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Top tips for virtual interviewers

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When lockdown first hit, video interviewing was treated with some trepidation.

But over recent weeks we’ve seen clients and peers using it more frequently, and with increasing success.

The key to that success is solid planning, and making sure that, as an employer, you’re conducting your interviews in the best way possible by eliminating potential issues and ensuring candidates are comfortable.

So, here’s our top 10 tips for clients on nailing video interviews:

  1. Virtual presence: Set the tone in your interview by sitting up straight, maintaining eye contact and positioning yourself well. Body language is even more vital in virtual interviews.

  2. Focus on culture: With candidates unable to enter your office, it’s especially tricky currently for them get a feel for your company culture. That means it’s your job to explain it thoroughly, and how it continues despite the distance.

  3. Consider your backdrop: Are you an informal, family-feel business? Or is it important to reflect your professional, corporate culture? Whether you want it to or not, your backdrop will tell the candidate a lot about your company, so carefully consider what you want them to see. 

  4. Have everything to hand: In video interviews, getting up to grab something isn’t ideal. Have the CV printed or viewable on a second screen, and have anything else you will need within easy reach. Make sure you have the candidate’s mobile number ready. If your tech fails, that will be essential and an easy fix!

  5. Avoid Panel interviews: Where possible try to avoid having too many people on a call. Too many people can have a negative impact on the flow and quality of a conversation and it can become very off putting for interviewers to try to navigate who they should be looking at and addressing at any given time.

  6. Be understanding: Most candidates won’t have as much experience of video interviewing as you, or perhaps won’t have the ideal tech set-up. It’s important to consider that when assessing the interview.

  7. Find some consistency: From questions and setting, to format and tech, find a consistent way of conducting these interviews. With consistency you’ll find the interviews become slicker and more professional, as well as easier to assess and compare.

  8. Build rapport: Try not to jump straight into serious questions too quickly. Video interviewing can be unsettling for candidates, so building rapport with some casual conversation is vital. Warm them up and you’re more likely to see the real person.

  9. Reassure candidates about Covid-19 measures: Candidates are extremely conscious of what firms are doing to make them safe. Show that you’re embracing agile working, technology, virtual training and buddy systems. Make it clear that you care about their health first and foremost.

Good luck, and do get in touch if you have any specific questions about challenges you’re having when conducting video interviews.

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