The basics of video conference interviews

Hiring is arguably the most important task you have to undertake as a business owner. A dedicated staff is a necessity to ensure that basic functions are handled and everyday procedures run smoothly. The recruiting process used to be simple: You’d post a job listing, read through applications, interview the top candidates and then decide which applicant should be brought aboard.

Now, hiring procedures are a bit more convoluted. You can use internal referrals, turn to social media and post openings on niche websites before even reaching the vetting stage. Even with assistance from your HR team and hiring managers, it can be nearly impossible to pick the right candidates given the myriad steps you have to take for recruitment.

Managing your small business, mid-sized enterprise or large corporation means finding ways to simplify necessary practices. One digital solution to streamline the process is to conduct interviews through video conferencing software. This approach allows you to complete multiple meetings without having to invite candidates to visit your establishment. Additionally, you can perform background checks on an applicant while you’re interviewing him or her.

If you want to use digital interviews during your next recruitment drive, keep these tips in mind.

Familiarize yourself with the software
The most basic step is learning how to use your conferencing software. Spend time searching through the application and test advanced features so you know how to deploy them properly during the interview. Consider asking one your employees to participate in a mock session as a live test to ensure that you won’t make any mistakes during the actual meeting.

Moreover, familiarizing yourself with the communication platform allows you to gauge how ready interviewees are. Jeffrey Garber, co-founder and CEO of and, told Inc. Magazine that it’s a red flag when applicants don’t know how to use their programs.

“If a candidate doesn’t do their homework and practice with their friends on how to use the technology, then it says volumes about their seriousness as far as how they want to be perceived as a candidate,” said Garber.

Carefully monitor interviewees and ask them to use specific features throughout the meeting. For instance, you should require an applicant to access the screen-sharing tool to show you his or her resume. If there’s a delay displaying the document or you have to walk the candidate through the steps, you’ll know that he or she wasn’t adequately prepared for the interview and should likely be disqualified from further consideration.

Watch behaviors
In a regular job interview, you know that the applicant is paying attention because there’s nothing to focus on besides the discussion at hand. On the other hand, many candidates may become distracted during video conferences because they can go online instead of listening to you.

This is actually a common issue that many recruiters and small business owners have to contend with. Dan Maloney, owner of, told the National Federation of Independent Business that he’s noticed some interviewees are engaged with other matters during conferences.

Candidates who give you anything less than their full attention be immediately removed from your list of potential hires. The inability to focus for a professional conversation shows that the applicants are not taking the process seriously and wouldn’t make good additions to your team..

Remember your in-person skills
A video interview is largely similar to the in-person alternatives, so your strategy doesn’t have to be changed a great deal. If you’ve developed a successful system for questioning candidates and opening communication with potential hires, don’t stray from those practices because you’re working in a digital medium.

Treat interviewees as you would during live conferences. Maintain a professional appearance and use appropriate language. Moreover, you must ensure that you don’t allow yourself to become distracted. Give candidates your full attention so that you can make the best hiring decisions for your business.

Go beyond the local area
One benefit of video interviews is that you can speak with candidates from around the world instead of being limited to applicants who live in the local area. Extend invitations to workers from other states to widen the talent pool and increase the likelihood that you’ll find the ideal employee.

To achieve this, capitalize on your social networks by posting openings and encouraging faraway users to apply. In the listing, write that all interviews will be conducted via video conferencing software and that remote candidates will receive relocation benefits if they’re offered the job.

When scheduling interviews with distant candidates, account for any time zone differences to avoid any confusion. Set the appointments based on their time so they don’t log in early or late and think you failed to attend.

Video interviews will help you find great candidates and improve the recruitment process, which will ultimately lead to a stronger staff down the road. Do you use video interviews? If so, what tips do you have for other business owners?

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