COVID-19 & Recruiting: How to Conduct Video Interviews

Peninsula Team

August 24 2020

An interview is a make or break point in the recruitment process. It is an opportunity to create first impressions for both sides. It allows the applicant to meet prospective colleagues and experience your workplace culture first-hand. For you, it is a chance to gauge if the candidate is the right fit for the role and for your team.

As businesses cautiously reopen in the middle of a pandemic, most companies are choosing to recruit new staff via video interviews. While a sensible choice in the current circumstances, video interviewing cannot offer the same experience as an in-person interaction. As a result, it becomes all the more important that you do it right. If video interviewing is new for you, we’d recommend you keep the following in mind: 

Test your video equipment beforehand

When it comes to technology, it is best to never assume. To ensure you have a glitch-free interview, test your video equipment and software well in advance. Make sure you have a good Internet connection and that your webcam and microphone are working well. If your colleagues would be joining you for the interview, make sure they have the right equipment at home and are familiar with the software.

Share the interview details with the candidate

Being interviewed virtually might be a first or relatively new for your candidate as well. Inform them in advance how to join the video interview and whether they need to download any software. Share the names and designations of everyone who will be on the interview call. This would help the candidate prepare better and put them at ease.

Find a clean, quiet space for the interview

If you don’t have a designated work space at home, find a clean, well-lit, quiet spot to conduct all your interviews. Brighten your screen by placing a light source behind the camera. If you’re seated near a window, make sure it is not behind you as that would put your face in the shadows.

While some distractions may be inevitable when you work from home, try your best to keep interruptions to a minimum.

Be professional

Treat video interviews with the same professionalism and seriousness that you’d bring to in-person interviews. You’re representing your company to the candidate. Irrespective of the outcome of the interview, it is important that you make a good impression. Be mindful of video conferencing etiquette. Dress sharp, make eye contact, speak clearly, listen to the candidate, smile to put them at ease, put your phone on silent and don’t answer emails or take calls during the interview. 

Be compassionate

Don’t hold it against the candidate if their kids or pets interrupt the interview or if there is noise in the background. The past few months have been especially hard for working parents as schools are closed due to the pandemic. Besides children at home, their spouse may also be working from home. Be kind and cut the candidate some slack. 

Have a Plan B ready

When you share interview details, also give the candidate a backup phone number in case there’s a glitch during the video call. Also get the candidate’s phone number just in case there’s an issue with the technology and you have to conduct a phone interview instead. 

Be clear on the next steps

At the end of the interview, thank the candidate for their time. Be gracious and inform them of the next steps in the recruiting process. Ask them if they have any questions or whom to direct their queries to in case they have any later. If this was a final interview, let them know when would you be informing them of your final decision. 

Do you need help updating your HR policies for a COVID-19 world?

For advice on HR and health & safety policies during the pandemic, call an expert today: 1 (833) 247-3652.

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