Video Interviewing: Finding the Right Hire in the Zoom Age

There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc within the US job market over the past 12 months, with an estimated 25.7 million people said to have been impacted by unemployment and reductions in pay and hours.

However, some seemingly “pandemic-proof” organizations have continued to recruit and grow their teams, despite the world being in a state of crisis. But how have they managed to find talented people to join their teams when face-to-face interviews are off the table? The answer is video interviewing.

Video interviewing has enabled these fortunate companies to meet prospective candidates remotely, something that is particularly convenient and vital at the moment as social distancing measures continue. But its benefits don’t stop there: Video interviews can also help organizations to reach out to a much wider talent pool, whilst also being cost effective and reducing the time-to-hire process.

As we move ever closer to a post-pandemic world, it’s expected that video interviews will continue to increase in popularity, particularly as businesses start working remotely on a longer-term basis.

Finding the best of the bunch

While video interviewing may not be anything new, there are still organizations out there who have yet to get to grips with it, particularly those who have been conducting face-to-face interviews for years or even decades. They might take a bit of getting used to, but it is possible to find the right hire for your business through a Zoom call. You just need to know what to look out for.

We’ve pulled together some tips to help you seamlessly determine which of your candidates are the right person for the job, even when you can’t meet them in-person.

Consider pre-recorded interviews

If you’re short on time and need to hire several new employees, asking candidates to complete a pre-recorded interview could be a potential option. Pre-recorded interviews can act as part of your screening process before inviting the candidates who performed well onto a live-video or face-to-face interview. This means you can only spend time on the candidates who you think are the best fit for the role.

Each prospective candidate should be provided with same set of pre-determined interview questions for the role they are interviewing for. This will make it far easier to evaluate candidates equally against the roles requirements and criteria. Try to limit the number of questions that are asked and be realistic when it comes to setting time limits for the candidates responses.

The candidate will be shown the questions one by one on the screen and can record and submit their responses via video file, which can usually be emailed to you. Make sure to provide all of your candidates with instructions on video file size and format, as well as explaining how the video will be evaluated before the interview takes place.

Check their professionalism

We all know that being professional is interview 101. But there are multiple things a candidate will need to consider if they want to portray themselves as a professional person during their video interview.

Firstly, check to see how they’ve presented themselves. While your organization may not expect candidates to wear a shirt and tie, the candidate should still demonstrate that they are treating this video interview with the same regard as an in-person interview by dressing smartly and looking presentable.

Secondly, look for signs that they’ve practised for the interview beforehand, just like they would a face-to-face interview. Ideally, they should be in a quiet room with no interruptions or distractions and they should also have thought about things such as camera angle, sound quality and lighting. This will all say a lot about the candidate’s eagerness to impress you.

While it’s important to look out for signs of professionalism in a candidate, remember that many people are still adapting to video interviews and there could be some teething problems. How the candidate deals with these issues can also be an indicator of how they work when under pressure.

Test their preparation 

Ahead of the video interview, prepare one or two questions for your candidate that will test how prepared they really are. Some candidates might think that a video interview won’t be as formal as a traditional face-to-face interview and this could mean they don’t take the time to prepare beforehand. A lack of preparedness can show a lack of genuine enthusiasm for the role- so it’s better to pinpoint this now rather than further down the line.

Try asking questions that quiz them about their knowledge of the company, their reasons for wanting to work for you and about the role you’re hiring for. Don’t forget to also listen to the details they include in their responses. If they’re vague, quickly reel off something generic or skirt around the question, it will soon become clear who has done their research and who hasn’t.

Learn more about their personality

A candidate’s CV might tell you about their work experience, the qualifications they’ve got and what their biggest achievements are. But it often tells you very little about their personality. Thankfully, video interviews can be an effective way of learning more about a candidate’s personality and attitude towards work before having to meet them in-person.

So in addition to your important role-specific questioning, take some time to have some small talk with the candidate beforehand to help ease their nerves and encourage their personality to come out. This will then make it easier to determine whether they will compliment or clash with your existing team and if they will suit your current working environment and set-up. If you’re hiring for a role that involves extensive customer and client interactions, but the person you’re interviewing has expressed an interest in working alone, this could be a red flag that they aren’t quite the right fit.

Video interviews can take some time to master, but hopefully these tips will help you streamline your hiring process and find the right person from a group of prospective candidates with ease.

Still struggling to get to grips with video interviewing? Get in touch with our knowledgeable team for support and ask them about using our video interviewing portal, the Consult Energy Hub.

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Adam Neeves

28th January

Blog Hiring Advice