How to Conduct an Effective Video Interview

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Recruitment Advice, Trends and Learning


Much like everything else, the world of recruitment has gone digital. HR professionals of companies and recruitment consultants are now using video interviews when traditional in-person, face-to-face interviews with applicants aren’t possible or simply less convenient. This makes the hiring process faster, cheaper, and more convenient for both employer and applicant.

As technology becomes more advanced by the day, more remote jobs are opening up which enable companies to hire remote workers from around the world. Because of this global recruitment trend, live video interviews are necessary to replace face-to-face or phone interviews. In fact, a recent Aberdeen Group survey showed that 65% of companies are planning to invest in video interview tools to help their talent acquisition efforts.

It’s important to maximize this technology and make sure you are effectively conducting video interviews. Here are some tips to help you optimize your video interview sessions with applicants.

Provide Instructions to Candidates

According to employment expert, Erin Schreiner, it’s important to give candidates clear instructions before the interview to help them prepare. At least a week before the interview, send a set of instructions on how they can prepare for the interview. This may include tips about checking their webcam, looking for a quiet spot, adding the employer Skype ID as a contact, and so forth.

Schedule Several Candidates in a Day     

To further save effort when shortlisting applicants, allot a certain time frame for each candidate. This will let you schedule several candidates in a given day.

For example, you can allot 25 minutes for each candidate. You can then interview four applicants in a day. Conduct the interview for two straight hours with 5-minute breaks in between. This will let you maximize time and immediately determine who is a better fit.

Choose Your Platform      

There are two types of video interviews. First is the standard Skype, Facetime, or Google Hangouts video call that enables interviewers to conduct a live video interview. The second type is the asynchronous video interview where employers pre-record the interview questions. The actual interview is not done live or real-time. Applicants will be asked to record their interview using the asynchronous video interview platform.

Not all live video call platforms will let you record your video calls. On the other hand, with asynchronous video interviews, you can’t ask follow-up questions and elicit spontaneous responses from your interviewee.

Regardless of what video interview platform you choose, it’s important to have a system in place and make sure that you understand the function of every button and features of your software.

Double-Check Your Hardware

With video interviews, you are dependent on your internet connection and hardware such as your computer, speaker or headphones, and microphone. Make sure that your gadgets are working before the interview to prevent delays and technical disruptions.

Designate a Specific Room or Quiet Area to Hold Your Video Interviews

Video interviews need to be treated like a personal interview. Ensure that your environment exudes a sense of formality by holding it in a quiet, well-lit room. If possible, lock the room to prevent people from going inside and interrupting you while you are on a video call.

Ensure that your background looks professional. Use a white or light-colored background and remove clutter. If the room you are using isn’t well-lit, simply open curtains or blinds to let natural light in will be perfect. If no windows are available or if you’re conducting the interview in the evening, a desk lamp will do the trick.

Expect a Delay

Not all areas or cities have a fast and stable internet connection. When interviewing candidates, be it local or offshore applicants, expect a delay in Skype or Facetime. Allow for a long pause after your question. Avoid interrupting your interviewee mid-sentence and don’t talk too fast.

Prepare Your Questions

Look at the resume of your applicant before the actual interview, so you know what to expect. This will let your candidate know that you have received their application and that you are carefully screening candidates.

By having your questions prepared, you can also better control the length of time of your interview. Avoid unnecessary questions or comments.

Be Professional

It’s important for candidates to know that employers are treating these interviews like a traditional job interview. Remember that you carry your company’s brand. You don’t want to turn off a potentially perfect candidate just because you were too relaxed during the initial video interview.


Showing professionalism doesn’t mean that you have to act uptight during the video interview. Smile and let the interviewee know that you are listening to what they’re saying. This helps put the candidate at ease and leave them with a positive experience.

Final Tips

Video interviews are commonly used in this digital age, but we shouldn’t assume that candidates and employers have perfected this technology. Video is, of course, a great resource to improve the hiring process, but if used incorrectly, may result in delays and disruptions.

Recruitment consultants, agencies, HR personnel, and job seekers alike can benefit from these tips to ensure the success of their video interview.



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