The ability to use video conferencing for interviews is on the rise, due to the many benefits that it provides. Virtual interviews have increased in frequency in recent years due to the many benefits they provide both interviewers and interviewees.
Some of the benefits of video conferencing for an interview are:
- It minimises travel expenses, compared to in-person interviews.
- It captures the non-verbal conversation, unlike phone interviews.
- Interviewees may feel less nervous than in-person interviews.
- They are typically more efficient and cost-effective than in-person.
- Companies can interview people all over the world, broadening the talent pool.
- Interviews can be recorded and replayed later.
- Interview questions can be pre-recorded.
In many ways, a video conferencing interview is just like an in-person interview, so much of the preparation and mechanics are the same. For example, it’s important to dress and act professionally, have your questions prepared in advance, be on time, and avoid interruptions.
In addition to standard interview preparation, here are some additional tips you should keep in mind when using video conferencing.
How to prepare before the day of the interview
Before a video-conference interview, there is preparation that both the interviewer and interviewee will need to complete.
As an interviewer, you will need to do the following:
- Determine the best video conferencing hardware for interviews, and set it up.
- Test your hardware to ensure the microphone and webcam are working.
- Select candidates for video interviews.
- Determine whether they will be live interviews or pre-recorded questions.
- i) If pre-recorded, you will need to program the software and record the questions in advance.
- Decide whether the candidate will be interviewed at their location, or if an off-site location or company office near them will be their base.
- Schedule the interviews, taking into account the time difference in respective locations.
- Provide the video conferencing software to the applicants along with set-up instructions, if required.
As an interviewee, you should make the following preparations:
- Ensure your internet connection is stable.
- Test your computer’s audio and webcam.
- Select a suitable location for the interview, if one isn’t provided.
- i) Make sure it’s somewhere you won’t be disturbed.
- ii) Ensure the lighting is bright enough for you to be visible on the screen
- iii) Don’t have any unprofessional or distracting visuals behind you.
- Set-up the required software in advance of the interview, and do at least one practice run to get used to the technology.
- Ensure your account name is professional.
What to prepare on the day of the interview
Directly before the interview starts, there are some last minute preparations to take care of. For both the interviewer and interviewee, these include:
- Rechecking your equipment and software to ensure everything is still working.
- Clearing the area you will be video conferencing from.
- i) Remove any extra papers or clutter
- ii) Make sure your phone is on silent.
- Close down any other programs running in the background so they will not distract you or slow down your internet connection.
- Print off a copy of any documents you may need. This may include:
- i) The interviewee’s resume
- ii) Questions you will be asking
- iii) Any relevant information about the company or the person you’re video conferencing with.
- iv) For the interviewee, you may also want relevant examples of your work, and notes on how you plan to answer expected interview questions, such as
- Have a paper and pen ready to take notes.
- Dress professionally, and avoid bright colours, stark white, red, and busy prints as they may be distracting on camera.
- i) Don’t assume that you only need to dress professionally from the waist up.
- ii) Avoid too much makeup and any shiny or flashy jewellery that will catch the light.
- iii) If you wear glasses, make sure they don’t create a glare on the camera.
- Make sure the device you are using is placed on a flat surface. If you’re holding the tablet or placing the computer on your lap, it can make the video jumpy and distracting.
- Have a glass of water ready if you need it.
How to interview using video conferencing
When the time comes for the video conference interview to take place, it’s a good idea to make sure you are logged in ten minutes before the scheduled meeting.
Here are six other tips you should keep in mind when using video conferencing for an interview:
- Maintain eye contact as much as possible, but remain aware of what is going on on the screen.
- Use hand gestures when appropriate but don’t exaggerate them or use them more than you would during an in-person conversation.
- Avoid becoming distracted.
- i) It’s easier to lose focus when you’re not interviewing in person. Pay attention, don’t let your mind wander, and make sure you don’t miss anything being said.
- ii) While you may have notes, try to refer to them as little as possible.
- Minimise movement and body motion.
- i) Actions such as crossing and uncrossing your legs could cause your image on camera to blur or look jumpy.
- Be prepared for a transmission delay.
- i) There will likely be about a half a second delay in transmissions. To adapt for this, pause before you respond to make sure the other person is done speaking.
- Mute the microphone when it’s not your turn to speak, so there are no unnecessary noise distractions.
How to handle technical difficulties when interviewing
When using technology for an interview, there’s always the possibility something could go wrong. If that happens, it’s important to have a backup plan already in place.
Before the interview begins, you should ask the interviewee for a phone number where you can reach them if the video conferencing stops working. This way, if the sound cuts out, or you lose your internet connection, you can call them and either reschedule or continue the interview by phone.
We have a variety of video conferencing solutions available to suit your interviewing needs, including web conferencing, HD video conferences, and interactive meetings. Get in touch with our team today to learn more.