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How to succeed at virtual interviews

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​If this current Coronavirus outbreak has shown us anything, it’s that businesses in the Insurance, Financial Services and Legal sectors can and must continue to trade.

As industries, we have long led the world in utilising video & conference calls to communicate with our international clients, partners and staff. But now, this technology can be very successfully utilised to continue interviewing, winning new business and most importantly trading through this period.

So how can Clients and Candidates succeed at a virtual interview?

How to prepare for video interviews

The first thing to remember, is to treat the interview exactly like a normal interview. You still follow the same processes below, it can sometimes take a bit more preparation beforehand:

  1. Test your technology and ensure you are set up for success.

    It only takes 2 minutes to quickly test the systems, and minimise the risk of any IT issues. Video call a friend or colleague to make sure the camera & sound are operating. These days, there is no real advantage to a webcam over a smartphone, but both need testing before the interview.

  2. Set the scene for the interview. Ensure that you have the camera / phone in a stable position and you have thought about the background. Nobody wants to see the washing drying or an un-made bed in the background. If necessary, just use a blank wall if you don’t have dedicated space. Many specialist pieces of software actually even allow a virtual background!

  3. Minimise any distractions.

    Another really important one…you wouldn’t expect your dog or kids to come running into an interview, we all remember that traumatic BBC news interview a few years ago. Just make sure the door is closed and anyone else in the house knows not to disturb you for 20 minutes.

  4. Sit down prepared.

    You wouldn’t turn up to a face-to-face meeting unprepared, treat a video interview the same.

  5. Dress the part.

    Another obvious one! Even though there is a more relaxed view to dress while homeworking – an interview is still an interview and you should dress appropriately. Absolutely avoid the old cliché of wearing a shirt & tie above your boxer shorts! Not a good look when you need to retrieve a document and forget!

All of the above is much the same as a face-to-face interview yes? The only difference is, you will be seeing your candidate/employer through a screen rather than in the flesh. There are many benefits to this…

Benefits of using video to conduct interviews

  • Time efficient:

    Arranging face-to-face meetings can take a while, going back and forth via email to arrange dates, travelling as required and actually finding the location. With video, it’s much easier to schedule a time slot for both parties without impacting the rest of the day.

  • Video recording:

    It is often difficult to remember everything about an candidate, or the job without writing it all down. During a face-to-face interview it can be hard to take everything in while also writing notes, remembering body language, etc. With many video interview technologies, you have the option to record & play back the session and remind yourself of the qualities of top performers (as the client) or remind yourself of key benefits of the role (as the candidate).

  • Create a convenient interview process for passive candidates:

    Many of the best candidates IDEX deal with are actually passive (Ie. Not on the open market) but may be open to the right opportunity. These types of candidates are less likely to want to take the time out of their busy schedules to attend an interview, however, may prefer to fit in a video interview which is less time consuming. This is a perk for both client and candidate, the client won’t miss out on a great hire and the candidate won’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity for only a small investment of time!

  • Reduce interview costs:

    You may be applying for a role that is further afield from your current location and vice versa you may be employing a remote worker or relocator. Therefore, both parties can incur travel costs to attend interviews before reaching offer stage. Video interviewing would be a great tool in reducing those costs and helping to make those decisions before offering the candidate.

  • Body language:

    Many employers offer telephone interviews as an option, however you cannot judge body language with this option. Offering video interviews will allow you to gauge body language and engage in an ‘in-person’ conversation.

  • Cutting edge:

    Video technology sends a subtle message to your candidates that you are adopting new technology practices. This may appeal to many candidates who are looking for a company who offers new tools and technology, creating a modern working environment.

  • Feel comfortable:

    Attending a face-to-face interview can increase nerves and anxiety in the build-up and during the interview. Video interviews can reduce some of these issues and make both client and candidate feel more at ease and therefore concentrate on the task in hand.

  • After-hours interviews:Many candidates will have to take time off from their current role to attend an interview. Due to the convenience and efficiency of using video interview, you can book in the meeting after hours, for when best suits both parties.

How can we help?

With the recent global events, we are likely to see many businesses switching to a temporary “work-from-home” model over the next few weeks.

While this creates certain challenges, it’s important to realise the underlying opportunity within this disruption. Talented individuals will be more accessible than ever before, and you can demonstrate how agile and technologically capable you are. This is a great time to maintain your focus on growth and achieving your personal and business goals and objectives.

IDEX Consulting are still here, working at full capacity and committed to supporting you through this period, by offering access to a range of technologies to allow your business to continue moving forwards.

  1. IDEX invested in state-of-the-art Video Interview technology. This can either be used to answer pre-set questions for a 1st interview, or a full panel interview for 2nd stage.

  2. We can also arrange and host conference / video calls to discuss your requirements rather than the normal face-to-face meetings.

  3. It’s also worth noting that now is a fantastic time to utilise our extensive database of talent by marketing your opportunities & proposition to a captive audience of engaged individuals.

  4. Where face-to-face meetings are required, we can also provide access to our offices & meeting rooms. These are deep cleaned regularly and provide a safe area away from large groups of people.

  5. IDEX has also developed a new “Partnership” proposition – designed to use a range of marketing (Video, pictorial & written), Podcasts and Blogs to increase brand awareness of your business amongst our extensive network, creating a nurturing campaign to attract higher quality of passive candidate to your business.

If you would like to find out more about these solutions, or would like to discuss a specific requirement, please contact us at