Zoom in on video interview suggestions and methods

These days, the phone interview may not go far enough to find candidates. As a result, many employers have switched to video platforms like Zoom.

The great thing about zoom is that a lot of people are using it and know how it works. However, in a video interview, you are missing out on certain benefits that you would get in a face-to-face interview, such as: B. Reading social cues and body language.

Take a look at what you, as an employer, need to do before, during, and after the interview to get the most out of your Zoom interviews.

Before the interview

The first step is the important preparation you take when planning your interview.

Provide instructions for your candidate

Once you've set a date and time with the candidate, send them details of how to access the meeting. If you have multiple candidates or want to hire multiple positions, a template is a good idea. Tell them where to download Zoom (if they haven't already) and include the link to their meeting along with the password.

Give them a phone number in case they have any technical issues that day. Plan more time than a face-to-face interview to leave room for these potential technical problems as well. And while you might be working from a template, you'll use different meeting rooms and meeting links for each candidate. Using the same can create overlap for the next candidate who signs up early and interrupts the ongoing interview – not a good look for your company.

Make sure you understand the dress code for the interview. Just because it's a home facility doesn't have to be an occasional interview. Zoom also has a screen sharing feature. Therefore, ask the candidate to send their résumé, cover letter and any other relevant documents that you would like to discuss in the interview.

As far as you are concerned, it may sound obvious, but prepare your questions in advance and, if necessary, adapt your questions to the current situation.

James O'Dowd, Patrick Morgan Managing Partner, said, “Employers should highlight what is available to new hires in terms of team building and support in the current lockdown and remote working circumstances, as well as what they are offering expect a “normal” working day once things return to a new normal. "

He also said the virtual meeting can be an opportunity to assess a candidate's IT and presentation skills all in one. With the functions of the approval screen, the candidate can, for example, present previous work or even a prepared proposal. "These presentation skills are critical as they show how a candidate would interact with colleagues and clients," he added.

Finally, warn the other people in your house that you are conducting an interview to minimize distractions.

Update to the latest version of Zoom and your operating software

If you do this in advance, you won't be surprised by a spontaneous update when you sign up to interview your candidate, avoiding embarrassing delays.

Clear your screen and turn off your notifications

Your computer will run a lot smoother with fewer tabs open. Turning off your email notifications and silencing your phone will block annoying beeps and ringtones and make the respondent feel like they're drawing all of your attention.

Check positioning, audio and video performance

If you are using a laptop, make sure that it is properly supported. The light next to your camera should match your eyes. Your head, neck, and midbody should be in good condition.

Zoom allows you to test the audio and video before the interview begins. So make good use of it.

During the interview

Setting an agenda can clarify the course of the interview and reassure the candidate.

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer of Employment Hero, said, “Always start the interview by telling the candidate your role, format and backup plan if the video goes down. This will help shape the rest of the meeting and help both the interviewer and interviewee get into the zone. "

Mute when other people are talking

When you mute yourself, the microphone won't pick up background noise such as traffic and pets. Ask your respondent and all other participants to do the same.

Look at the camera, not the other person (s)

While it can be tempting to look at the other people when you call, it is best to look straight at the camera. It feels unnatural at first, but looking at the respondent as you speak to them creates a greater connection and relationship.

Be in a room with good lighting and lots of upholstered furniture

The lighting allows you to be seen clearly and the upholstered furniture absorbs sound and reduces echo.

Think about your background

You will have seen this much through television interviews over the course of the pandemic. Bookshelves, quirky trinkets, or billboards create interesting backgrounds, but keep enough space so that other people in the meeting cannot clearly see the book titles or what is on the billboard.

Set up your station so the back of your computer faces the window. This means that like the previous point, you will let in lots of light, but it won't obscure your face and make you look like a silhouette.

Be careful with wording and body language

When it comes to body language, it's best to stay natural but look professional. Nod and smile to show that you are listening.

