Candidates: Click Here for Tips on Acing Your Next Video Interview
A face-to-face interview is usually ideal for almost any position, especially in marketing. But sometimes setting up a personal interview with a prospective employee isn’t always a practical or cost-effective option, particularly when they live far away.
Read it now: Top Tips for Interviewing the Best Marketers
Thankfully, advances in technology have made it possible to get over this hurdle. More and more job interviews are taking place over video services such as Skype. As marketing recruiters we see more and more nontraditional interviews happening all the time. It’s important to remember that even though the goals are the same as a standard in-person interview, conducting video interviews requires a slightly different approach to maximize their effectiveness.
For the most part, you’ll need to follow the normal procedure that you would for hosting any interview. Dress the part, do the necessary preparation and candidate research, arrange a designated time (don’t forget to take time zones into account when scheduling with distant candidates!). But there are certain considerations you must take to ensure you’re getting the most from your time and making the candidate experience as positive as possible.
Here are 7 tips that will help you to reduce potential problems and get more out of a video interview with a prospective marketer:
1. Set up a better interview space — Without the opportunity to step into your workplace and see the environment, your camera is the candidate’s only window into your culture. You’re representing your brand during an interview; act appropriately. Good marketers will notice if their interviewer is sloppy or unprofessional, even over video chat, and will take that into account when making a decision.
Wear what you would to a more traditional interview and make sure that the space around you is appropriate. You don’t want to be hidden behind the clutter on your desk or talking down to a laptop on your lap. Avoid sitting in front of windows, which make you look like a silhouette and can cause glares. Make sure there is nothing behind you that will draw the candidate’s focus away from you.
2. Making the tech arrangements — Send instructions on how to log in and how to use whatever video conferencing program that you are using. Because video interviews aren’t nearly as common as person-to-person interviews (at least, not yet), not everyone is going to be immediately comfortable with the technology.
Pick a free video chat service for you both to use. It’s not reasonable to expect a candidate to pay for a service they’ll likely not use again. Skype is a reliable go-to, though you may want to have a backup option like Google Hangouts or ooVoo available in case there are technical issues. You may also consider a screen-sharing software if your interview calls for bringing up a digital portfolio, analytics or web content for discussion. Create a professional account on your channel of choice and share necessary contact info with your applicant.
3. Consider delays and other possible malfunctions associated with video chat technology — There may even be an audio or visual delay between two parties on a video conference. To adjust for this, speak steadily so the connection doesn’t muddle your words. Whenever your prospective marketer speaks, wait a few seconds before responding or moving on to another question.
4. Bring the right hardware — Use a large-screen monitor and position the camera, if you have one, just above the screen. The larger size makes it more realistic and the position of the camera helps you maintain eye contact with the person you are interviewing. Built-in computer microphones and cameras are often low-quality, so use a plug-in external webcam and microphone if needed. If your company has an IT department, it may be able to provide the hardware and help you set it up.
5. Be patient — Even if they’re usually good interviewers, not everyone is going to be immediately comfortable in front of a camera. Keep this in mind when conducting the interview and be patient with them. This will help to relax them and give you better insights. You’ll also want to be patient with the technology itself. If you get obviously frustrated when there’s a delay in audio or video, your tense mood could affect the interview subject negatively — as they may mistakenly think you are losing patience with them.
6. Discuss an alternative plan in advance — If the technology fails, which it will sometimes, you want to have a contingency plan ready in advance. Ask the candidate at the beginning of the call the best way to contact them if you lose the internet connection. If you work with marketing recruiters, make sure they know about any changes. That way, you can finish the interview over the phone or some other way in the time allotted rather than having to reschedule. This will alleviate stress on the part of the candidate as well, since they won’t have to worry about losing the opportunity if their internet connection is interrupted.
7. Dealing with multiple interviewers — It’s usually best to have just one interviewer during a video interview, even if you would normally interview candidates alongside someone else. Having an extra participant only increases the potential distraction, confusion, and technical difficulties. If you do have multiple conductors, try getting together and sharing a camera in a conference room so the candidate can focus on one screen.
Read it now: How to Interview the Best Digital Marketing Talent
Follow these tips and make your video interviews the next best thing to flying someone to your office to have a face-to-face interview. You’ll save time and expense, get a great impression of your potential employees, improve the candidate experience and strengthen your employer brand.
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