Recently I was in an interview for an electrical company where the hiring manager was sitting in Pune and the candidate who was applying for an CEO position was from Hyderabad (another city). I could see the interview having all kinds of issues. Noise in the background, he not looking at the camera most of the time, and more. This inspired me to research and develop this note that will help hiring managers and recruiters to use it as a checklist for managing interviews. I hope this will help you all.
YOUR CHECKLIST CAN HAVE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS.
1. RECORD THE INTERVIEW:
Always record all the interviews you do. Watch them and look out for any errors or things you can do to improve them. The most common error found could be nervousness leading to random “ums”, twirling your hair, having an expressionless face, etc. Watching the recordings can be a little challenging but it is necessary to perfect them.
2. GIVE CANDIDATES THE DETAILS AHEAD OF TIME:
Always send the interview details to the candidates a few days in advance. This allows the candidates to be prepared as they can download the essential software, set their audio/video settings & set up their space accordingly. This also shows how candidates organizes when they can't handle everything themselves. A team working skills at their own family situation.
3. TEST YOUR EQUIPMENT BEFORE THE CALL:
The recruiters should also always check their systems beforehand. This will help avoid technical issues. Always make sure the Wi-Fi is working, its backup is ready, and the Zoom application is working. It does not look good to make reasons in the name of network issues.
4. FOLLOW BACKGROUND AND DRESS CODE STANDARDS:
Always follow the dress code and background standards. Have a basic smooth background and dress up professionally. T-shirts don’t look professional. It will make sense to have a clean wall or that with some nice wall paper instead of a virtual background which will either look (a) unnatural or (b) will cut your face, etc. at many occasions.
5. HAVE TIME FOR CASUAL CONVERSATION:
Always make the candidate feel comfortable. The candidates are already very anxious so before asking the main questions, have time for a little informal talk with the interviewee. This will help reduce their anxiety and make them feel a little more comfortable which will help them answer all of the important questions with ease.
6. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS:
Always make sure you are focused. To do so, get rid of all the distractions. For this move to a quiet room with less or no background noise and keep the mobile phones and other devices on silent. Do not miss to inform your family members or office colleagues about your video interview schedule so that they maintain peace in the surrounding. If we aren’t focused we cannot connect with the other person properly.
7. MAKE VIRTUAL EYE CONTACT:
To have a virtual eye contact make sure you are looking right at the camera. Make sure your laptop's camera or phone's camera is placed at such an angle that you can directly or easily look at the camera. This makes the interview more appealing.
8. WRITE DOWN KEY TALKING POINTS:
Make sure to note down all the important points before the interview. Maintain a notepad and mention all the points needed to structure the interview. Keep it handy so that in case the interview goes off topic it will be easy to get back on track.
9. SHOW CANDIDATES WHAT THEY’LL BE DOING:
Now that virtual interviews are part of the new normal, it is necessary to effectively communicate with the candidates about the tasks they need to do. Instead of just verbally telling them what work needs to be done, use PowerPoints or illustrative pictures to show what kind of work is expected from them.
10. KNOW WHEN TO MUTE:
Sometimes background noises or unexpected sounds can make the interview go off course and makes it difficult to speak. So, using the mute option in such cases is necessary.
11. LIGHT ON CAMERA AND FACE:
Often it is seen that light on the camera and face are not properly placed. It makes it tough for the other person to see the face in the conversation. Set your camera properly to manage this well in advance.
12. POSITION OF FACE:
Another common issue, people do not place themselves at an optimal distance so that their face and body are shown on camera in the best possible way. The body shape looks inferior that what it is actually. Or the face doesn't look proper. In fact you can look better on camera than you are. Suggest your candidates and recruiters check their faces and body before starting a meeting or interview. This they can do on the app that is used in the meeting (ZOOM, Skype, etc.) and ask them to do the same thing using a camera without the app. It will just reconfirm things.
13. FOLLOW UP WITH A FEEDBACK FORM:
After the interview it is always recommended to share a feedback form with the candidates. It will help in understanding any errors or issues occurred and will help make the interview process even better in future.
Thanks for reading.