Some adjustments have been made by employers to prioritise the health and safety of employees in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Talent acquisition teams also reassess their hiring approach, transitioning from in-person recruitment to virtual ones.
Whilst virtual interviews can help minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading, save travel cost and time, online interviews might result in more technical issues, such as delayed video, slow internet connection, echoing voice, etc. Live interviews would also need entirely different settings and contexts.
See also: Why Internal Hiring Matters?
If your business is planning to hire virtually, here’s practices recruiters can do to lead effective video interviews and hire the best candidates despite being unable to meet them directly.
1- Ask for video resumes for alternative
Video resume is not new but it remains effective to assess your candidate’s soft skills and communication skills in a faster and better way than a written resume. However, a recruiter must understand that a video resume might not be ideal for certain job roles, such as accountant, chef or software developer. Yet, it is still great to assess your candidate’s presentation, communication, creative thinking, and self-promotional skills. Ideally, a video of 2-3 minutes would give you a quick glimpse about a candidate’s personality and skills.
2- Live interviews
When you have a glance of a candidate’s personality, you can conduct a live interview. Live interviews work just like a regular in-person interview session. While virtual interviews are effective, in-person interviews might still be needed to assess the overall employability of talents. To have a seamless video interview, you can follow these practices.
Set a process of how you want the interviews run (one-on-one, group, or in some phase). Plan the interview process and distribute it to all interviewers and interviewees. Transparency and clear communication are vital to be delivered earlier.
Line up the necessary platforms and give it a test run. There are a lot of reliable options like Zoom, Skype, Cisco Webex Meetings, BlueJeans, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc. To avoid technical hiccups, do a video test before your interviews.
Don’t forget the tools. Smooth video interviews do not only require excellent video conference service, but also some other tools like speakers, headsets, and cameras. Make sure you get all these tools prepared and ready.
Share your expectations to candidates so they can prepare themselves for the interview as well.
Choose a clean, quiet, well-lit space for the interviews to reinforce that you are taking the interview seriously.
Practice a compelling (virtual-only) company culture pitch to give an image to candidates about the company culture since the candidates cannot walk over your office. You might also consider sending candidates visual materials, such as a library of employee testimonials or social media posts capturing meaningful moments, during or after the interview.
Don’t have a long conversation. Oftentimes, hiring managers would ask a detailed question that demands a long answer. When this happens, the conversation would go long and even bore the audience. The best advice is to keep it short and stay to the point. Be professional and respect the candidate's time.
Follow up with a thank-you note, a request for feedback, and any next step. Finally, use a post-interview note to tell candidates about the next step of the recruitment process. You should let them know if they are no longer in consideration, or if they make it to the final phase and may still need an additional interview, assessment or background check.