Guide To Conducting Good Video Interviews

Nicholas Long
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I had a video interview for a potential job before and I prepared as best as I could. However, the hiring manager didn’t seem to put as much effort into the interview going well, as I had. Their connection was spotty, I could barely see them due to their terrible lighting, and there tons of interruptions.

In a time where everything has become digital, knowing how to conduct a good video interview as a hiring manager is an extremely important skill. 

1. Dress the part
Just because the interview is happening virtually, it doesn’t mean it’s any less important than if you were to meet in person. As the recruiter or hiring manager you also want to make a good impression on the candidate you’re interviewing. Be sure to dress professionally. 

2. Check your Wi-Fi and internet speed
When it comes to all things technology, Wi-Fi and good internet speed are two crucial things. You don’t want your laptop to crash right when a candidate is explaining why they would be a good fit for the job or why they left their last job. Before starting the video interview, double check that your Wi-Fi and computer are both running accordingly and even try doing a test run. Doing a test run of the video conference lets you know if everything is running ok, and can save you a lot of trouble. While a technology glitch typically is out of your hands, you don’t want the candidate to remember the interview for the wrong reason.

3. Find good lighting
Whether you find a lamp to position on your desk and point towards your face or sit near a window, finding good lighting helps the candidate to see you better and also helps to maintain a professional atmosphere. Try to avoid sitting directly in the sun, or positioning the lamp too close to your face. This makes it harder for the candidate to see you on their end. Also, make sure the background of your video is clean and appropriate. 

4. Minimize interruptions
You can take a few approaches to try minimizing interruptions as best as possible. First, inform everyone who may interrupt you that you will be conducting video interviews and need quiet. Find a quiet space where you know you will be heard without issue and close the door. Make sure to silence your phone and take care of any distractions so that they don’t present themselves while you are interviewing your candidate. While it is important to minimize interruptions and distractions as best as possible, some things cannot be controlled—if you have construction work going on nearby or a dog that might bark, inform the candidate of the possibility of the interruption. 

5. Keep the structure similar to an in-person interview
Have a list of questions to ask the candidate and be sure to highlight company culture just as you would normally do in an in-person interview. You may be out of sorts at the start of the interview, let’s agree it’s different than an in-person interview. Making an outline of how the conversation should go can help you to direct the conversation when it dips. Make sure to pause and give the candidate a chance to speak and answer any questions just as they normally would in person. 

6. Break the ice
People can feel nervous in any interview, but especially video interviews because they’re used to talking in person. Sometimes people freeze up because it feels unnatural to them and they are hyper aware of how they sound or how they look in the tiny box in the corner, making them more self-conscious. Breaking the ice and having a bit of casual conversation before starting the interview can really help to calm a candidate’s nerves and allow them to open up. Talk to the candidate about their day, get to know them a bit before diving into the interview to establish some rapport. 

Being able to conduct a good video interview is important in the digital world today and with these tips, you can be sure that it will run smoothly. 


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