Traditionally, employers have conducted interviews with job candidates only in person or over the phone. As its name strongly suggests, though, video interviewing refers to a newer interviewing style which takes place remotely using digital video technology.
Already on the rise, the use of video interviewing in human resources (HR) surged rapidly with the onset of the global pandemic early in the year 2020. By April of 2020, industry analyst group Gartner reported that 86 percent of organizations were conducting video or “virtual” interviews. Meanwhile, a benchmark study by Criteria discovered an increase in video interviewing of 159 percent year over year. With the trend toward increased work at home now expected to last well beyond the pandemic, video interviewing is now here for the long haul.
There are two main types of video interviews. Two-way interviews, also known as “live” or synchronous interviews, are done live over the Internet. Both the interviewer and the job candidate are present during the video session, although they are in separate physical locations.
In contrast, one-way or “asynchronous” job interviews are pre-recorded by the job candidate, typically from the convenience of home, and then sent electronically to the employer. Usually, the candidate is prompted by the video interviewing system to answer certain questions.
Like phone interviews, video interviews save employers time and money on the interviewing process. In contrast to phone interviews, however, video interviews also let recruiters and hiring managers visually observe the candidate’s communications and interpersonal skills, including nonverbal cues.
What’s more, for today’s increasingly digitized workplace, video interviews automate job screening while improving the quality of information in the recruitment management systems. Video interviews eliminate geographic boundaries, too. Employers can interview candidates living in faraway locations without the need to fly them to corporate headquarters and pay for overnight hotel stays.
Video interviews are easier for job seekers to fit into their schedules. Gone are the days of devoting an entire morning or afternoon, at the very least, to an initial in-person interview with a recruiter, and then going back to the corporate office repeatedly for follow-up meetings with the hiring manager and perhaps higher level execs. Instead, job candidates can fit remote interviews with multiple potential employers into the same day if they wish.
At the same time, video interviews and other new digital recruitment practices are substantially reducing time to hire. Top talent no longer needs to wait weeks or even months to find out whether a job will be offered, weigh pay and benefit package vs. other opportunities, and make an employment decision.
Video interviews can be performed at any stage in hiring. However, one approach many businesses are taking is to use one-way interviews at an early stage as a screening tool. Two-way interviews are then conducted during a later stage, but only with selected finalists.
Video interviewing is appropriate to many different industries and just about any size organization, even small local businesses. However, there are certain situations where video interviews can come in especially handy.
Get the candidates ready
Whether interviews will be live or pre-recorded, make sure that the job candidates are well prepared in advance so they can do their best. Consider putting together a “how to set up a video interview” guide containing basic technical instructions.
Provide candidates with any needed information about passwords and usernames and how to download any software they will need. Give them a phone number to call in case they have technical questions.
Create a suitable environment
If you will be conducting live video interviews, put together an uncluttered and well-lit space either at home or in your office which will help to prevent distractions.
Minimize the chance of background noise and other possible interruptions as much as you can, even if this means hanging a “do not disturb” sign on your door. Turn off the ringer on your phone and mute any notifications on your computers.
Conduct a test run
Before doing a live interview, conduct a test run to make certain that webcams, microphones, and software are running smoothly. If hiring managers or other key stakeholders will also be participating in the interview, include them in the test run.
Make sure that everyone who will be in on the call knows how to set up video and audio functions, do screen sharing, mute their mics, and chat.
Look the part professionally
Chances are, you would not conduct an interview in an office while wearing your favorite T-shirt or jogging suit. The same should hold true if you’re doing an interview remotely from home. Wear professional attire from the waist up, at least, even if you’re wearing jeans on the bottom.
Sit facing a window, allowing enough light to be cast on your face that you can be clearly seen. Hang any pertinent degrees, certifications, awards, or photos on the wall behind you as a backdrop.
‘Do your homework’ about the job seeker
Before a two-way interview, get up to speed about the job candidate so you can frame appropriate questions. Review the candidate’s resume along with any prerecorded interviews, application forms, and other materials.
Take notes during the live interview for future use, and make it clear to the interviewee that this is what you’re doing so you don’t come across as distracted or inattentive. By the way, to make eye contact during the interview, you should look directly into the webcam, not at the candidate on your screen.
Some organizations do conduct online interview using popular, consumer-grade video platforms. However, these platforms aren’t designed with capabilities like pre-recorded one-way interviews in mind. In fact, they can’t do much more than establish online connections and record, store and categorize the videos.
Software specifically built for video interviews has capabilities for data capture and analytics that you won’t find with general video conferencing platforms. Typically, these specialized platforms also support production of text transcripts of the interviews, for quick review by HR recruiters and hiring managers as well as easy sharing.
Through the integration of video interview software into talent acquisition software, the interview process benefits from capabilities such as advanced communications with job candidates and automated scheduling. In addition, the interview and associated candidate data such as interviewers’ notes can be incorporated into the software’s recruiting module in a single file.
For example, iCIMS Talent Cloud combines video interviewing with features such as text engagement for modern communication with candidates via text, chatbot, and social media messaging from a choice of desktop and mobile devices. Integrated candidate relationship management (CRM) software delivers capabilities like automated application acknowledgements, reminders, and follow-ups.
You can also use iCIMS’ applicant tracking system to personalize certain messages, such as candidate rejections or congratulations. Through another built-in feature, you can connect with candidates online through virtual job fairs and other text-based events.
You’ll need to find some way to store the captured video so you can access it as needed when reviewing your notes, the job application, and other candidate materials. If you want to share the interview with others, you may need to hire a third-party transcription service to turn the audio portion into text.
Aside from features mentioned above, the most advanced video interviewing platforms today, including iCIMS Talent Cloud, come with built-in artificial intelligence (AI). These capabilities are rapidly developing in ways that help interviewers to analyze facial expressions, nonverbal behavior, and voice intonation for signs of how well a job seeker will fit in with a company’s needs and culture. AI is starting to help predict applicants’ future job performance, as well.
iCIMS’ ATS now offers live and on-demand video interviewing so that you can reach candidates at scale while speeding up time to hire. You’ll save time with self-scheduling and pre-screening questions, give candidates flexibility with a mobile-friendly interview format, and much more. Learn more about iCIMS’ video interviewing software capabilities to find out how our software can help you speed up the process of hiring the best job candidates.