Five signs to look for when interviewing via video

on 10 February 2015

We all know that technology is playing an ever increasing role when it comes to recruitment. Data science is being employed to cut down on the hours it takes to sift through CVs to produce the interview short list, and that's where the technology stops; or does it? To find the best possible candidate for your vacancy you should really have more than one interview in the process but time restraints often make this difficult.

Video is not a new concept by any means but video interviewing is really coming into its own with the latest survey showing that 6/10 employers are utilising it via tools like Skype and FaceTime. As well as asking for a CV in your job advertisement you could consider a video interview as stage one of the interview process.

So, when you're interviewing via video what are some of the key things you should look out for?

Professionalism
As the candidates have had time to prepare for their video it should be succinct, professional and enthusiastic, the same as you'd expect face to face. They should present themselves as they would in any other kind of interview and you should feel as if you know the person by the end of it. If their video interview does not convey this it is fair to assume you'll have the same feeling meeting them face to face.

Surroundings
Why does this matter? Because it gives you an idea of how conscientious they are. If they are sitting at home with kids running around or looking as if they are on the set of hoarders this doesn't bode well for how efficient they are in the workplace. This is not a judgement call on their choice of décor but to give you a feel for how efficient they are likely to be in the workplace.

Interruptions
You would never go into an interview with your phone switched on but it's surprising how many people let their phone ring or have the TV on for a video interview. Although a recent candidate said he thought it made him look popular if his phone kept ringing, we can assure you we were not impressed. A job hunt isn't a popularity contest and those who think it is are unlikely to fit well into your business model.

Attire
The first thing you would notice when a candidate enters the interview room is how they are dressed, and it's also the first thing you will notice when you see them on video. This is their only chance to make a killer first impression and a comfy but stained hoodie is going to detract from what they are actually saying and the interview will go downhill fast.

Crutches
Video interviews are a first introduction to a person to get a feel for them; you aren't looking for their life story. If they have cue cards or notes that they are referring to then it doesn't say much for their memory capacity or knowledge of their specialism. In an ordinary interview you expect people to pause and chew over the question before answering and the same applies to a video.

Body Language
This old chestnut stands out a mile on video. The ideal premise is that the person in front of you is introducing themselves, showing they have done some research on your company and telling you why they think they are best person for the job. They shouldn't be playing with their hair, sitting with their cat on their knee or picking at their feet; shudder. Yet many managers have reported that this is the scene which has greeted them when they have made video contact. Not only does this smack of non-professionalism but also displays a distinct lack of attention to detail and gives the impression that they are taking far too casual approach to this stage of interviewing when it should be treated in the same manner as a formal one would be.


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