When zooming in, there may be dips and delays. So make sure the candidate has finished their answer before jumping in and asking your next question. Jokes and humor don't seem to work that well in video chat either. Therefore, choose your words carefully.

Even if the interview lacks the social cues of personal interaction, you can still call up valuable information from the respondent – are they making eye contact and showing open body language? Even small talk can help you assess how a potential employee fits into your corporate culture:

Lana Eardley, Operations and Talent Manager at KC Communications said:

“Remember to have a chat. In a normal interview there is likely to be some element of casual conversation to get a feel for the person and it is equally important to repeat this to understand how they fit into the dynamics of the team and get a feel for their personality with the formality of interview questions and also to relax the candidate. "

Hiring international employees

Sometimes you might want to hire outside the UK – maybe because you have other employees overseas and want to expand in that country, or because the overseas candidate is simply the best for your company.

In any case, there is a lot more to consider. When hiring internationally, think about time differences, labor laws and taxes.

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer of Employment Hero, shares her advice:

1. Timing is everything

It sounds obvious, but finding a time to meet in different time zones can often be a challenge. Always send your candidate a few options to choose from and send a calendar invite once the time is confirmed.

2. Less acronyms, tyvm!

Avoid using acronyms as they may not be as well known in other countries / markets.

3. Know the location of the country

It's worth doing some research. Learn more about overall best hiring practices for your international candidates' home countries. For example, some markets like Australia and New Zealand are much more relaxed while some parts of Asia and Europe are much more formal. There are also rules for specific countries (a prime example is that in the US you shouldn't ask anyone what their current salary is, just their expectations).

I would also recommend looking for the role title in the target markets. You will soon find that this makes a huge difference in the quality of the applicants who apply for your job ad.

4. Take the time to discuss

At the end of the interview, leave additional time to let the candidate know what your plans are for their market and how things like training, onboarding, and timing differences work.

5. Learn about local labor laws

Before you take the plunge and hire an international employee, you should also consider the total cost of hiring that employee and local labor laws. Many other markets also have mandatory pension funds that are larger and more confusing than the UK (e.g. Superannuation in Australia, CPF in Singapore).

After the interview

It's not just the respondent who should be following up – it's a good reflection of you and your company to thank them for participating in the interview and to let them know your decision in a timely manner.

James O’Dowd, managing partner of Patrick Morgan, suggests creating a 15-minute block in the journal after the interviews so that you have time to gather observations, notes and feedback on the candidate.

“Since the schedules are so tight that we switch from one virtual meeting to the next, it's easy to move on and forget small but important details from an interview. The best time to write down feedback is right after an interview, otherwise thoughts will be lost, ”he said.

Alternatives to zooming in for job interviews

Chances are you don't like Zoom or you want to use a more sophisticated platform for your interviews. Here are some other options on the market.

Cisco Webex

With Cisco Webex, you can email an invitation to an attendee from the Dashboard. It also gives the respondent contact information in advance. Conduct your interviews with HD video and audio and record your meetings with automatic transcription in the cloud.


GoToMeeting sends join instructions for those outside of your company who are not using the platform. Access meetings with one click and use the virtual whiteboard for a more collaborative interview.

Google Meet

Google Meet is free for everyone and designed for safe business meetings. Respondents can join from any web browser without installing any software. It adapts to your network speed and has live subtitles for easy understanding, especially if either of you is in a noisy environment.

Only attendees approved by the meeting owner can attend and join by phone.

BlueJeans Meetings

BlueJeans Meetings uses Dolby Voice and HD video and has real-time subtitles like Google Meet. It also has a smart meeting feature to highlight parts of the interview, as well as annotations and digital whiteboards for presentations.

What zoom tips and techniques should I use for my interviews?

There's a lot to consider here, but if you follow the steps above, your interviews should be relatively hiccup-free. Some of the tips listed are reasonable too. Although it looks like a lot, the process is straightforward.

If you're new to the field and aren't sure what to do, try a few simulated Zoom interviews with your colleagues before the actual event.

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