Tips for Handling Video Conferencing Interviews

by Rich DeMatteo on January 16, 2015 · 3 comments

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One of the greatest benefits to come from video conferencing is the ability to connect with anyone in the world so long as that person has a compatible device and Internet. Polycom states that video conferencing can significantly reduce a business’s travel costs for business conferences and interviews.

Through services like Blue Jeans, you can simply schedule a time when you and the job applicant are both available, even if you are on opposite sides of the world. However, handling an interview through a video conference is not quite the same. You’ll want to bear a few things in mind.


The Applicant May Be More Uneasy

When potential employees come to a business to interview, they typically follow a more formal structure. The job applicant dresses for the role, and the employer offers specific questions in a structured environment. Online Interviews in Real Time reports that less structure can actually make potential employees more uneasy. They are more afraid of being judged because informal situations require that they reveal more of their own personalities. There are far more opportunities for faux pas. This becomes even more true if they can only interview for their home or a similar location where not everything will be controlled.

To help eliminate this uneasiness, take the time to chitchat. Your tendency may be to cut to the chase and focus on the questions at hand. But chitchat can help reduce the tension. If the interview should be interrupted by small children or pets, ask yourself whether commenting on it is essential. Bear in mind though that this uneasiness will result in more nervous tics, including verbal pauses.


Have a Backup Date on Hand

When technology works, it’s wonderful. But even with quality services like Blue Jeans for Human Resources, there’s no guarantee that the video conferencing call will go through. Bad weather as well as Internet glitches can all get in the way of a quality call. Instead of relying on only one time, schedule at least one backup point to host the interview. This way, if the call terminates and cannot be retrieved, you have another time already scheduled.


Allow More Than Your Face To Be Seen

Retail Business: Entrepreneur’s Step by Step Startup Guide states that with most communication taking place non verbally, it’s best to have as much a full view of the other person as possible. You can set up your camera to allow a torso view so that there’s still a clear shot of your face as well as of your general body language. Instruct the applicant to do the same. While you can still gain a great deal just from listening to the applicant’s tone and watching her facial expressions, the wider view will reveal more body language signals. It will also allow her to view yours.


Allow Time for Questions

An interview can be completed within minutes through video conferencing services. But brevity and efficiency are not the only goals you should have. The purpose of the interview is to get to know the applicant and determine whether she will be right for your company. Make sure you leave time for questions. You may want to inform the applicant that there will be such a time as video conferencing interviews are known for being briefer.

If the applicant does not have questions, remember that it is all right to leave room at the end for chitchat. A little marginal conversation can go a long way at the beginning and end to ensure everyone is feeling more at ease and knows better how personalities and skill sets will mesh.

Video conferencing has opened a number of doors for businesses. No longer do you have to be in the same city, state, or even country to communicate with employees or even potential employees. Job interviews, in particular, can be streamlined through the video conferencing process. However, you should remember that in these sorts of situations the applicant may be more nervous than usual. There’s always the fear of being judged, and that becomes even stronger when there is less structure and less of an idea what to expect. Take the time for chitchat and set the tone. Since glitches are common, make sure you also have an alternate date set up. This avoids the stress of finding another one later. You should also try to allow more than just your face to be seen during the video conference. Body language communicates a great deal, and it is invaluable in interview settings. Also be sure that the applicant has the chance to ask questions. Applicants may assume that the questions will go only one way, but letting them know in advance will allow them time to prepare. By using these tips, you will make your job interviewing processes even more productive and likely to result in your hiring the right person for the job.

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