Hiring Managers, How Prepared are You for Video Interviews?

By Rhonda Caughlin Werner, Recruiting Consultant – Partner

The speed of adoption of video interviewing has increased far more than most of our industry was ready for!  Most feel like overall it is a great tool and had served its purpose well during Covid and will probably continue to be used at a much higher rate than prior.

Most concerns about video interviewing have been from the company hiring. Can we really get a good read on someone from just multiple video interviews?  How do we really know them?  But what about the candidate experience?  Most do not consider the candidate experience. How well you, as the hiring company, adequately come across in the video interview is rarely discussed. There are many things on your end that can cause issues or concerns that most do not think about.

There’s a multitude of articles written on how a candidate needs to prepare for the video interview. Make sure your lighting is just so. No distractions. Make sure your background isn’t distracting. But how often do the interviewers seem to play by the same rules?

What are the concerns that I, as the one hiring need to take into consideration?

  • Think of Sound – I’ve often had interviewees come back talking about how hard it was to hear the hiring manager. Are you using a head set or earphones? Those typically offer a clearer interviewing experience than trying to use the microphone on your computer.
  • Better Light – Is your lighting good? Is your face cast in shadows? Even though you are interviewing via video, your facial expressions and an ability to see your face clearly are very important.
  • Multiple Interviewers – Often if there are people who are actually in the same office, they like to just all try to huddle around the computer. They can see the candidate well, but the candidate cannot typically make everyone out well or see facial expressions, and sound is often an issue in this situation. I’d advise just having everyone log in from their own computer for multiple interviewers. It just makes the process smoother.
  • Stay Focused – We’ve all become so used to sitting through Zoom conference calls and meetings that we are often distracted. Don’t be distracted when you are interviewing a candidate. Close down your emails and internet browsers. Make sure you are focused on the conversation at hand.
  • Allow Testing – One of the biggest complaints is that the technology just does not work great. The links do not work well to get logged in. Someone does not have enough bandwidth to do both video and audio. It just becomes a bit of an unprofessional cluster. Giving a candidate the opportunity to test prior, whenever possible, just causes less stress when things don’t go well at the beginning of a video interview.

Don’t become complacent when doing video interviews. It’s becoming so much the “norm” now that we’ve spent the last 9 months with having to do more video calls, meetings, interviews, etc. than any of us ever imagined possible, but interviewing is different. As much as you expect the candidate to be prepared and focused, don’t let it slide on your end. You are very much the face of your business and the candidates experience on that video interview will make for a lasting impression, good or bad, for quite some time to come. Make it a great experience!