Screen more candidates by mastering the virtual interview

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 28, 2014

Apply these tips to help your entire recruitment team perfect their video interviews.


During our JobMobile event series, the topic of virtual interviews regularly pops up. Thanks to the advancements in technology, recruiters and job applicants can come together for “face-to-face” interviews even when they’re hundreds of miles apart. And when you’re competing for top talent, it makes sense to widen your search parameters beyond the local talent pool.

If you’re just beginning to dabble with video interviews – or trying to convince your team and clients to join suit – here are a few tips to help you get started.

Choose your tools

There are so many different ways you can conduct a virtual interview. The tools range from free and simple to high-cost with more bells and whistles.  Some of the low-cost and user-friendly options include Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime. If your organization needs a more comprehensive tool (and a guaranteed secure network), consider options like GreenJobInterview or Montage Talent.

Prep your team

If your team relied primarily on phone interviews in the past, you may experience some resistance when introducing video interviews to the mix. Many people – or perhaps even you – feel uncomfortable speaking in front of a camera.  Help your colleagues and clients get over that hump by holding practice sessions. This will also help them get the setup just right, including volume and the positioning of the camera.

Consider the environment

As the interviewer, you have control over your environment – find a place that’s quiet, clutter-free, and well-lit. If you work at a company with an open-office floor plan, book a conference room ahead of time. If you’re telecommuting and your home office isn’t a great option, consider going to the public library and using one of their study rooms. If you’re going to be on the road, make sure you download the necessary software (or updates) to your laptop or smart device before you leave the office.

Treat it like a face-to-face

Apply the same rules you would for any face-to-face interview. Be aware of your mannerisms, the tone of your voice and your eye contact through the monitor.  One advantages of the virtual interview (versus a traditional phone interview) is that you can gauge the candidate’s comfort level with technology and get a better sense of their potential fit within the organization. Use this opportunity to assess some of the candidate’s softer skills that are usually reserved for a face-to-face interview.

Have a great video interviewing tip? Please share it in the comments section below.

And don’t forget to download our app, TheLadders Recruiter, to your iPhone for free to find great talent at any level while on the go.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Her keen understanding of job seekers’ habits also provides insight into how recruiters can best find and acquire top talent. Catch her moderating TheLadders’ talent acquisition event series, JobMobile, and follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing