Video interviews were an increasingly common part of the hiring process even before the pandemic. Now, they’re becoming the norm.
Video interviews can take on many different forms and are typically used in the earlier stages of the interview process. They can significantly streamline the hiring process and can benefit both employers and employees.
If you’re a business that needs to speed up your hiring process or screen candidates more effectively, read on.
Why Do Video Interviews Matter?
Video interviews matter because of the benefits they bring.
They are easier to schedule when it works for everyone and are less of a time commitment than in-person interviews, so it speeds up your hiring process. Not to mention you can screen candidates during the initial stages more efficiently. It’s a win-win scenario.
What Does Success Look Like?
You may be wondering what a successful video interview looks like for your company.
First of all, most businesses will have specific aims or even processes they want to improve, and video interviews can be a big part of this.
Let’s imagine that you’re desperate to cut down on hiring costs and need more insight before you make vital hiring decisions.
Hiring can be a costly part of running a company, and you need to make the right decisions relatively quickly. Not to mention that some of the best candidates may be far away and will either be remote employees or in-office employees for whom you’d need to cover travel costs.
Video interviews remove the cost in this scenario. Regardless of distance, if there’s someone you need to interview, video interviewing is a valid option to get around the problem.
Your candidate may be in a different country altogether, so this is a must without extensive travel as the alternative—which is even more problematic in the post-pandemic world.
The result is that you get to interview the candidate you want without unwanted expenses. Not only that, but you can make an informed choice on whether they will be a great fit and whether to proceed. In fact, 82% of hiring managers say there are signs during a video interview that an employee will be trouble. This number is hard to ignore.
Another instance would be that you need to show potential candidates you’re a forward-looking company. Perhaps you’re a tech-focused company that wants to appeal to younger candidates.
Using video interviews, you’re sending a message saying that you believe in adopting new technology and that you’ll likely be a place where applicants can learn about new tools.
By including video interviewing in the hiring process, you can pick up on non-verbal cues and other essential candidate insights needed to make great new hires. What’s more, you’ll be able to share the candidate interviews with the entire team, improving team collaboration all around.
AcademyX is a good example of an education management company that turned to video interviews to gain more insights on potential candidates. It aimed to increase the information it had on applicants while speeding up the hiring process at the same time.
AcademyX was finding it tough to put a face to a resume. The company wanted to understand who candidates really were.
To do this, it used Spark Hire’s video interviewing platform. The takeaways are clear: When AcademyX expects more than 50 applicants to apply to an open position, they have each candidate fill out a Spark Hire profile and get them to answer three simple questions.
AcademyX assesses an applicant’s skill set and cultural fit during video interviews without upsetting its other scheduling conflicts. It’s also able to screen more candidates in a shorter amount of time and uses Spark Hire’s sharing and collaboration features to make better hiring decisions.
One Secret Weapon To Master Video Interviews
For successful video interviews, what you need is a secret weapon, and luckily, dedicated recruiting software can be a huge help here. Specifically, ClearCompany is an excellent option. The software was one of our top picks when we reviewed and tested to find the best recruiting software, and we believed it was the best tool for talent management.
ClearCompany ensures you’re accessing the best talent available. It offers critical tools such as strategic interview guides, offer letter management, and a built-in methodology for a more intelligent hiring approach. That’s without mentioning texting tools, interview scheduling guides, and scorecards.
In other words, everything you need to conduct the best video interviews and retain top talent.
ClearCompany doesn’t publicly list its prices. You’ll have to request a free demo to learn more.
3 Essential Strategies for Video Interviews
Before we dive into some essential strategies for video interviews, it’s crucial to think about why you need them in the first place—this can help make your decisions easier.
For example, does your company currently have or need remote candidates? If so, you can use video interviews to assess top candidates who you might consider hiring remotely. After all, this may be your primary and long-term way of communicating with them once hired.
Do you need a more effective candidate screening method? If so, video interviews might become the first part of your hiring stage for all candidates across all roles, whether remote or not.
Do you want to assess specific skills, such as language fluency? Video interviews could be more appropriate for distinct roles—you could modify your recruitment process to add or remove hiring stages based on the exact position you’re looking to fill.
Once you’ve thought about the questions above, we can start thinking about key strategies to help you get ahead.
Decide on the Questions You’ll Ask
Like all interviews, the questions you’ll ask candidates need to be well thought out and clear. They need to relate to the hiring stage they’re used in, too.
First-round interviews, for instance, might discuss topics such as general job competencies, salary expectations, and availability. Later stages, on the other hand, would feature questions that relate to career goals and the specific projects and tasks successful candidates will manage.
Deciding on the right questions to ask candidates is essential because it will shape the interview outline. Not only that, but great questions will give you a healthy amount of information to work with, letting you know who to hire or not from an informed point of view.
The best way to decide these questions is to think about what information you need to get from the candidate. For instance, even the most straightforward questions like: “What attracted you to the job ad?” and “Why did you choose to apply?” can tell you a lot about your applicant.
Think about the position you want to fill, what the role requires, and what you need to see in a candidate, and then shape your questions from there.
It’ll give you access to strategic interview guides that help you to ask the right questions at every stage. ClearCompany can automatically customize the interview questions for almost every type of role. Hiring managers can even pull up the interview guides straight from their phones.
Asking better questions will mean extra information, a healthier conversation during the interview, and an understanding of a candidate’s motivators and values.
For the long-term, it’s critical to get this right, and doing so can increase the amount of time an employee stays at your company. After all, the right questions will help you to discover the best fit for your company—someone that is more likely to stick around in the first place.
Perform Video Interview Test Runs
It may seem like a simple strategy, but it’s an area some employers neglect, and in the long run, it can negatively impact your company.
You need to conduct test runs of your video interview tools, such as software, microphones, speakers, and internet speed.
Few things look worse for your company than if you’re unable to connect or have to fight to use the video conferencing platform you’re interviewing a candidate with—having confidence here will inspire trust in your company.
To do this, take a systematic approach. Check your computer’s audio is working, test out your webcam, and confirm that your internet connection is stable.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with how to operate the software or tool you’re using. For example, if you need to share your screen during the interview or mute yourself, make sure you know how to do so well before it occurs.
Moving away from the technical side of things, it’s also good practice to perform a test video interview with someone else at the company.
You can rehearse how to deliver your questions and learn how to strike the right tone. You’ll also be able to train yourself on how to react to unscripted moments that may appear. Let’s be honest: they always do.
Securing the best candidates will take a good deal of work. Remember that you need to appear capable, too. Candidates will judge your business based on how you conduct yourself during the interview.
Properly Schedule Your Video Interviews
There’s sometimes the idea that because it’s a video interview, it doesn’t need as much time, planning, or thought. Don’t just shove a video interview into any open 10-minute slot. This way of thinking is a grave error of judgment that leads to poor interviews. On a long-term basis, it can mean a waste of time and money.
Video interviews need to be correctly scheduled, with time budgeted accordingly and multiple factors taken into account.
For instance, have you accounted for the extra time needed if a candidate talks for longer than expected? What about technical difficulties? If they happen—and even with the best planning, they do—have you scheduled enough time to finish the interview?
If conducting back-to-back interviews, be sure not to use the same meeting room and access code either.
There have been cases of employers using the same room and code for multiple applicants, resulting in the awkward situation where one candidate decides to load up the video software 10 minutes early while you’re still interviewing someone else. Not a good look.
ClearCompany can help with your video interviewing schedule. The software lets you see everyone’s calendars at once, and you can coordinate interview lengths, formats, and participants with a few clicks.
You’ll even be able to send interview invitations directly, perform updates, and easily reschedule if needed:
Properly scheduling your video interviews will result in a clear message to your candidates, less stress for you, and you’ll save both time and money. Make sure you plan them just as much as a physical interview.
Most Common Misconceptions of Video Interviews
We’ve listed some of the most common misconceptions of video interviews below:
They are only helpful for candidates who live far away: This isn’t true. While video interviews help with hiring costs for applicants who live far away, they’re valuable for all types of candidates. For example, they allow you to review more candidates at a faster rate. It also saves the candidate time, as they won’t have to dress up, drive over, look for parking, check into the building, and wait for the interviewer–then drive home after. Some candidates may have to take a day off of work at their current job to interview with you in person.
Candidates think video interviews are impersonal: Data shows that most candidates enjoy video interviews. When you think about it, online applications and phone interviews don’t put faces to names, so if anything, video interviews are more personal during the screening process.
Video interviewing doesn’t work for my industry: Again, this isn’t true, but some employers think so. There is yet to be an industry where video interviewing hasn’t delivered value and improved time-to-hire and cost-to-hire while also improving the quality of the hire in the process.
Video interviewing isn’t efficient: In most cases, it can be just as efficient, if not more, with the proper planning. Video interviewing is quick and easy to use, saving time for both the candidate and the employer. Over the past 15 years, video interviewing has proven to reduce the time-to-hire substantially.
Video interviews are difficult to implement: You don’t need to have the most in-depth computer skills to set up video interviews. Most of the time, you install the software and get started immediately. There are a variety of video tools, and most couldn’t be more straightforward.
Video interviews are a key tool for the post-pandemic future. They don’t have to be the only way to interview candidates, but they can unquestionably help streamline your hiring process overall.
Use this guide to help get you started, and there’s a good chance you’ll be a fan of video interviews before you know it.