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17 February 2021 · by An employers guide to video interviews

The global impact of the pandemic has led to many companies revaluating their business strategy to ensure they can continue to operate without working in an office environment, and instead, adapt themselves to the new ways of remote working.

One of the many obstacle’s employers have faced over the past year is the optimal way to conduct candidate interviews. Although there is a large proportion of businesses who have not been affected by the current economic climate, the current government guidelines and restrictions around remote working has meant that face to face interviews are no longer an option for many employers. As a result, businesses are having to completely restructure the way they attract the best talent by transitioning from face-to-face interviews to virtual meetings.

It is important to remember that an interview can be just as daunting for an employer as it is for a potential candidate. Many considerations and approaches from the traditional style of interviewing can still be applied, however video interviews bring their own unique challenges.

Whether it’s your first time hosting a video interview, or if you’d like to brush up on your techniques, below are some important tips to consider, to ensure you hire the very best talent.

Understanding the software

If you are new to video interviewing, you will be pleased to know that there are numerous platforms available that are easy to use, familiarity with these platforms will ensure your interview runs as smoothly as possible. The most widely used platforms available are Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts, however there are plenty more to choose from to suit your needs.

Once you have selected a platform, test the software with a colleague to ensure you fully understand all of the software functionalities. Since no-one knows when a network or technical fault may crop up, test runs will minimise any errors you may encounter on the day.

Moving quickly

Usually, candidates have the luxury of securing many counter offers and taking their time to decide on a position right for them. However, in the current economic climate, candidates are less likely to wait around for their next role and instead are taking the first opportunity they are given. As a result, employers have therefore been faced with an increased pressure to act quickly to ensure they secure the right candidate.

Knowing your business inside out

One of the disadvantages to a video interview is that it becomes slightly harder to ‘sell’ the company you work for, through a computer screen. In a typical interview, you would have the opportunity to show a candidate your office space, giving them a feel for your company culture. Video interviewing however, limits this. Instead, as an employer you are faced with giving a compelling company pitch instead.

Make sure you spend extra time perfecting why your company is an attractive place to work, highlighting the mission statement and core values and how that is relevant to the candidate’s values.

If your business has a strong employer brand presence on social media, perhaps recommend to the candidate that they give you a follow. Social posts often capture the culture and working environment well and will give the candidate an insight into the company, without physically being in the office!

Remaining professional

Whilst hosting a video interview, it is important to convey to the candidate that although they are in a different style of interview, it’s just as important and serious as an in-person interview would be. Ensure you dress appropriately, speak clearly and concisely, and make eye contact throughout. 

Body language is also vital when it comes to video interviewing. A person may have the best company pitch in the world, however, if it does not come across in a compelling and engaging way, the message can easily be lost. Position yourself upright on your chair, use arm gestures for emphasis and try to mirror (without being too obvious) the candidates body language to put them at ease.

Setting up your space

Although this is a professional interview, albeit under slightly different conditions, you will need to be forgiving of your candidate and be aware that ‘life’ may interrupt an interview from time to time. A dog barking, noise of children in the background or the front doorbell ringing are all examples of things that may occur outside of your candidate’s control. As these interruptions can be unavoidable for the candidate, try to reassure them that these things can happen - we're all human.

For your own background, neutral and plain is best. Choose an area which is free of clutter and distractions, with a window for natural daylight.

To summarise, although video interviewing presents its own unique challenges, it is also important to remember that it’s a great method of moving candidates through the hiring process quickly and efficiently, compared to traditional styles of interviewing.

As we look forward to the future, it is clear that for many businesses, remote working will continue to play a key part in the way they operate and will become the ‘norm for most companies moving forward.

At Huntress, we have a dedicated team of consultants on hand to give you the advice you need to help you conduct video interviews smoothly and efficiently. If you are looking to arrange a video interview and require our help, please contact us via https://www.huntress.co.uk/find-us/.

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