I recently attended an HR conference where the group was asked if they used video interviewing. Nearly all raised their hands. I found this a bit frightening because to date I have not seen a single article on how to do an effective video interview. Given that video interviewing is not the same as phone or in-person interviewing, I decided to offer some guidance.
Make the best possible impression
Because it’s possible to do video interviews at home in your pajamas, you might be tempted to think this is an acceptable. It’s not. Remember, the candidate is evaluating you as much as you are evaluating her. Dress as you would in the office, make sure you are well-lit with a professional, non-distracting background, and prevent interruptions from frolicking children and animals. If you are using cloud technology like Google Hangout, check your connection and set-up ahead of time to ensure there are no snafus during the interview.
Tell candidates what to expect
Video interviewing is new to some candidates, especially those who have been in the workforce a while and haven’t job searched recently. Send along instructions regarding how to operate the necessary technology. Suggest that candidates test it first and access the interview 10 minutes early. You should also forward an agenda that spells out who they will be meeting, how long the interview will be, and how it will generally proceed. If there will be an opportunity for candidates to visually display qualifications during the interview (Powerpoint, websites, video, etc.), let them know in advance so they can take full advantage.
Plan what to ask
Prepare several open-ended questions in which candidates can describe their work history and problem-solving ability, and can communicate why they want to work with your organization and what excites them about the position. And your industry is not as big as you think, so avoid asking the same questions for years on end (even if you think they are especially clever).
For the rest of the best practices, check out the SilkRoad blog.