Video interviews can be a valuable addition to your recruitment process when used at the right time, and in the right way. However, every company and candidate is different, so there aren’t necessarily “hard and fast” rules for when and how to use them. Instead, use these video interview tips as a guideline to optimize your recruitment process.
When to use video interviews
If any of the following apply to you, you may want to consider video interviews:
- You have a long interview process. Video interviews may allow you to eliminate some steps from a long interview process. For instance, companies with both a recruiter and hiring manager phone screen can simply record one video interview and share it with other members of the team. Or, if the hiring manager prefers to meet with candidates before setting up onsite interviews with the rest of the team, they can do so with a video interview. Both instances simplify and shorten the interview process, providing a stronger candidate experience.
- You have a lot of qualified candidates to screen. Particularly if you’re hiring several candidates for a given role, you may have quite a few qualified candidates you need to screen. A one-way interview can save you a significant amount of time because you won’t have to call each candidate individually, give them an introduction, and ask each question—you can simply listen to the answers. You can also move on to another candidate quickly if a single answer is too far from what you’d like to hear.
- You have remote candidates. Whether you’re hiring for a remote position, hiring for an office in another area, or interviewing a candidate from another area, a video interview can be beneficial. This is particularly true if you would normally have multiple onsite interviews. You may want to meet a candidate in-person eventually, but a video interview saves time and money related to travel.
- You have scheduling difficulties. Employed candidates often have to sneak away from their office to interview at yours, which has the potential to cause issues for them. A one-way interview allows them to complete your interview on their own time, while a live interview eliminates travel time. Likewise, your interviewers may travel a lot, and video interviews can be done from (almost) anywhere. Key hiring decision makers can review interview recordings and sign off on candidates from anywhere with an Internet connection and computer or phone.
- You’re looking for specialized talent. Often, the hiring manager doesn’t have the time to screen every candidate, but the recruiter isn’t familiar enough with the position to pass along only the most qualified candidates. A video interview allows the recruiter to take a first pass at screening, and pass along the recording with notes for the hiring manager to validate (or not, which can help the recruiter fine-tune their screening). This way, the hiring manager won’t have to worry about what phone interview questions to ask, and candidates will have a better experience because they won’t hear the same screening questions twice. You will also get candidates onsite for an interview faster so you don’t lose them to another company.
Best practices for video interviews
Once you’ve decided to incorporate video interviews into your recruitment process, keep these best practices in mind:
- Build a consistent interview process for every candidate. With limited exceptions, such as to accommodate a stellar candidate, give each candidate for a given position the same interview process. This includes using a video interview at the same point in the process, and asking each candidate the same questions during the video interview. This ensures that you’re evaluating all candidates on an even playing field.
- Use the right technology. It might be tempting to use Skype but, once you’ve begun using video interviews with some regularity, there is significant benefit to utilizing video interview software. These will integrate with your existing technology and workflows, to create a more seamless process for you and your candidates. When searching for software, think about what you’d like your technology help you accomplish, and which features you’d like to see to get there. Ask about those things during a live product demo to ensure your software will truly help you optimize your interview process.
- Utilize one-way and live video interviewing strategically. There’s a time and a place for each. A one-way video interview is in which you pre-record an introduction and questions and candidates complete the interview on their own time. This is best used in situations where you expect to have a lot of qualified candidates, and need to save time on the screening process. Live video interviews are more appropriate for highly competitive roles in which a personal touch can help you win over a top-choice candidate.
- Remember, your candidate is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. Send yourself a video interview invitation, and complete the process in its entirety to ensure you’re not making your candidates jump through hoops. When doing live interviews, test your camera, microphone, and Internet connection ahead of time. If you’re running a one-way interview and your software allows for it, record an introduction to tell the candidate about yourself and your company, and to sell them on the opportunity. Following the video interview, let the candidate know about next steps, and when they should expect to hear from you.
At the end of the day, what works best for one company won’t always work for another. You’ll need to evaluate your own interview process to determine if there’s a place for video interviewing. If you do decide to incorporate it, make sure it benefits your recruiting team, works with your recruiting software, and provides a strong candidate experience.
See more interview tips and best practices in our eBook:Top Interview Tips: The Employer’s Essential Handbook.