We have become very used to virtual or video interviewing during the last 5 or so years as our clients want to reduce travel costs whilst also speeding up their recruitment processes. For many though, not meeting candidates face to face is an uncomfortable situation and so here are my 8 top tips on creating an effective and enjoyable virtual interview.
- In my view, you have to be even more prepared for a virtual interview than you would a face to face one. It is a bit more awkward to create a connection and engagement for a start. Don't let your guard down or your standards slip. Create and communicate an interview agenda. This will help to ensure everyone is prepared. Make sure everyone in the interview loop has the correct interview time on their calendar, properly adjusting for different time zones. Don't try and catch anyone out. You want to get the most out of this meeting and, this could be the outstanding candidate you would love to have in your team so don't prevent that due to poor planning and communication.
- Let the candidate know the dress policy for the interview. Nothing worse than being too dressed up or too casual. It will also give a sense of your company's culture.
- Build in 5 to 10 minutes of small talk. Put everyone at ease, ensure your video platform is working well and create engagement so the interview will be enjoyable for all.
- If you are interviewing with colleagues, ensure you all know what role you are playing and your objective for the meeting. Have a call before the interview to discuss the candidate and agree your game plan. What you portray as a team will be under close scrutiny by the candidate.
- Lead the interview with some employer branding to get the candidate engaged and excited. Talk through the story of the company, your vision, values and what the role you are interviewing for entails. Why should they be excited about a career at your company? Please don't be cold and get stuck into them assuming they will drop everything to come and work for you. This is a two way selling process.
- Ensure you know the job description and have read the candidate's CV or resume inside and out. Come prepared with good questions that will help you to assess if they can do the job and if they are a behavioural or cultural match for your company. Don't interview off the cuff. It will waste everyone's time.
- Let the candidate know what happens from here. If you are ready to give constructive feedback or progress them to the next stage then do it. There is nothing worse that waiting days or weeks for feedback especially when your competition are moving faster than you.
- All in all, create an experience that you would like to have if you were the candidate. This is an assessment process for a big investment you are about to make in your company. Make sure it is robust and set up to engage and enthuse outstanding talent that will help you achieve your business goals.
Virtual interviews conducted by video conferencing have become more common – and not just for initial screening. From saving money on travel or accommodating asynchronous schedules to protecting the health of employees and communities during peak flu season, conducting highly effective virtual interviews can be a boon for both employers and candidates. The key is getting the process right.