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| Posted by: Andy Tonner

Video interviewing top tips

The impact of coronavirus is shifting day by day - however what is clear is that movement, travel and self-isolation are starting to impact on how people and organisations continue to remain productive and impactful. A potential outcome of this is employers having to overcome challenges of interviewing and assessment through interviewing remotely. 

At Prospectus, we conduct hundreds of remote interviews and other meetings using online platforms every year, and thought we would share our 6 top tips for successful video interviewing.

1. The tech

There are a range of video calling platforms that you can use to conduct interviews - almost all have a free to use and premium version that offer different features. Our top 3 are below but there are many more available - choose the one that’s best for you.

Zoom

Zoom offers free video calling software for limited use - in our experience it is the easiest and most effective video calling software available. Simple to set up and use, the quality is excellent and it can be used on a desktop. On the free version you can host up to 100 participants but have a 40 min limit on group meetings - something you might want to consider for panel interviews.

Whataspp

Whatsapp is one of the most widely used communications platforms in the world and whilst it is often used for personal conversations if you have a work mobile it is an excellent tool for video and voice calling - but can only be used on mobile not desktop. It might be the one candidates find easiest to use but feels less “formal”.

Skype

Skype is one of the most well-known and established video calling platforms and the free features include group video chat for up to 10 participants, with the ability to share photos and messages alongside screen-sharing all in real time.

2. Consider any candidate adjustments

In the same way you would ask a candidate for any adjustments if they were attending a face-to-face interview, for example building access or communication requirements, make sure you do the same for video interviews.

3. Prepare and test

While most people know what to expect from on-site interviews, you and the candidate might not be familiar with remote interviews. Ensure your hardware and software is prepped before your meeting - otherwise you can spend the first 5 minutes trying to log on or adjust settings and that does not create a smooth experience for either party. Think about the simple things like is your battery charged? Have you tried testing the links and sound/video quality with a colleague before sending externally? Do you have a strong internet connection? Whatever you do make sure you give the same advice to the candidate in your interview confirmation, if you need to, provide them with links to set up guides.

4. Set up your environment

What is the environment for your video interview - hopefully it is a separate room to your open office but regardless make sure you remove clutter, check there isn’t a bright light above or behind you as that can create visual distractions and make you hard to see.

5. Prevent interruptions

You might have seen the BBC interview that gives you a key example of the hazards of interruptions! If not check it out here. Put a do not disturb sign if you are in a separate room, if in a more open environment then make sure those around you know you would appreciate some quiet to prevent distractions. If you are working from home and have pets make sure they aren’t going to wander into the interview or start barking!

6. Speak clearly and slowly

Finally, whilst technology has improved a lot so the classic lag when making video calls is less of an issue then it used to be, it is still different to being in a room with someone. Make sure you are being clear and check in that the candidate understands you and hears you clearly both at the start and during the interview, and also check with the candidate that you have understood their answers correctly.