The World Goes Remote: Video Interviewing Tips and Best Practices

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As operations turn remote, we’ve aggregated a list of our most
essential tips to video interviewing success. Whether you’re the one conducting
the interview or you’re the one being interviewed, here are some best practices
to follow.

Video Interviewing Best Practices: For Everyone

  • Find a quiet place where you won’t get
    interrupted. You don’t want your interview turning into a remake of the 2017 BBC News interview with
    Professor Robert Kelly
    . But, if something unexpected does happen, maintain
    your composure, acknowledge the distraction and work towards completing the
    interview successfully. We’re all human, and it’s likely that everyone is at
    home right now, kids and spouses. Be kind and go easy on the person you are
    talking to, but also set yourself up for minimal interruptions, if possible.

  • Ensure you have internet connection and that
    your video and audio are working properly. We recommend testing this ahead of
    time by setting up a video call with a friend or a family member.

  • Set up your surroundings so that the frame of
    the video is as professional as possible. A bookshelf in the background is
    great, a bed…not so much. And, don’t forget the lighting. Be mindful about
    getting washed out from a window or sitting in a room without enough light.

  • Dress for the occasion. It may be tempting to
    only dress up from the top up but getting in your full interview attire will
    put you in the right frame of mind, shoes included. When you test out your
    video and audio, wear the outfit you plan on wearing to the interview. Bright
    colors don’t do as well on camera, so it’s best to wear something neutral. The
    same rules apply about not wearing jewelry or other accessories that are loud
    or distracting.

  • It’s good to be dynamic while video
    interviewing. If in-person interviews are three-dimensional, video is two
    dimensional, which means there is an opportunity to bring the interview to life
    with hand gestures, facial expressions and movement. Leave the other person
    feeling like they just had the opportunity to sit down in-person with you; try
    to avoid being stiff.

  • In the same way you would take notes if you were
    in-person, jot down the stuff you don’t want to forget or that you need to
    follow-up on. Before you start the interview, make sure you have a notepad and
    a pen handy. Before you go to write something down, mention that you are taking
    notes. Do not, however, use your notepad as a crutch if you are uncomfortable
    on video. Only write down what you need to.

  • Last but not least, switch your phones and other
    devices to silent mode. It’s also a good idea to shut down your email or put
    yourself on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on things like Microsoft Teams, Skype for
    Business, Slack or any other messenger apps you may have open. Shut down any other
    programs and windows that may distract you.

Additional Video Interviewing Best Practices: For Interviewers

As the host of the interview, here are a few additional things to think

  • Consider specific technology platforms. If your
    company does not have a go-to video interviewing platform, we recommend
    considering Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Spark Hire™ or HireVue, to name a few.
    It’s also a good idea to have a back-up option, in case something doesn’t work.
    FaceTime, for example, is a good alternative, but you will want to make sure
    the person you’re talking to uses Apple products first.

  • Whether in-person or over video, you are a
    steward for your brand. Put your best foot forward and create a candidate video
    experience that aligns with your employer brand. This can include simple things
    like doing something unique and memorable for every video interview or having a
    branded poster or company picture in the background, for instance. Make the
    video interview feel authentic and give candidates the opportunity to peek
    through the window, or the camera lens, into what it would be like to work for
    your company.

  • Before signing off, be sure to set expectations
    on what will happen next and when. In video interviews it can be easy to forget
    some of the basics.

Additional Video Interviewing Best Practices: For People Being

In addition to the tips above, here are a few other boxes to check
before you accept your next video interview request:

  • Depending on the platform the company is using to
    host the interview, ensure your username and/or email address is appropriate.
    This may mean setting up a new Skype or Google account.

  • Don’t dial in late. Similar to showing up early
    for an in-person interview, dialing in a few minutes early is a good idea. This
    will also give you a buffer in case you need to fine-tune anything in the
    background of your video or adjust the device you are using.

  • Remember to follow all of your in-person
    interview protocols – thank the interviewer for their time and send a follow-up
    thank you note after the fact.

These are unique times. Be kind and go easy on one another. And
remember, video interviews might not be everyone’s first choice, but they are the
safest choice.  


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