For recruiters, video interviews that occur via Skype or FaceTime are helpful because they are the closest thing you will get to an onsite, in-person interview. Oftentimes, candidates live in far-away locations that make it impossible (or unaffordable) for on-site interviews to occur. A video interview is also more personal than a telephone interview, and allows you to get to know the candidate in a more face-to-face environment. However, it is important for recruiters to treat these video interviews as though they are taking place onsite, and not over the phone. Interviews must always be treated in a formal manner. Because of the virtual component, many recruiters forget this, and some interviews can become too casual. Here are a few mistakes managers and recruiters make when conducting video interviews:
Even though there is a virtual barrier between you and the candidate you are interviewing, you should always treat the interview as though the potential hire is in the room with you. To some degree, they are. They can see you—your expressions and mannerisms—as well as the room you are conducting the interview from. Make sure you are in an office setting, and looking and sounding professional—as you would if that person were in the room with you. Be just as prepared as you would for a normal, on-site interview as well. In most cases, the candidate can tell if the recruiter is unprepared within the first few minutes. Don’t assume that since the candidate is not in the room with you, that you can go about the interview in a more casual manner.
Technology can be hard. But if you know you will be conducting a video interview, make sure everything is functioning and ready to go at least an hour before it is set to happen. Being late for any interview that you are leading—even if technical difficulties get in the way—is very unprofessional and may cause the candidate to re-think applying for the job. 93 percent of the time, the candidate will be early for the interview. It’s important to be early—or at least on time—on your end as well. On the flip-side, always be available to provide technical help to the candidate should they need it.
During video interviews, we tend to forget that there is a camera on us and that someone on the other end is watching us. Be sure to keep your eyes focused on the screen. NOT on the part of the screen that shows your image or the other person’s image, but where your computer’s camera is focused. You want to be looking at the candidate as if you are making eye contact with them in person. Again, if you treat the interview like an onsite one, this will happen naturally. Don’t get distracted, and do not multi-task. Remember, the candidate can see everything you’re doing. And just because you are not in the same room as the candidate doesn’t mean you can act casual. Have a professional mindset, wear appropriate work attire, clear your desk, and make eye contact with your candidate.
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