For several weeks now, recruiters from more than half the world have been forced to conduct video interviews with their candidates. For most of them, it is an exceptional situation. “Personal interviews are made to meet the candidate in person, and it is impossible to do so through a video”. That was one of the main arguments Catenon was faced with 20 years ago when this type of interview was not yet popularized, and there was no adapted software for it. However, the issue was beginning to arise with more and more candidates living in a different country than recruiters. What if we made a candidate travel who was not going to be selected in the end? The costs were too high, and the risk even greater. That’s why at Catenon we pioneered video interviews 20 years ago to solve this complicated equation.
The rest is history. There are more video call tools than we can count nowadays, and video interviews are as common as talking on the phone. However, many personnel departments continue to be very mindful of the “personal component” in their recruitment processes and resist adopting the video interview as their current personal interview. The video interview remains for many companies a “remedy” or a complement to the evaluation of their candidates. But what if it’s the ultimate tool?
Now that confinement has required many to work remotely, the video interview is a necessity. So how can I make the most of my video interview? How can I fully evaluate my candidates through a camera? Is it dehumanizing my recruitment process?
Get the most out of your video interview:
- Plan your interview almost the same way as if you were going to do an in-person interview. Think about what you want to know about the candidate, and what questions you can ask him. Please note that as you are not present, certain gestures or reactions will not be as noticeable. Also, don’t forget the factor of a bad connection or delay in the audio/video. Try to ask clear, concrete and concise questions, but to allow the candidate to speak and express himself.
- Choose the format that best suits your needs: it can be a streaming interview (live), or a recorded interview, in which the recruiter and candidate do not coincide in time. The recruiter first prepares some questions, and the candidate answers them in short videos. In addition, the CV video can also be a good complement or cover letter to present your candidates.
- Choose the best software, learn all the necessary technical aspects and be prepared for possible incidents. If we master the tool, we are more likely to solve eventual technical problems faster.
- Check your hardware: audio and video from your computer. Know the system requirements, and let your candidate know in advance so they can review their own.
- Focus on details: Remove any element that may be distracting and watch your outfit. Also, take into account the framing of the camera and try to look at the camera, not the screen.
- Anticipate and be punctual. It’s hard enough for the candidate to do an interview. Try to send interview information and accesses in advance and be there on time.
Evaluate your candidates
In addition to being a faster, more flexible and efficient method, and cost savings for companies, video interviews can also be a more objective way of presenting your candidates to your client. More than two people can participate in a video call, and your client can intervene, even if he is on the other side of the world. This way, the client can see the candidate directly and make a more objective decision, saving time.
Another option is recorded interviews. At Catenon we work with the video conference tool Mashme, which allows us not only to conduct video interviews but also to record part of it, a business case, which is then available to our client in his private web area where he tracks his processes.
Thus, the client can directly observe the responses and behaviour of the candidate. He is the one who best knows his company and the candidate who is the best fit (let’s not forget to also value the cultural fit). Through visible facts, the client can make a decision which will not only be based on the interviewer’s assessment but on direct observation.
Is it dehumanizing the recruitment process?
It is as dehumanizing as you make it. The human component is introduced and removed through you, not the tool you use. Therefore, we always recommend our recruiters and candidates to be as natural as possible and show themselves as they would in a regular face-to-face interview. That’s why, and even more so in a video call, details are important. In the beginning, don’t forget to create a relaxed atmosphere for the candidate, and at the end, make sure to open a communication channel, and inform him of the next steps of the interview.