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There are pros and cons to video interviewing with candidates, especially early in the interview process. To make the most of a video interview, be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the format, as well as best practices to use to make the most of your time—and the candidate’s.

Pros

Video interviews offer a low-cost way to put a face with the candidate and get them in front of decision makers early on. They are particularly useful for out-of-town candidates, who can be expensive to bring in for interviews.

As with all interviews, video interviews allow you to see how the candidate reacts under pressure, evaluate their communication skills, and get a feel for how they present themselves professionally.

Some video tools offer the unique benefit of recording a person’s answers and body language. You can record video interviews for later reference, or even allow candidates to offer recorded answers to pre-recorded questions. Both tactics can help save time in the long run, especially if there are many decision makers involved in the hiring process.

Video can also be a great preview for how a candidate acts in customer-facing roles and positions which require regular use of video communication, such as working with a remote team.

Cons

Stress can be a major issue with video interviews, both for the candidate and the interviewer. Each person can feel self-conscious about how they look and sound in the video. Candidates may feel extra pressure if the video interview is early in the interview process simply because they do not know what to expect. The pressure to find a good hire can also cause interviewers to make judgments early on based on “human factors” (appearance, gender, etc.) rather than qualifications.

Issues with technology can be the biggest drawback to video interviews. Connection issues, software incompatibility, and a lack of familiarity with the software on the part of the interviewer or the candidate can cause frustration that ultimately degrades the value of the interview.

Best Practices

Best practices for video interviews are very similar to those for any other interview. Interviewers should explain to candidates how the interview process works ahead of time. Let them know how many people they will be interviewing with, and give them names so that they can familiarize themselves with those individuals in advance.

At the start of the interview, take time to help them relax by giving them information about your background, title, position, and how you will fit into their daily work flow if they are hired. Introduce the other interviewers in a similar way. Smile and begin with easy questions, including asking about how their day has been so far. Make efforts to ensure that the interview is a two-way conversation instead of letting it feel like interrogation.

When you close the interview, give the candidate opportunity to ask questions and ask for the role. Be sure to explain the next steps of the interview process, if any, or give the candidate a time frame for your response. Do not rush this. It is natural to feel awkward and want to end the video call quickly, but do your best to allow the same amount of time you would at the end of a regular interview.

After the interview, call any decision makers and your recruiter to tell them your impressions of the candidate and how the interview went.

To have great video interviews, you need to have great candidates. JDC Group’s recruiters can help by putting forward qualified and talented candidates for your company’s openings. Request an appointment with our business development team today.


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