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Getting the most out of your video interviews

Mobile hiring solutions are driving the recruitment market. At the forefront of the market’s evolution are video interviews, using technologies like Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts, which are proving to be a resource and time saving solution for hiring managers with a high volume of job interviews to complete, or who simply cannot attend a face-to-face interview. 

Video interviews however do require a somewhat different approach than face-to-face interviews, and preparing for video interviews and what you want to get out of the new potential hire is vitally important. Here are our top tips on how to get the most out of your video interviews.  

Prepare for the interview beforehand

As you would with a face-to-face interview, it is vital that you prepare for a video interview too. Testing the video software a day or two before the interview, can help avoid any delays in the process for both the recruiter and the applicant. If possible, seek the assistance of team supports or admins to assist with setting up the software and the meeting details, just as you would if a candidate were to visit your offices to compete the interview. You and/or your team support should test the computer or tablet, the software you are using to carry out the interview and the internet connection to ensure the interview runs smoothly.

A bad internet connection can negatively impact the interviewer and interviewee’s concentration during the interview and can often cause delays and ultimately bad experience – distracting both parties and effecting the standard of the interview performed. If the quality of the screen or sound is poor, it can also skew what you take from the interviewee’s response. Don't forget to test the light either, it's difficult to make a connection with a candidate if he can't see you properly. 

When managed and prepared effectively, online video interviews can be just as successful as face-to-face interviews – you can gauge a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively, their ambition and motivation within their responses and additional factors that can be judged from a paper-based CV.  

Structure the interview for the candidate

Before the interview takes place, confirm the structure and format of the interview with the candidate. There are two types of approaches to video interviews – live interviews and pre-recorded interviews.

  • Live Video Interview - this is similar to the face-to-face interview. You'll speak to the candidate in real-time over a video connection using a video interview software. Live videos enable you to recreate the traditional interview format without requiring the candidate to travel to your office, meaning you can recruit from anywhere in world and overcome any barriers to travel. Key benefit of a live interview process is that it can overcome barriers preventing face-to-face interviews, such as cost of travel or restrictions on travel. They also offer huge commercial value to clients with a high volume of interviews to complete, offering both a time and cost saving solution.
  • Pre-recorded Video Interview – less personal than live video interviews, however pre-recording candidate videos are a faster and efficient way of generating a high-quality shortlist of potential new hires.

Often, pre-recorded interviews can be used to replace early stage interviews to display the candidates level of skills and to get their personality fit across in the early stages of the process – creating a digital shortlist for clients of pre-determined interview questions under a specified time limit, assess a candidate’s ability to communicate under timed constraints whilst getting the important points across. A digital CV shortlist can be created within 24 hours, speeding up the route to hire.

Some video software incorporate skills testing results completed by candidates – allowing for a more data-driven decision-making process for clients when putting candidates forward to next round interviews.

Approach it the same way you would an interview in-person

The traditional paper CV relays a candidate’s skills and capabilities, so use the online video interview as an opportunity to identify softer skills of the potential recruit. Asking open-ended questions such as ‘tell me what you’re passionate about?” are effective to getting candidates to talk about their work experience - as motivation and passion is difficult to fake.

Ensure you have the best video interview software

Avoid any technical issues by ensuring you have the best software available to you when completing online interviews.

One key error hiring managers can make is not considering the candidate experience of the online process. Most video interview platforms offer candidates the opportunity to practice their interview techniques and effectively prepare for your interview. By ensuring the best technology is available to you, you can prevent bad candidate experiences.

Enhanced features that recommends the positioning of the camera, lighting, sound quality and much more, offers an essential checklist for candidates to feel comfortable when completing the interview in real-time online and perform at their very best.


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Have a look at our other tips and advice.


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