Hiring the right candidate is always tricky; hiring the right candidate via a video interview is even trickier. Below we put together a list of best practices for hiring managers to assure they make every video interview a positive candidate experience. These seven simple steps will guarantee that you not only avoid some of the biggest blunders we see hiring managers make but also get the best out of the candidate you are meeting!
1. Book A Conference Room
Whether you are working from home or doing a virtual interview from your office, make sure that you have reserved a quiet space. While your nice pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones may block out distracting noise for you, they may pick up your colleague shouting their lunch order next to you and be a distraction to the candidate. Also, being in a private space allows you to have more delicate conversations around matters such as compensation or reasons for leaving.
2. Test Your Software And Hardware
Whether you end up using Zoom, Hangouts, or just FaceTime, make sure your device is compatible, has the software required downloaded, and has a full charge. If you are using wireless headphones, make sure that you don’t have any connectivity or battery issues, there’s nothing worse than switching to your computer’s speaker mid-interview. Also, please make sure the solution you’ve chosen is compatible with the candidate, don’t assume they have an iPhone for FaceTime or a Gmail for Hangouts, check with them when you schedule the interview.
3. Be Punctual
Let’s admit it; even the best conferencing solutions have their hiccups, give yourself plenty of time to be ready before the interview starts. Remember, the candidate you are interviewing might be using the software for the first time or might be coming from a sales call at their current job. Be mindful of their situation and give them a few extra minutes to get situated.
4. Shut Down All Your Windows
As hiring managers, we are always trying to maximize our time and multi-task; an interview is not the time to do this. If you were sitting in an interview room with a candidate, would you be checking your emails, answering your slack messages, or trying to coach someone on your team through a deal? I hope the answer to this is “no.” Make sure you give a video interview the same respect that you would an in-person interview, shut down all your other windows, the only thing on your screen should be your potential new hire’s face!
5. Use A Notebook
I take all my notes in Evernote, and I’m not too fond of printing resumes, but a video interview is a rare time where it makes sense to go retro. Writing your notes in a notebook and having a printed resume in front of you prevents you from toggling between multiple screens and making the distracting sound of typing any time a candidate starts to talk.
6. Turn Your Camera On!
Same rules apply for an in-person interview here, would you interview a candidate with the lights off or from behind a curtain? Hopefully not, the same goes for a video interview, make sure your camera is on. You shouldn’t expect a candidate to gaze at a black screen while you walk through their background, firing off questions. Make sure your camera is on, in good focus and not moving, an interview shouldn’t take place on the move for any reason.
7. Be Engaging
A video interview will never displace an in-person meeting, but we can try to make it as close as possible. Remember, an interview is just as much for the candidate as it is for the hiring manager. During a video interview, a candidate won’t be distracted by your fancy coffee machine, swanky conference room, or skyline view; they are focused on you and your energy. Make sure to be excited and energetic during the interview, any sense of being distracted or lack of enthusiasm will amplify on a video interview.
Whether your company is moving towards a remote working or you are just taking advantage of your organization’s flex work policy, make sure your ability to create a positive interview doesn’t suffer. By doing these simple things – and they are simple — your ability to effectively scale your headcount virtually will significantly increase.
Chris Gannon is the founder of Captivate Talent, an NYC based recruitment firm that focuses on placing top revenue professionals at high growth technology companies. Contact Chris to understand how you can optimize your interview process and scale your team.
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