How To Conduct Video Interviews

How To Conduct Video Interviews
  • 86% of companies are using video interviews to recruit
  • 74% of businesses plan to permanently shift to remote working
  • 70% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025


In a poll by Gartner Inc, 86% of HR leaders used virtual technology to recruit people during the pandemic. While video interviewing has been available for a long time, it has rapidly increased in the last few years as more and more people have shifted to home working.

What’s more, virtual technologies are showing incredible benefits for recruiting. For employees, there is now a chance to give their CVs more personality with a 150% increase in the number of candidates digitising their CVs with a video.

The benefit for recruiters is that they’re able to widen their talent pool. By 2025, it’s estimated that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month, and 74% of businesses plan to permanently shift to remote working soon. With this in mind, it is now possible to find the right candidates for your team, wherever they are in the world.

However, in order to ensure you can reach the best talent, it is essential to ensure your remote recruiting process is succinct. The best place to start is by developing your video interview process.

So, if you are new to the world of video interviews and not sure where to start, read on for our ultimate guide.

What Is A Video Interview?

A video interview is very similar to a face to face interview; however, it is conducted online instead of in person. Utilising video chat technologies, you can ask candidates your questions and get to know them and their skillset. There are a couple of different formats of video interviewing that you can choose from, these are;

  • Pre-Recorded: A pre-recorded video interview is great for use in the early stages of the hiring process. Many companies use pre-recorded video interviews as a way of replacing phone interviews, as they can give initial indications about a candidate. They work by setting a list of questions you want candidates to answer, and they can then pre-record their video answers for you. Some video interview platforms allow you to set time limits for each question and set how many times a response can be re-recorded.
  • Live: A live video interview is essentially the same as a face to face interview but online. You can connect with your candidates in real-time over a video chat and have a conversation with them about the role and their experience. They work by agreeing on a time, date and video platform, and both logging into the video chat at the same time.

What Tools Are Available For Video Interviews?

There are many different tools out there for conducting video interviews. Most video chat software can be used for a video interview, just like a video conference. The main thing to consider is that both you and your candidate will need access to a device with a camera, and the video software.

There are options for dedicated video interview software available, which require subscriptions and have many other features. These might be worthwhile if you are conducting a lot of video interviews and want the premium features available.

For most video interview needs, free video chat software is enough. Some free tools for video interviews include;

  • Zoom: Zoom is very simple and easy to use, making an excellent option for video interviews. You can quickly and easily send a private meeting link to a candidate to join you virtually. It is also possible to have multiple people join the call if you need colleagues to also join the interview. Zoom also allows for screen sharing and online chat if required.
  • Skype: There are both paid and free versions of Skype, and the free version works well for video interviews. All you need to do is add your candidates as a Skype contact, and you can video call or chat to them at your set time.
  • Google Hangouts: This video tool is excellent for connecting with Google contacts and allows video, audio and messenger conversation options. It also syncs seamlessly with a Google calendar for easy organisation.
  • Microsoft Teams: There are paid and free versions of Teams, with the free service, you are able to meet for up to 60 minutes, have unlimited chats, share screens and also share files. The paid version gives access to additional features, recording meetings being one of those.

How To Conduct A Video Interview

Conducting a video interview might be daunting if you are new to the world of online recruiting. Arranging the interview is very similar to arranging a face to face interview, as you need to choose a time and date that works for you both.

Once you have decided on a time, you need to decide on the tools you are going to use. If you are using Zoom, create a private meeting link and send it to your candidate beforehand. If you are using Skype or Google Hangouts, then add your candidate as a contact, so you are ready to video call.

It is important to test out your tech beforehand to makes sure there are no bugs or issues. Try video calling a colleague before the interview to ensure everything works fine, and you can both see and hear each other properly.

Video Interview Best Practices And Top Tips For Recruiters

There are many rules that apply to face to face interviews and also video interviews, such as preparing questions in advance and dressing appropriately. As well as these, video interviews come with a few other technical elements that you might not usually consider. There are our top tips and best practices for conducting a video interview;

    • Think About Your Location: If you are working from home, then you will need to hold your video interviews from home. Choosing a quiet, well-lit location is essential to ensure there are no distractions. Also bear in mind that your background needs to look professional and appealing, in order to give off the right impression to candidates.



  • Have A Back Up Plan: Even with all the testing and preparing in the world, technology can still go wrong. Always make sure you have a backup plan just in case the unexpected happens during the video interview. Keep the candidate’s phone number to hand in case you have any issues and need to contact them.



  • Use Your Tone And Pace To Calm Candidates: Just like with a face to face interview, video interviews can be very nerve-wracking for candidates. You won’t have the opportunity to help relax candidates with body language, but you can rely on your facial expressions and voice. Speak slower than you would in an interview, smile, and be understanding of their nerves.



  • Sit Still: If you are shifting your weight from side to side or regularly moving back and forwards, then it can be very distracting. Keep still during the interview and whilst the candidate is talking to minimise distraction. Make sure you have everything you need to hand before you start, such as a job description, their CV and questions you want to ask.


  • Send Advice: For many candidates, this may be their first video interview. So, it can be good practice to send out some candidate tips and advice so that they can feel fully prepared and confident going into the interview.


  • Record, If Necessary: Many video interviewing tools have the capability to record the interview. This means you can wait until after the interview to make notes so you can be fully present in the interview. However, if you plan to do this, make sure the candidate is fully aware and gives consent. You then need to make sure that you store or delete this data safely and in accordance with the data protection policy.


Video Interview Best Practices And Top Tips For Candidates

We all remember the funny memes where a child creeps into the room! While things happen when you’re working from home and with toddlers, try to pick your time and place. While the incident might be just funny for your interviewer it may get you off the track. Here are some useful tips for everybody.


  • Make sure you have video capability and that it is working properly; a candidate who will at the beginning of the meeting say that sorry my video is not working, just will not go further. Most of the first-round interviews are to make contact, get to know each other and see how the chemistries “click”.



  • Remember where your camera is and at least every now and then look at it. Keep your own picture in the frame so that you are reminded of that.



  • Think about the background. If it’s natural, make sure, there is not a window right behind (then your face will be dark) or that there are no distracting images/items behind you. If you use background effects, be aware that if your surroundings are dark, there will be an unnatural “aura” around you head especially when you move and it may look awkward. Especially wearing big headphones may cause that effect. The best background is natural neutral colour wall and light coming from the front. You can also use a table lamp or ring light to light your face.



  • Position yourself further away, so that part of your upper body is showing at least shoulders. If your face is too close to the camera, it will not show your body language which is equally important as your facial expressions. Remember, this is for you as well as for the other person a situation to figure out each other, not a one-way discussion.



  • If you take notes by hand, make sure your notepad is close so that you don’t have to constantly look at it. Somebody leaning constantly their head forward close to the camera when taking notes loses the eye contact. If you take notes by the PC you are using, it might be a good idea to mention that beforehand, so that the other person doesn’t think you‘re checking your emails.



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