Top tips for video conference interviews

According to a 2019 survey conducted by the institute of Student Employers, 47% of employers use video interviews. Welcome to the future, where the awkwardness of face-to-face job interviews is being replaced by a brave new world of video conference assessing. Just make sure to mind the hiccups these tips are designed to cure.

So, you want to do interviews for a job opening over video conference. Congrats, you’re part of an ever-growing group of business folk who realise the savings in time and money that can come from embracing technology’s greatest gift to mankind: convenience.

Problem is, these days, it’s so easy to do that you might be tempted to run toward the warm embrace of remote interviewing without considering how one might get the most out of it. That’s a recipe for falling flat on your face.

An interview is as much of an opportunity for the prospective employee to decide if they like company they’ve applied to, as it is for you to find out if they’re the right fit. Impression matter on both sides of the interview, and that’s a universal truth, not simply for video conference interviews.

Fortunately for you, we’ve sampled that recipe so you don’t have to (it tasted gross, like inefficiency and grass), and have come up with tips that’ll see you leap over any and all video conferencing hurdles.

1. Plan ahead 

Treat your video conference interview as you would a regular one. Just because it might feel more informal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it the same amount of preparation. Write your questions in advance, ready yourself for anything you might be asked, and plan out all the start and finish times with some wiggle room if some sessions overrun. It’ll make it go far smoother.

2. All about timing

As neat as they are, video interviews are still a fairly novel way of quizzing someone about a job opening. So while your vacancy’s suitor might be used to the etiquette around time when it comes to in-person interviews (i.e. get there on time, if not early), they might need more cues when you go all future-style on them and do it over video.

Remind them close to the date what the time of the interview is and what they’ll need to do to join the conference, and make sure they’re aware of the software they’ll need.

And in case things go askew, give them a way to contact you so they can let you know and you can both fix things, or maybe reschedule if needs be.

3. Environmental awareness

Video calls work best when all participants can see each other. It’s a shocker, we know. So think about things like lighting and background noise before you get things underway.

Make sure not to sit with your back to a bright light source like a window or a lamp – you’ll just look like a dark, characterless silhouette. Either have it facing you or illuminating you from the side. That way you can be both seen and heard.

If you can’t conduct your remote chat in a quiet meeting room, make friends with the mute button. Using it when you’re not talking will stop all buzz of the office outside distracting your interviewee.

4. Stay connected

Internet connections: you don’t think about them until something goes wrong. The key here is to do all you can to ensure something doesn’t go wrong when you’re kicking your remote interview game into gear.
That means not putting a strain on your connection while you’re on the call so you’ve got enough bandwidth to send and receive a silky smooth video feed – consider closing your Outlook when they’ve arrived on the call, and close any unnecessary tabs.

And that’s it. You’re now a certified master video conference interviewer. Remember to always use your powers for good, never for evil. Nothing worse than that.