Hiring from home with video interviews

Remote Recruitment: How to Make the Most of Video Interviews

Saya Tuleutayeva

saya

Saya Tuleutayeva

Much of the world is now adapting to working from home in the face of COVID-19, including recruiters and hiring managers. While some companies had already made the switch to digital recruitment ⁠using tools and technologies like video interviews, online assessments, and advanced recruitment software—many are finding themselves hiring remotely for the first time. 

 

How can companies recruit people effectively, keep the interviewing process as smooth as possible, and protect their candidates’ and recruiters’ health and wellbeing? We want to share some tips for hiring during this challenging time.

 

Decide what type of video interviews you need

 

The two main types of video interviews are pre-recorded and live interviews. A pre-recorded interview is one where recruiters and candidates record their video questions and answers whenever and wherever they wish. Pre-recorded interviews are great for candidate screening and are used to complement, or in some cases, replace the more traditional screening methods like cover letters and CVs.

 

A live interview is done through a video call. This method is an effective alternative to face-to-face interviews when in-person meetings are difficult or impossible to arrange. You can also record live interviews to refer back to afterwards.

 

Depending on your recruitment needs and the stage of your hiring process, you may choose to use only one or both types of video interviews. If you’re at an early stage of the hiring process and want to quickly gauge the personality and cultural fit of your candidates, consider using pre-recorded video interviews. On the other hand, if you have finished shortlisting and are ready to get to know your best candidates better, live interviews might be more up your alley. You can have several live interview rounds according to your needs or add additional recruitment steps to learn more about your candidates.

 

Involve your team

 

In recruitment, collaboration is key—it promotes a culture of transparency and trust and reduces unconscious bias.

 

With video interviews, you can share your candidates and their videos with your colleagues hassle-free. Your colleagues can assess the candidates based on the same information you have about them, leave comments under candidates’ videos, challenge each other’s biases, and contribute to fair recruitment. By encouraging your colleagues to collaborate, you’re getting a better view of your candidates and ensuring your new employee will be a good fit.

 

Prepare your questions ahead of time

 

Think carefully of the competencies, skills, and attitudes you’re looking for from candidates and prepare thoughtful and meaningful questions that are aligned with your main recruitment criteria. If you’re hiring remote candidates (temporarily or full-time), consider asking questions relating to remote working, such as autonomous working, self-motivation, collaboration, communication, and time management.

 

With pre-recorded video interviews, you can ask your candidates the same set of questions. To use this opportunity wisely, ask questions that will help you identify the most suitable candidates right away and help you with the screening.

 

When you're preparing for your live interview, as with in-person interviews, properly check the candidates’ applications beforehand and come up with questions around what you most want to learn about your candidates. For example, if your candidate mentioned in their application that they worked on a project similar to the one you’re running, why don’t you ask them about that?

 

Check your tech and your surroundings 

 

Whether you’re conducting live interviews or recording your questions for pre-recorded interviews, here are some basic things to keep in mind: 

 

  • Make sure the lighting is good—natural light will give you the best results.
  • Stay in a quiet room with a neutral background where no one will disturb you.
  • Put away your phone like you would in a face-to-face interview so you won’t get distracted or disturbed.
  • Test your camera and your microphone beforehand.
  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection to avoid any technical problems from happening during the interview. An internet connection with a bandwidth speed of at least 1 megabits per second is ideal.
  • Have a backup plan. For example, ask for your candidate’s phone number or give your own, so you can continue your conversation over a phone call in case things don’t work out as intended. 

 

Over-communicate  

 

Irregular or lack of communication has always been a major complaint from candidates. We can’t stress enough the importance of candidate communication, especially when hiring remotely. When you can't meet your candidates in person and invite them for a coffee at your office, you need to put an extra effort and over-communicate to your candidates to create a positive candidate experience.

 

Remember to provide your candidates with all the necessary information in your video interview invitation and follow up after the interview. In case video interviews are not common in your area, it might be a good idea to explain the process to your candidates so they know what to expect. Show your candidates you value their time by proactively communicating with them—it'll greatly improve their candidate experience.

 

Aim to put candidates at ease 

 

In these difficult and stressful times, we need to help each other stay calm and show support and compassion. During your video interviews, remember to show friendliness and approachability by smiling and not being overly stiff or serious. Be mindful of your body language and tone of voice when speaking with your candidate.

 

When you’re conducting live interviews, let your candidates know there’s no need to rush their answers. Allow pauses after your questions before the candidate responds and pause after your candidate speakers to make sure they’re done with their answer.

 

Convey your company’s mission and values

 

Perhaps now more than ever, your candidates are interested in learning about your company’s mission and values. Many candidates are curious about your policies and benefits, and many want to know how your company is coping with the COVID-19 crisis. 

 

How you're handling the situation tells candidates a lot about how much you value your employees and how you act when faced with uncertainty. Did your company provide all the necessary information and guidance about the virus to educate your colleagues and keep everyone safe? What did your company do to help employees switch to working from home? Does your company provide mental healthcare for all employees? Have your answers to these questions ready when talking to candidates or initiate these conversations yourself, but be mindful of your language so you don't come across as braggy.

 

Give and ask for feedback

 

Giving constructive feedback is a simple way to show you care about a candidate's success and leave a positive impression of your company. But don’t forget that recruitment is a two-way process, so be sure to ask your candidates about their experience to learn what you need to improve on.

 

In the face of the crisis, many companies including Amazon, Google, and Facebook are moving their in-person interviews online. The transition can be challenging, but we are here to help. In an effort to protect you, your colleagues, and candidates and help you conduct interviews safely, we are offering a 14-day trial of Recright video interviews. If you want to learn more about Recright, drop us a line here, and we'll get back to you.