10 Tips for Selecting Candidates in a Video Job Interview

Published on: 31 October 2023

A job interview is a crucial part of the recruitment process, both for the employer and the candidate. As a candidate, you can truly present yourself, explain your resume, and ask questions about the vacant position. As an employer, you can ask questions to your candidate and get to know them better. But what happens if this conversation doesn't take place in real life but through video?

The COVID crisis has taught us to make video calls. Meetings happen from our living rooms, and we schedule meetings more quickly through video calls than in physical meetings. In the world of HR, too, we no longer select candidates by phone but organize meetings more quickly via Zoom, Teams, or FaceTime. But how do you select your candidate if it's through video? We share some tips.

Choose the Right Tool

If you want to conduct video calls, there are many different tools available: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams, Whereby, FaceTime. Choose a tool that you are familiar with and that others can easily use without having to create an account, for example.

Prepare Your Candidate

Have you chosen a tool that requires additional explanation? Provide this information. Does your candidate need to download something or create an account? Inform them so they can prepare.

Explain that you will approach the interview as if it were a normal job interview, but through video. This way, expectations are clear from the start. You can suggest that they sit in a quiet, well-lit room. Also, specify the expected duration of the interview and explain why you've opted for a video job interview.

Test with a Colleague

If you've never done a video call, practice! Pretend you're inviting a colleague for a job interview and practice setting up the call. Once you're in "test mode," you can try out different functions: how to mute yourself, how to choose a different background, how to end the call, and test your microphone and camera to ensure they work during the actual interview with the candidate.

Prepare for the Call

Just like a physical job interview, a video interview should be well-prepared. Open the candidate's resume on a second screen and arrange your screens so that you can see both the candidate and their CV. You can also print out the CV and have it beside you.

Also, prepare a beverage in case you get a dry throat. Make sure you have the candidate's phone number close by. If they don't show up or there are technical issues, you can call them the old-fashioned way.

Don't Forget Your Background

Ensure that your background looks professional. Some organizations use backgrounds with their logo or a picture of an office. The most neutral background is a white wall. If you find that too plain, you can place a plant next to you. Avoid sitting in front of a mirror or a window. Don't position a bright light source behind you. Instead, sit in front of a light source to ensure your face is properly lit.

Mind Your Environment

If you're working from home and have roommates around, find a quiet space where a partner, child, or pet can't disturb you. Inform your roommates that you're on a video call, so they don't download large files or watch a Netflix movie at the same time, causing internet disruptions. If you work in an office, find a meeting room where you can sit in private. Otherwise, use headphones to avoid disturbing your colleagues.

Pay Attention to Where You Look

Position your camera at eye level and look at your screen or the camera. When your eyes wander, the person on the other end will notice. This is perceived as not making eye contact, just like in a face-to-face conversation. Just as in an in-person conversation, you can make hand gestures while speaking. Body posture remains essential, even in a video interview.

Put Your Candidate at Ease

In real life, we might ask, "Did you find this place easily?" or "Did you travel from far away?" We usually do this to break the ice and start the conversation. In a video conversation, you can replace this with questions about what you see. "Nice plant, I have the same one" or "You read a lot, I see a well-stocked library?"

Allow Ample Time to Respond

There can always be a slight delay on the line. Your candidate might only hear your question a few seconds later. Give your candidate enough space to respond. If you don't, you risk talking over each other.

Don't Be Too Strict!

A conversation is a snapshot, even when it takes place in real life. But in a video interview, it's even more challenging to make a good first impression. Keep this in mind when meeting candidates via video.

By offering candidates the opportunity for video calls, you show that you care about their overall well-being. Even after the COVID crisis, you can continue to use video job interviews. Don't forget that it's easier for candidates, and you make a better impression as an employer. Want to take it a step further? You can ask candidates to pre-record a video motivation.

If video recruitment isn't for you or you're struggling to find the right candidates, contact our experts!