Among the incessant transformations that occur in the new job reality derived from the Covid-19 pandemic, recruiters have had to make the most of technological resources, using them to their advantage to maintain contact with candidates.
Thus, according to data from experts, the use of video interviews during the pandemic has grown by 86%. Going from a face-to-face interview to one at a distance may seem simple, but there is not yet a social conscience and established customs to carry out a good interview or clear methods on how to encourage the interaction of the participants.
To carry it out successfully, in this article we are going to review everything that a good distance interview requires, which allows you to get to know the candidate in depth and find the one who is suitable for your vacancy.
On principle, we will say that the limitations of digital connections are actually an adaptation challenge for the recruiter: an interview through a video camera does not allow you to have full access to the candidate’s body language or their social behavior with other members of the team.
It is necessary to be aware that this new method of first contact is not only a challenge for the candidate, but also for the recruiter, who must obtain the information from the profile of the professional interviewed through a screen.
Before starting, and always thinking of projecting an impeccable image of the company, you must set the stage to receive the interviewee, even when they are not going to be in the same room. Reserve a room with good lighting, a good internet connection and prepare your webcam frame to welcome your candidate.
When sitting at the table in front of your computer, make sure that the background of the shot is consistent with the company and that behind you there are not many elements that distract the candidate.
Having good lighting will prevent shadows from being cast on your face. For a virtual conversation it is vital that both the candidate and the interviewer can “read” all the information provided by the facial expression.
As it is through a screen, try to vocalize, gesture and look directly at the camera of your computer, (almost always located in the upper center of the monitor) which will make the candidate feel that you are looking him in the eye. It is desirable or expected that the candidate emulates and tries to make these same efforts, which will indicate that he has also prepared correctly for the interview.
A relaxed chat
Even remotely, in an interview, it’s best to break the ice: start with a small talk to make the candidate feel comfortable and relax or distract about having a conversation that could be key to their career.
As a recruiter, you probably already have a few points scored to start the conversation. Get them back for video calls.
Before remote recruiting, you probably would have started talking to him on your way to the room. Now this path is virtual, so we suggest starting the interview in a relaxed atmosphere.
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Deal with technical problems
We are increasingly used to this type of online communication, but the fluidity we feel when speaking in person could be a bit diluted through the camera.
A face-to-face interview consists of talking and having a conversation with the candidate to get to know him better. With the digital mode, some inconveniences inherent to the application of this technology online can arise, such as interruptions when speaking or pauses a little longer.
Try to give the turn to your candidate when you want him to respond and leave a short pause before speaking. The internet connection often imposes a delay between the audio or video arrivals of the participants’ interventions, which can cause them to interrupt each other or start talking at the same time. Do not despair, sometimes technology plays with us.
Finally, it is possible that during the interview there are small connection or connectivity problems. Most of the time it is not in the hands of the candidate to solve it, so we only advise you to be patient: try to properly conclude the video call. In the worst case, it is possible to schedule the interview for another time.
Sincerity with interruptions
You may have to conduct the online interview from home, just like the candidate does. In case there is an interruption or an unexpected visitor, be honest and tell them.
It is important that we also see that sincerity in the candidate himself. For example, it may happen that a knock at the door, the bell rings or one of the children sneaks into the picture; just as it happened to an interviewee on the BBC.
Nothing happens, we are all human and it is normal for it to happen. Apologize and move on. We are all reconciling this uncertain period and these things happen.
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How to recognize soft skills in this type of interview?
For recruiters who have used this type of video interview, spotting soft skills is difficult. Things get complicated if we add the distance.
It is necessary to ask the candidate questions, which help to know more about this aspect, for example, how he adapted to the last setback he experienced.
In this environment, however, it is also possible to detect the candidate’s skills, by how he behaves with technology, if he was uncertain about the call and manifests it or if he has a problem live. Say, for example, someone knocks on the door.
At that very moment you can get to know that person better and see how they face challenges or react, how they improvise, how they can take advantage of a conflict … In addition, you can always resort to the application of a personality test and soft skills, to get to know him better.
The candidate will have arrived at the interview knowing the company. Take a few minutes to ask her what she knows about her and why she wants to work there.
This time will help you determine if you share the mission and values of the organization. Do not forget to know in detail their past experiences and their ways of working.
Perhaps an answer with an example will help you decide if that person will be compatible with the work team, or if, on the contrary, his way of doing things is far from the head of the department and his colleagues.
Keshav Encon, One of the best Overseas job consultancies in India.