How to successfully recruit via video interview

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Conducting a digital interview is no longer niche – it’s the norm. For recruiters looking to get the best results, here are some video interview tips to help you find the best candidate for the job


Recruiters have long recognised the benefits of video calls in the hiring process – which is just as well, considering it has now become the main way for recruiters and candidates to meet. Unlike phone interviews, video calls enable recruiters to get a sense of non-verbal cues, such as body language, to better understand an interviewee’s personality. And when recruiters ask for pre-recorded video-interview responses from candidates, this allows them to make more of a like-for-like comparison of people’s performances, rather than relying on written notes and memory.

The flip side of video interviewing is that there’s more pressure placed on the medium. Not only do candidates get one shot to make a good first impression, the recruiter must make decisions based on this communication. With this in mind, here are some tips for recruiters planning to conduct interviews via video.

1. Prepare the candidate

When preparing for video interviews, inform candidates about each step of the process ahead of time. “This allows candidates time to review their own video interviewing best practices, get comfortable in front of the camera, and get assistance where needed,” says Josh Tolan, founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform.

2. Test your equipment

Paul Bailo, author of The Essential Digital Interview Handbook compares digital interviews to a Broadway show. “The stage should be set, and equipment tested before the show – or interview – begins.” This means ensuring you have the software downloaded in advance and be familiar with how to use it. Try a test call with a colleague to make sure that your camera and microphone are working correctly, and that you’re comfortable sharing links.

3. Set the scene

“You need lighting in the front, back and side, which should illuminate your face,” says Bailo. “The camera should only capture the ‘triangle of love’ – your face and shoulders.” And keep your background setup free from distractions. “Instead of listening [to you], many job candidates can be tempted to read the book titles on [your] shelves or watch cars speed by on the highway outside the window.”

4. Log on early

“Show up to the video interview five minutes early and switch off your video functionality while you wait,” says communication expert Kate Heinz. “This will ensure you’re on time to the meeting, but you can continue to work or organise your space in the meantime. Your candidates will appreciate your punctuality.”

5. Silence your phone and mute notifications

“Give candidates your full attention and turn off the rest of the world when conducting video interviews,” says Kate Heinz. “Your device’s built-in speakers can pick up and magnify notification noises, which makes for a very unpleasant interruption. Remember, this is a time to both assess a candidate’s fit for the role and sell the employer, so prepare your set-up well.”

6. Make the most of video format

A video interview gives recruiters the opportunity to create a strong first impression of the company the candidate is interviewing for – in a way that’s not possible with phone interviews. A recruiter might wish to curate a branded introductory video that shows candidates exactly what a company’s culture is like, rather than simply telling them. A strong presentation will win the candidate’s trust by helping them better visualise what their future could be like.


Did you find this article useful? Read more about effective recruitment in Regus Magazine