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How to Conduct a Video Interview

By Rob Kremer on 06 April 2020

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These past few weeks have been tumultuous to say the very least – but Defence Industry isn’t able to stop working, and that means hiring. We’ve put together a couple of quick tips of things to remember when you’re conducting interviews from home. 


1. WHAT APPLICATION ARE YOU USING?


First things first, you want to be using a reliable, and crucially, ubiquitous application to conduct your interviews. You want a well-known and widely used application to increase the chance the candidate has familiarity with the product and minimise tech issues during the interview. Some good ones are Zoom and Bluejeans. They are easy to use and common in the current climate. 

Skype for Business is another prevalent one, but we have found it to be a bit more of a muck around – you need to set up a Skype account first, and if you don’t have a Microsoft account you’re in for ten minutes of painstaking signup prompts. If the candidate isn’t prepared for that the interview could be delayed. 


2. TECH CHECKS AND TIMING


To ensure little disruption to your call, and minimise any tech issues on your end, pick a time off the hour for the interview – for example, 10:10am, 2:20pm. This means you will miss the peak infrastructure congestion times. 

Check your technology before the call – you want to impress the candidate, not be fumbling around and struggling to test your microphone during the scheduled interview. Do a test run before the interview, test with a colleague, and then be ready to log into the call early to ensure it’s all set up correctly. 


3. VIDEO COURTESY


We’ve put together a blog about video interviewing that covers off on some general video etiquette, but there’s a couple of tips to consider as an interviewer. 
 
- Don't stand up in front of the camera. Hang up or turn the camera away before standing up. 
 
- Make sure the candidate has left the meeting before you start discussing anything. Best practice would be to schedule a separate meeting with a separate link straight after the interview panel so you can debrief, without any danger of the candidate hearing. 
 
- Move the candidate screen close to the camera on your laptop so it looks like you are looking straight at them. 
 
- Turn your phone and computer notifications off so you don't get distracted. It's easy to see when your eyes flit to a notification and it can be disheartening for a candidate to see you look unprofessional and uninterested. 


4. PREPARATION AND DEBRIEF


Something to take into account is the removal of those quick side chats you have when you are working together in an office. So when it comes to interviews, you need to go to the effort of scheduling in those times to prepare and to debrief. 


5. MINDSET


When it comes down to it, this is still a face to face interview, even if it’s not in person. It is important to establish the mindset between you, your fellow interviewers and the candidate that this is still a proper interview and despite the physical separation, the same standards apply

However, noting it’s kind of a weird circumstance, allow time before and after the formal interview for some small talk and chatting with the candidate. Not only does this replicate an in-person interview and settles any nerves, it also gives you some time to make sure all the tech is working so there’s no disruption to the actual interview. 
 

Sharing

 
It’s some interesting times, but Defence is known for their ability to adapt and overcome. We’re all in this together, so all we can do is work and learn from each other. We are firing up a LinkedIn group - Australian Defence Sector HR Forum - where we will post information that will help inform and empower our community as new risks and opportunities become apparent during this challenging time.

We are all facing many of the same challenges, and it would be great if you also contribute to the community’s understanding with your own thoughts or experiences.

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