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6 Tips to Conduct a Successful Video Interview

Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff

With enough preparation, you can hold interviews online that are not only pleasant for both parties but also make the process easier and more manageable.

The people who make up your team determine how your business runs and performs. Factors like productivity, work ethic and teamwork are all essential to create a strong team that brings successful results. That's why the interview process is such a crucial part of your business's success. 

Without a proper interview, you won't be able to efficiently screen candidates and choose the one best suited for your business. Hiring ill-suited people for the job will likely result in reduced sales, ROI and growth. Not only do 52% of marketers consider video the best method of increasing ROI, but it's also a great way to connect with job seekers. For video interviews especially, it's necessary to use your time wisely to figure out who will join your team. 

Why use video to interview candidates?

According to a recent study, 60% of recruiters and employers use video calls to conduct interviews. As more people gravitate toward telecommuting opportunities, companies are changing the way they hire and from where. Even companies hiring locally are taking advantage of video calls and interviews to find the right match for their business.

There are several benefits to using video calls for interviews:

  • Allowing your business to connect with talented employees from around the world
  • Reducing unnecessary small talk
  • Saving candidates time and money on long commutes
  • Easing the scheduling process
  • Making the candidates feel more at ease, since they can have an interview where they're comfortable

Whether you're an employer or job seeker, these tips are sure to help you participate in a video interview that brings you the results you want. Let's get started. 

1. Have the right equipment.

It may sound obvious, but you need the right equipment to ensure that neither party encounters technical issues. It disrupts the process and makes it difficult to connect with candidates. If you can't see or hear them properly, it affects how well you get to know them and clouds your judgment.

Do your research on the necessary tech before holding any interviews, and buy the equipment you need so everything goes smoothly. It looks bad for the company when extensive issues or difficulties keep occurring. A bad reputation is the last thing you want if you expect your business to grow and thrive.

These are some common video conferencing tools you'll need to hold a successful interview:

  • Camera or webcam
  • Microphone
  • Headset
  • Tripod
  • Lighting system

Not all of these tools will be necessary depending on your setup. For example, you might conduct your interviews through a laptop with a built-in webcam, which deletes your need for a separate camera. You might have excellent natural lighting in your office, which negates the need for extra lighting. Use your existing resources where you can to save yourself time and money, but it's worth it to invest in the equipment you're missing if it's essential to your video interview quality. [Looking for a solution? Check out our reviews of the best video conferencing services.]

2. Test your equipment.

Before any formal meetings take place, you need to test your equipment to ensure everything works correctly. As mentioned earlier, it looks bad on your business as a whole if you fail to organize and set up an interview that runs smoothly. It's unprofessional not to prepare efficiently for your candidates and may put a bad taste in their mouths.

Test your equipment on a regular basis to make sure it's running properly and you don't need to buy replacements. Shortly before the interview time you've set, do a test run with a colleague. Pay attention to the internet connection, sound, audio and lighting so you know you're creating a professional environment for your candidates. 

3. Choose a distraction-free zone.

Whether you're holding interviews from your home or your office, you need a distraction-free environment. Imagine trying to concentrate on the other person when you have a lot going on around you. It creates a chaotic space that makes it difficult to focus.

Before conducting interviews, pick a place that's quiet and clean. The fewer people around, the better. If there will be others around, let them know that you have an important call and require complete silence for a little bit. Try to choose a room separate from other quarters and shut the door.

It's also important to place yourself in front of a distraction-free background. Make sure nothing messy or unprofessional is behind you and in the line of sight for your candidates. The more organized your setting is, the easier it'll be for you and the interviewee to concentrate on the task at hand. 

4. Dress professionally.

At least from the waist up, you'll want to dress in a professional manner. It's crucial to represent your company in the best light possible to appeal to the right candidates for the job. Showing up in your pajamas with your hair a mess is a surefire way to scare interviewees away. No one wants to work for a business that allows unprofessional behavior, especially from its recruiters.

To make the best impression on your candidate (and those already at your company), dress professionally for the interview. How you dress for the job on a regular basis is how you should dress for the call. Check yourself in a mirror right beforehand to make sure you're good to go. 

5. Take notes.

Unless you're able to record the interview, you won't remember everything the candidate tells you, no matter how much you swear you will. To choose the best candidate to join your team, you need to take adequate notes during the interview and use them to make your decision.

Keep your questions in front of you, and jot down any important points beforehand so you remember to mention them during the video chat. If you have an additional screen, you can use it to take notes while you look at your candidate on the other screen. Otherwise, you can jot everything down by hand or on a handheld device. If you collect the information you need, you're that much closer to deciding who to hire. 

6. Be friendly.

Whether it was their online portfolio, experience or another factor that attracted you to this candidate, you're interviewing them for a reason. Interviews are nerve-wracking enough as it is – no one should have to endure speaking to a cranky, rude or otherwise unpleasant interviewer. 

Remember that your candidates want to bring their best selves to your business and help it succeed. If you have the wrong attitude, you could turn away excellent candidates and cost you future successes. It's not fair that the company has to suffer for something completely avoidable. 

Maintain regular eye contact, smile, and be friendly during the interview. Your candidates want to make the best impression on you, but doing so will be difficult if you don't present yourself professionally. You get back what you put out: If you carry negative energy into the interview, you'll have a difficult time finding a suitable employee.

As you can see, there are several factors in conducting a successful video interview. With enough preparation, you can hold interviews online that are not only pleasant for both parties but also make the process easier and more manageable. A lot of the mishaps that occur during video interviews can be easily avoided and do nothing to help businesses find the right candidates. Make sure you hire the right people to your team by refining your interviewing process.

Image Credit: AndreyPopov / Getty Images
Chris Christoff
Chris Christoff Member
Co-Founder of MonsterInsights, the leading WordPress plugin for Google Analytics.