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6 tips to improve your etiquette when you interview candidates over a video call

You may be sitting in your sweats with your hand in a bag of stale chips, while reading this blog post. Boredom eating, we get it. We all do it.

Things have become a bit more relaxed these days. You are quite literally able to roll out of your bed and into your desk chair.

While this might have become your regular routine over the past few months, it might not necessarily be the best one to keep, especially when it comes to conducting interviews over video call.

Our recent experience with hiring managers and talent has shown that there is an overarching sentiment of laziness when it comes to video interviews, that can be attributed to the pandemic. Interviewers and interviewees alike just don’t seem to take them seriously enough. Let’s tackle the interviewer first.

There are simple steps that can be taken to counteract the laziness that can be found in today’s online hiring interviews, starting with preparing for them.

Preparation for Interview

When conducting a video interview with talent, it is important that you maintain the same interview structure for all of your calls. Proper interview etiquette still exists even when face to face interaction is not possible.

  1. Begin by getting serious about interviews again. By now, you and your employees have probably established a casual weekly meeting where you are able to share your thoughts in a subdued environment. The tone of this meeting is very different than the tone of your hiring meetings. Learn the difference between the two.
  2. Find a place where you can conduct the interview. It needs to be well lit and quiet. Try situating your camera above your computer if it is not connected to your laptop, to make sure you are at eye level with your talent, and you are looking at the camera. It may not be possible to find a space that resembles your office, but it is possible to create one that is functional and professional. Separate your office from your bedroom to change your mentality. Find a backdrop that is clean and empty because it eliminates distractions.
  3. There is nothing worse than looking unprepared, let alone being unprepared. Video call technology is fairly easy to master, but you can still be surprised when you are on the call- it is important to practice. If you’ve made changes to your setup, test them out on a call with a colleague to ensure that any technological and verbal kinks are worked out prior to your call. Technological testing includes checking the microphone, video, and screen share options. Also, check your background again to ensure that it represents you well professionally.

Execution of Meeting

Proper preparation promises the execution of a professional interview. Success isn’t achieved until the whole process has been seen through.

  1. The best conversations occur in person because you are able to read body language. This may seem obvious, but make sure to use cameras. It’s the same when conducting team interviews. Talent may find it uncomfortable if they cannot see your face. It also encourages talent to keep their camera on and remain engaged. Seeing their facial expressions will help you determine their character. To make this less awkward, focus by looking directly at the camera. If you are using a larger screen with a camera on top, try moving the attendees’ video image right underneath your camera to make this easier.
  2. The pandemic has forced a lot of unwanted inconveniences into people’s lives. Interviewing for a job over a video call is one of them. Talent may feel like they are inherently disadvantaged because they cannot meet you in person. It is important to show your talent that they are being heard. Do not text or check your emails during your meeting and shut off alerts. Be present and set an example.
  3. After you have tested out your media and technology, use it. Screen sharing is a standard feature of most video conferencing platforms. We’ve found that in video interviews, hiring managers are actually more likely to share presentations, documents, or websites with candidates as a part of the interviewing process. A little planning goes a long way with this as well.  You will want to present materials in a natural way, similar to what you would have done in person. Prepare the materials you anticipate you may show. When sharing, do not overuse your mouse, or have it dart across the screen, as you are talking through the materials. Just like a person who uses their hands too much while talking, you may become distracting. Clear your desktop and your tabs, as well. Talent does not need to see your latest purchase on Amazon. Although this may not seem necessary, it makes a world of a difference when it comes to looking professional online.

The recruitment sphere is experiencing the same funk as we all are, but just like those of us who have had to dust ourselves off and get back to our old routines, the hiring game can also change for the better.

Maintaining a professional online presence will show talent that you are capable of adapting your business to pandemic procedures. They will relax knowing that they can find success with you, even during the most unfortunate of circumstances.

Just remember to follow these six tips and turn your camera off once the meeting is over. You wouldn’t want anyone seeing your embarrassing post-meeting dance moves.

Here are some additional references to check out:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-video-tutorials

https://zoom.us/resources

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/204772869-Zoom-Rooms-User-Guide

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/zoom-interview

https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/candidate-experience/2020/tips-for-conducting-seamless-virtual-job-interview 

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