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The stakes are high

According to a report conducted by CareerPlug, 50% of respondents declined a job offer due to a poor experience during the hiring process, specifically in the interview. As the report states: “Job seekers who turned down a job offer cited interviewers who were rude or distracted or a hiring process that seemed disorganized. Candidates took these as reflections of the company as a whole.”

On the flip side, research conducted by myInterview reveals that a positive interview experience greatly enhances how a job candidate feels about the company—which exponentially increases the chances they will accept an offer. “Candidates often feel that the way they are treated during the interviewing process is a direct reflection of the nature of the company itself and how they treat their employees,” says Benjy Gillman, Co-founder and CEO of myInterview.

No doubt about it—the stakes are high for hiring managers to get the video interview right.

Focus on personality, not just skills

Given the stakes involved for both sides during an interview, employers and hiring managers need to approach video interviews strategically. To create the best possible experience for candidates, you need to go beyond just discussing the skills listed on the candidate’s resume. “It is crucial that candidates feel that they are able to showcase their personality from the get-go,” says Gillman. “Too often, this is something fundamentally missing from the initial screening stages of today’s standard recruitment process.”

To help encourage candidates to let their personalities shine, Gillman says employers should reduce any stress someone might feel about interviewing via video. “Interviewing on one’s own schedule, or even via smartphone are unique advantages,” he says. “That’s crucial for applicants already working or juggling other responsibilities.”

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Create the optimum conditions

When 2020 began, few people—including hiring managers—had video chats as part of their daily lives. Now, tools like Zoom have become essential for connecting people working remotely. But that doesn’t mean that everyone handles themselves as well as they could when they’re participating in those calls. Just like it’s rude to chew gum or slurp soup while you’re in an in-person meeting, the same rules should apply when you’re conducting an interview.

Don’t forget, your candidate is going to be evaluating you even as you evaluate them. That means that when you hold a video interview, make sure to be in a quiet space, with a clean and neat background with plenty of lighting. Remember—you’re trying to give the person a good impression of you and the company. No slacking on the prep either, warns Gillman. “You should thoroughly prepare the same way as you would for a face-to-face interview,” he says.

Leverage video to interview at scale

One of the complaints about traditional in-person interviews, especially early in the screening process, has always been the amount of time it consumes for both employers and candidates. Calling in dozens or more job seekers to screen for the best candidates can be enormously taxing for the employer—and extremely frustrating for the interviewee.

But leveraging video technology in the early stages of interviewing can save everyone time and money by greatly increasing the efficiency of the screening and hiring process. For example, one of Gillman’s clients is a major supermarket chain that used video interviewing to help hire several thousand employees in just under six months. “This would have been nearly impossible without the use of one-way video interviewing,” he says. The takeaway? For your own sake, as well as that of the individuals you interview, don’t attempt to go back to exclusively in-person interviews, even when it’s safe to do so.

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The future of interviewing

While video interviewing might never fully replace the in-person interview, the two can and should coexist. Many companies that have made the switch have begun to appreciate the advantages that video interviewing offers. As candidates become more comfortable with the technology, it also offers opportunities for job seekers to showcase their true personalities—which goes a long way to help hiring managers assess whether someone is a cultural fit for the organization beyond just the skillset they bring.

When done well, video interviewing can become a true strategic advantage for employers—and a formidable ally as you compete in the war for talent.

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