and so video interviews should not be regarded as a last resort. If you are looking to hire urgently, it enables you to connect with the best candidates quickly, particularly important within industries facing talent shortages and can significantly speed up the overall hiring process.
Short screening interviews allow you to quickly and efficiently assess which candidates are the best fit for your company, eliminating those who look good on paper but would not fit your team or culture. It also eliminates geographical restrictions – enables you to access the best candidates globally, at your fingertips
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Whether you’re a current client of ours or another business looking for some guidance in digital recruitment, we can help you navigate through these difficult times. Get in touch to find out how.