The situation with COVID-19 has caused many hiring managers to rely on virtual interviewing to assess candidates. In fact, research from Gartner shows that 86% of organisations are conducting virtual interviews to hire candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, many interviewers and interviewees have found this method effective, and virtual interviewing is likely to remain even when the COVID situation is finally resolved. With this in mind, we have explored some of the ways to ensure your virtual interviewing is effective for both parties.

An Interviewer’s Perspective

The interviewer is the person who will set up and organise the meeting. From choosing the right technology to planning the finer details of the interview, it is imperative to plan. These are some points to bear in mind when organising your video interview.

Choose a Reliable Platform

This isn’t the time to explore new types of technology. It is best to stick to the tried and tested platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype. Not only will you have peace of mind that this platform will be reliable, but it also allows the interviewee to test the technology before the interview. It is also advisable to check whether the platform you are using is free or if it requires a paid subscription. For example, Zoom’s basic plan has a 40-minute time limit and then you need to start paying to use it.

Advise on Set-Up

It is always a good idea to advise the candidate of the set-up of the interview. Some candidates can get anxious about their background, dress code, etc. You may want to advise the candidate about whether the background matters and how formal they should be dressed. If you don’t require them to dress in smart attire for the interview, let them know. The main thing is that the candidate feels relaxed and any extra information on the small details will help them focus on the conversation.

An Interviewee’s Perspective

Video interviews are much convenient for interviewee’s than face-to-face interviews. However, they are still stressful and nerve-racking. There is often candidate apprehension surrounding connectivity issues and comfort level on camera. These are some of the main areas to focus on when preparing. 

Test the Technology

It is important to test the technology before the interview to ensure that it works properly. Most interviewers are likely to be sympathetic if you are facing connectivity issues. However, it gives a poor first impression if you are late for the interview because you haven’t tested the technology. You should aim to be waiting in the virtual room five minutes before the scheduled time. Just as you would with a face-to-face interview.

Back-up Plans

Always have a back-up plan in place in case something goes wrong. For example, if you are using Skype on your laptop, make sure you also have it installed on your phone in case your laptop suddenly freezes. Alternatively, ask your partner or flatmate if you can use their laptop/PC as a back-up device. 

Deal with Distractions

You should ensure you complete your interview in a quiet place with minimal distractions. If you expect a distraction to take place, such as an important parcel arriving and you expect the doorbell to go, be upfront with the interviewer. The interviewer knows that you are at home, and will be understanding if you have to leave the interview for a couple of minutes. However, if possible try and avoid distractions as they can stop the flow of the interview.

Speak up about Interferences

We all know that technology doesn’t always run smoothly, and it is important that you are open and honest with the interviewer about interferences. For example, if the video suddenly cuts out and you missed what they said don’t pretend you heard everything if you didn’t. The interviewer will want to ensure that you are comfortable with everything they spoke about. 

Virtual interviews can be a good way to keep your recruitment process running, and it’s something we have incorporated into our day to day activity. Our clients outsource their recruitment function to us and we use video interviewing as part of our process. Visit our website or contact us on info@mindfulcontract.co.uk for more information on outsourcing your own recruitment function.