How to Conduct a Video Interview

Funny Story:  I spoke with a candiate that had a Skype interview. Things were going great. He was very professional. Then his mother came down the stairs in her bathrobe and start ironing directly behind him!  Needless to say this was a total distraction to him as well as the interviewer!

It’s expensive for companies to fly candidates in for in-person interviews, so more companies are conducting video interviews using Skype and similar technology. Internet-based videoconferencing tools allow employers to reach out to candidates virtually anywhere in the world easily and cost-effectively.

According to a recent survey, 63 percent of human-resources managers said their company often conducts interviews via video. This is up from just 14 percent one year ago. In addition, 13 percent of respondents said they think their organization will use video more frequently to meet with job seekers in the next three years.

While use of the technology is becoming increasingly common in business, for many hiring managers, this is still unfamiliar territory. Setting the stage for a positive video-interview experience for both the hiring manager and the job seeker requires planning and practice. Here are some tips for employers:

Choose your location wisely
Videoconferencing services such as Skype allow you to schedule a meeting from almost anywhere — your home computer, cubicle, smartphone or tablet computer.

However, no matter where you conduct an interview, don’t let your surroundings interfere with maintaining a professional atmosphere. For instance, if you’re working from home, dress as you would if you were conducting a formal, face-to-face interview with a job seeker — after all, that’s what you’re doing, albeit virtually.

If you’re at the office, remember that your webcam is the job seeker’s window into the company. Select a location that is tidy, quiet and distraction-free. To ensure privacy, consider reserving a conference room. Let your colleagues know you’ll be interviewing a potential hire and must not be disturbed, just as you would if you were meeting the job seeker in person.

Treat your small screen like the big screen
When preparing to conduct a video interview, think about how to make the experience more natural. For example, ensure there is ample natural light at your location and that it’s directed onto your face, rather than from behind you, reducing shadows and glare.

Also, avoid leaning into the webcam; doing so can create visual distortion. However, look directly into the webcam and not at the computer screen when speaking. In a face-to-face interview, maintaining eye contact is essential to making a positive connection with a potential hire, and it’s no different in a video interview.

Account for technical difficulties and time delays
Videoconferencing is a convenient but imperfect technology. Its effectiveness depends on the speed of your Internet connection and how much network traffic is being carried on both your company’s and the job seeker’s systems at the time.

Even under the best of conditions, delays and “choppiness” in video and voice are common; work around these issues by speaking slowly and trying not to move around too much. Allow for a second or two of dead air to pass after the job seeker finishes speaking before you deliver your next question or comment. Think of TV news anchors conducting interviews via satellite. This will help to avoid awkward and confusing conversation overlaps.

If you’ve never conducted an interview via videoconference, don’t risk making a poor impression by jumping into the process unprepared. Practicing with a colleague can help you to build confidence and polish your skills before your debut. And always be prepared to rise above technical problems: Keep the job seeker’s contact information handy just in case you have to grab the phone to complete the conversation.

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  • Darryl Jackson has been amazing during this whole process!

    He has kept in contact with me from the very beginning! He gave the company I interviewed for a good vision of myself and they are talking highly of me! Without Darryl, I would still be jobless! He has called me on several occasions to check in and show me that he is reaching out to the next people he needs to reach out to! I could not have asked for a better supporter to help me in my job search! His business is going to excel if he continues to work this hard with his clients like he did with me and I honestly cannot thank him enough!
    Thanks,
    Josh Adams
    Darryl Jackson has been amazing during this whole process!
  • Matt gave excellent information that helped me put my best foot forward. 

    I had the pleasure of working with Matt Lopez.  We have been on this journey with a few companies. I always felt well represented and excited about the opportunities I was presented. His timely follow up is one of the many attributes that stood out the most.  It is hard to find professionalism at this level.  He gave consistent feedback, and pep talks before my interviews.  It's quite a process when dealing with second and third interviews, and Matt constantly provided great energy and enthusiasm.  He also made sure I was always prepared in having all the ammunition I needed.  Whether footnotes, information about the brand, or providing key examples to respond during the interviews.  With this pandemic, it's been difficult.  Many companies are hesitant with the direction they are moving.  Even with my vast experience, Matt is my most valuable asset.  I have several Colleagues and I would highly recommend his service without a doubt.

    Best,
    James McClain Jr.
    Matt gave excellent information that helped me put my best foot forward
  • Sally Kennedy is prompt, professional, and thorough!

    We found 2 employees using Sally Kennedy's services.  I wanted to let you know, she is amazing to work with!  We have used other services and she was able to find, by far, the best candidates for the positions.  I look forward to working with her and your company in the future!

     

    Best Regards,

    Kelley Smith

    Sally Kennedy is prompt, professional, and thorough!
  • I would recommend Darryl to any candidate!

    Darryl Jackson did a great job providing the resources and the tools I needed to land a great job. He was patient, knowledgeable, and willing to go the extra mile to ensure that I was successful.     Thank You So Much! Jalen Hannah I would recommend Darryl Jackson to any candidate!
  • Allison Sullivan was fantastic in finding me a wonderful position!

    She was very professional and upbeat! My background was a perfect match for their opening and their remote position, in my field of expertise, is exactly what I was looking for! I could not be happier!
    -Lisa Williams
    Allison Sullivan was fantastic in finding me a wonderful position!