Curious as to how online video interviews differ from traditional interviews? While the interview mediums differ (face-to-face vs. web meeting), the goal of the interviews are the same: determine whether the candidate has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate effectively within the role.
This guide aims to help you translate your traditional interview process into a complementary online interview process. Hiring decisions should not be taken lightly. This guide has all the information to help you select the right candidate. You'll learn the best ways to prepare for conducting an online interview and preview what's next in interviewing technology.
Reach out to the candidate via email or phone and make sure he or she is available for an online interview. During your correspondence with your candidate, mention that you would like to move him or her on to the next round of interviews, which includes an online conference. Make sure to ask if your applicant can accommodate an online interview.
Consultant at Northwestern University
You'll need to scout out a location ahead of time for conducting the online interview. Hopefully, your organization has a designated place for such occasions – private meeting rooms or offices. But, if it doesn't, the meeting location should be:
If your candidate is only able to access the internet via a public setting, ask that he or she use a headset to minimize background noise. In this case, it would also be wise to schedule the interview during non-peak hours for the location of the applicant. For example, if the candidate is interviewing from a Starbucks, try to avoid a morning interview.
If your candidate must use a public connection for the online interview, it is prudent to remind him or her of quiet public places where the interview can be conducted.
Managing Director, The Workforce Consultants
An applicant who is not tech savvy may need a little more guidance and information than those with some experience. To avoid any tech-related issues during the online interview, it may be necessary to have a short phone call with the candidate. This will ensure that your applicant has the proper technology and knows how to access the meeting. It will also put your candidate at ease so he or she can focus on the interview and not technical issues.
If your company conducts a lot of online interviews, you should take some time to develop a few resources to help candidates prepare for the platform. A short video explaining the process can ensure that the candidate receives all relevant information. Providing a Q&A sheet with frequently asked questions for the applicant to review prior to online interview can be helpful. These resources will help eliminate platform related issues during the interview.
President and Founder of College Recruiter
Sometimes the answer to a question can only be as good as the question itself. While the answers you get from open-ended questions can sometimes be revealing, they usually have little to do with the candidate's capability to perform the job. For example, if a candidate answers all of your technical questions correctly, but provides an awkward answer to an open-ended question, you may want to consider giving him or her a pass.
There is a situation in which you should consider giving more weight a candidate's answers to open-ended and/or hypothetical questions. If your company places a high value on the culture of the office – be it the cultivation of a team atmosphere, a competition-based environment, or a value on self-starters – you should consider whether or not the applicant will be able to thrive in your office's environment.
While online interviews are convenient, it's more difficult for the interviewer and the candidate to establish a personal connection over video. It's often made worse when the candidate is nervous or unfamiliar with the process.
It is important for recruiters and interviewers to keep in mind that some candidates may not be used to online interviews. While just the idea of an interview is stressful for applicants-add the extra worries that come with an online interview-and you could end up with a very uncomfortable prospect. It's your job as the interviewer to put the candidate at ease.
author of Body Language Secrets Revealed
While it's natural for candidates to be nervous during an online interview, there are some 'red flags' that could indicate problems beyond just nerves. It really comes down to your ability to 'read' a person. Although you are certainly not trying to interrogate your prospect, there are certain things to watch for while he or she answers.
If a candidate consistently makes these verbal slips only while talking about a certain skill or qualification, it may be an indication of a lack of confidence in his or her expertise around that topic.
Of course, video interviews are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using technology in your job search. One emerging recruiting technology trend is the virtual job fair.
A step up from networking and job board websites, a virtual job fair is a persistent environment. It's an always-open recruiting center that facilitates ongoing hiring efforts on a 24/7 basis. InterCall's virtual environments can be a driving force for your organization, catapulting your company into the technological age of recruitment.
You can't attract your perfect candidate without knowing what that candidate looks like. Before you begin building you virtual job fair, you need to know what kind of candidate you want to attract. You should start by building a profile of your ideal applicant. Once you have built the profile, you can then go fishing for your candidate.
If you are fishing for the ideal candidate, then think of your virtual job fair as the bait. When you go fishing, you will only catch what your bait attracts. Thanks to the profile you built around your ideal candidate, you know what kind of bait to use.
So, you know what kind of candidate you are fishing for. You have built the perfect bait to catch that candidate. But, you'll never catch a whale in a pond. You have to increase the size of the pool in order to maximize your chances of attracting the big fish. Effectively promoting your virtual job fair brings the whale to you.
Ideally, you will want to create a main reception area in your job fair where you can provide a menu of all other offerings and activities that candidates can easily access without having to randomly jump from room to room. If you expect a certain level of technical skill from your applicants, you should tailor your online environment to make content as easy as possible for potential candidates to access while also challenging them to utilize new technologies.
It's always a good idea to have a 'Live Chat' feature included within your virtual job fair. You'll want an HR representative manning the 'Live Chat' during office hours. This ensures you are cultivating all potential employees for next steps in your employment process while also maintaining their interest in your employment offerings.
Interviews, whether in-person or via online video, will always be a crucial step of the recruiting process. When you properly prepare your interview process, you show respect for the candidate’s time, your time, and the company’s time. A good recruiter understands that he or she must sell the opportunity to the applicant just like the applicant must sell his or her qualifications to the interviewer. Luckily, the process gets easier and more effective with practice. Now, go catch that big fish.
Eric Goulard (@Non_Verbal_info), author of Body Language Secrets Revealed, is a body language and nonverbal communications expert. Eric frequently blogs at Non-Verbal.info and is active on Facebook and Twitter.
Lynda Zugec (@LyndaZugec) is the Managing Director at The Workforce Consultants - a network of specialized consultants within the area of Human Resources. The network is comprised of consultants at the forefront of HR practice and research.
Steven Rothberg (@EntryLevelJob) is the president and founder of College Recruiter, the leading niche job board used by college and university students searching for internships and recent graduates hunting for entry-level jobs.
Harvey Daniels is a Consultant at Northwestern University's Kellog Graduate School of Management and DePaul University.