The hiring process in some companies nowadays has evolved to adapt to digitalisation, which has proved quite useful during the pandemic. 

Video and online interviews have been around even before most of us are advised to work from home or have taken a leap forward in establishing online businesses.

Today more than ever before, face-to-face meetings via video meeting tools are a mainstay.

Whether you are new to video interviews or not, the tips we’ll provide here will definitely boost your confidence when conducting an interview with a potential job candidate. 

How to Conduct a Successful Video Interview

1. Decide on the platform and tools you will use.

There is a variety of webinar software and video conferencing tools that you can use nowadays. Before even creating a job advertisement or blog to attract prospects, it is advisable to prepare the tools you will use and will require from your candidates. 

You can also include these details of the video interview on your job advertisement as this will also help your candidates be more knowledgeable and prepared about your hiring process and business ideas.

2. Perform a test run.

Minutes prior to your scheduled video interview, perform a test run to check your internet connection, the brightness of your video camera, and the audibility of your voice using the microphone or headset. If you prefer doing the interview without a headset or a microphone, make sure that you can be heard given your distance from the camera and the computer. 

Through a pre-interview test run, you can fix any technical issues before the actual interview. You want the entire process to be as seamless and smooth as possible to ensure success. 

Another simple way to perform a test run is by doing a quick screencast video recording. This way you can see what your recorded video and audio will be like during the actual interview.

3. Provide detailed instructions to your candidate.

For remote recruitment to be successful, you need to set clear expectations by providing pertinent details – when, where, and how. This is especially vital if the interviewer and interviewee are on different time zones. 

If you set the interview to be conducted on video, you need to ensure that you and a candidate are on the same page when it comes to the equipment and schedule of the video interview. This is a perfect way of letting them know about any documents you would like to see and touch base with. While spontaneity works when throwing questions to your candidate, you would also like to prevent sudden document requests that they might not have at the moment.

4. Design and follow your blueprint.

Create an interview flow. Designate an estimated number of minutes for the introductions, discussing the nature of the job position, and the actual question-and-answer portion. This will not only help budget your time, but it can also save you from unexpected mental blocks.

5. Prepare your questions.

The bulk of the interview will focus on your questions and it is significant to have a list of what you want to know from your candidate. Some of the vital questions to ask during a remote interview include whether they have worked remotely before or not, why they want to work from home, and communication skills. 

Even when the interview is happening virtually, you would want to prevent any dead air from your end. In addition, ensuring you have a prepared list of questions will result in complete profiling of your candidate for your own reference. 

Background checks are vital to recruitment. Given how difficult to perform it these days, the next best solution is to screen candidates properly via video interview. 

6. Find a distraction-free and well-lit space.

How you look on the other side of the screen will, of course, matter on how the video interview will go. It is best to find a space that has just enough lighting, not too bright to cast shadows on your face. Consider a background without too much going on such as appliances, furniture, or your pet in it. This helps in keeping a relaxed environment. 

A sound-proof room would be of great help as well, but if you do not have one, make sure you are conscious of your surroundings. Choose the perfect spot and the right time of the day where you can conduct the interview without distraction and disruption. 

7. You represent the company, dress well!

Aside from the main page of your website where a candidate lands or the background of your company based on your job advertisement, remember that your video interview will also make the first impression. 

Make sure that you are dressed as professional as you are in person. You might also want to avoid wearing bright colors like white or red as these might make it hard for the camera to balance exposure and for your candidate to focus. Consider neutrals, soft blues, and brown colors. You will never go wrong with them.

8. Practice eye contact and be conscious of your body language.

Virtual meetings require more eye contact since you do not have the physical presence of the interviewee in front of you. Video interviews can also be a bit of a challenge since your own appearance on the screen might distract you, which does not happen in an actual physical interview. 

Remember to always look at the lens of your camera to make your candidate feel that you are looking at them straight in the eyes and observe how they respond to it because that will tell you a lot about your candidate. 

Observe your body language, too. Being in the comfort of your own home, you might casually move too near or too far from the camera. Sit straight, compose yourself, and focus on the camera lens and your candidate. 

9. Take notes.

As an interviewer, you are responsible for taking notes of specific information about your candidate which may not be included in the resume. If you are only using one computer, it is highly advisable to use a paper and a pen instead of jotting down notes using an app. 

Switching applications in your computer might distract your candidate and might be a hassle, especially if you are conducting a long interview. Make sure to keep eye contact after writing your notes to ensure continuous virtual focus with your candidate.

10. Record interview for future reference.

One big advantage of video interviews is that it makes recording a lot easier. Most video conferencing software right now have that feature and you can also use third-party software. Recordings of the interview will help you in reviewing the performance of your candidate for future evaluations. You can also refer to the recordings for notes that you might have missed during the interview.

11. Follow up with your candidate about the next steps.

As a final impression, settle decisions or next tasks and steps with your candidate. If another interview is scheduled in the future as part of the hiring process, make sure that instructions are properly relayed. It doesn’t matter if the next steps are nothing, a second interview, or a digital proposal being sent. It is important that before closing your video conferencing software, all questions have been addressed.

Plan for a successful video interview

Finding the perfect fit for a job position could be challenging, especially at these crucial times where face-to-face physical interviews would require extra measures. The good thing is, video interviews can still be as equally helpful and effective as long as preparations and plans are properly executed. 

With innovative technology and increasing business niches, not even the number of miles or time zone differences could get in your way from finding your best employee.

Author bio: Hanson Cheng is the founder of Freedom to Ascend. He empowers online entrepreneurs and business owners to 10x their business and become financially independent. You can connect with him here.