10 Tips on How to Conduct a Video Interview

As we move forward into the remote-first world, virtual interview experiences are more and more common in the hiring process. Video interviews have become major opportunities to attract and assess candidates. It’s essential that as a hiring manager, you are prepared for every part of the video interview.

The majority of preparation occurs before the interview even begins. However, there are a few things you can do during and after the interview to make your process easy and to ensure that your candidate has a great experience.

Continue scrolling for Hireguide’s ten tips for conducting a video interview!

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

1. Choose a candidate and schedule

Did your job description drive a pool of qualified candidates to apply? Once you’ve reviewed resumes and chosen who you’d like to interview, it’s time to reach out to candidates to coordinate the interviews. 

Suggest interview dates and times for each candidate, and ask that they respond with their preferred slot in a timely manner. If you are working within time constraints, make sure to communicate to the candidate when you will need confirmation.

2. Email them information

Once candidates confirm a time, send a confirmation email that details clear instructions about how the interview will be conducted. It’s important to let your candidate know:

  • what video software you’ll be using
  • if you expect their camera to be on
  • reminders to check their internet connection beforehand
  • reminders to check that their video and audio functions are working prior to the interview
  • any helpful links you would like them to review
  • any other useful information including  which topics you’ll be covering or tips about video interviews (suggestions about lighting, turning off cell phones, notifications, pets in another room, etc)

An easy way to streamline this is to create a standardized document with all of the necessary information a candidate would need before a video interview. You can attach this document to all confirmation emails to ensure all candidates get the same information.

3. Prepare your introduction, questions and conclusion

The structure of your video interview should be fairly similar to an in-person interview. It’s important to be prepared so you’re setting the right tone from the start of the interview. Introduce yourself, the company and the role you’re interviewing for. 

Prepare a set of standard questions beforehand, based on the skills the role requires. We recommend asking two questions per skill. Structured interviews like these can increase the speed of hiring decisions, making it easier for your team to assess critical technical and behavioral skills while reducing unconscious bias.  

In your conclusion, make sure to thank your candidate and be clear about the next steps.. Prepare all of this before the interview and have notes you can refer to if needed.

4. Test your platform’s technology (audio and video)

First, test the audio and video of your computer. Then, do a quick test of the video platform you’re using for the video interview. Some platforms provide additional services like audio transcription - test any features you plan to use for assessing candidates well in advance of the interview.

5. Keep your environment clean and minimal, and set up lighting

When conducting video interviews, your environment is critical. A quiet, clean space will let your candidate know they’re in a legitimate and professional interview. 

A space that is quiet and minimalist will help your candidate focus, without interruptions or distractions. This will allow your candidate to feel comfortable communicating throughout the video interview. Don’t forget to choose a spot with good lighting! Too much light can be distracting and too little light might make it difficult for your candidate to see you. This might be off-putting and make it difficult for the candidate to connect with you.

6. Secure a backup plan

Just in case, it’s a good idea to have a plan for issues you might encounter during your interview. Here are a few example situations for which you should have a backup plan:

  • if the candidate doesn’t show up
  • if their audio/video doesn’t work
  • if either of you loses connection in the middle of the interview 

Brainstorm with your team scenarios to prepare for and what you’ll do if they happen. For example, you can provide candidates with a phone number to rejoin the interview if audio fails.

DURING THE INTERVIEW

7. Do another short test of audio and any other technology for both sides

Once your candidate has entered the video interview platform, check that the audio and video are working on both sides before you start the interview. You may also want to check that any other features you are using, such as a notes sidebar or scoring, are also working.

8. Act the same way you would in an in-person interview

This may seem obvious, but it’s integral that you act the same way you would in an in-person interview. The candidate may already feel a little awkward in a video interview, but if you show up with a professional and welcoming attitude, it can make all the difference. Small things like dressing the part or remembering to smile can go a long way in a video interview. 

And don’t forget, distractions may happen, such as their child making noise in the other room. Let the candidate know that you understand it’s a virtual interview and some things are out of their control in these settings.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

9. Make sure the video was recorded, your transcription and score cards were saved

After the candidate has left the platform, there are a few things you’ll want to check. Depending on what platform you’re using the steps will be different but be sure that your video was recorded. If you’re using a method of transcription, check that the entire interview was transcribed so you can refer to it later. For some transcription applications, this may take a full 24 hours. If you did scoring during the interview for certain questions, ensure your scores were saved.

10. Follow up and give feedback

Once you’ve checked that you didn’t lose any information after the interview, you should follow up via email. Even if you’ve given the candidate verbal instructions about the next steps, it’s still best to send an email to confirm they didn’t miss anything. As usual, follow up with your team and take the necessary steps to determine whether or not you’ll be doing a second interview with this candidate.

This may seem like a long process, but as soon as you get it going it becomes second nature, much like video calls have become. Although the majority of preparation for video interviews is before the interview happens, the steps during and after are just as salient. Above all else, keep your candidate’s experience and journey in mind. This will allow them to present as their best selves.

With platforms like Hireguide, the interview experience is made easy because it was made with virtual interviews in mind. If you want to simplify your video interview process, start for free with us today!

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