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Tips for Mastering the Virtual Interview

Gartner HR Survey shows 86% of organizations are conducting virtual interviews to hire candidates during the pandemic. There is a lot of information on how interviewees should approach video interviews, but it is just as important for the interviewer to come prepared before the camera turns on.

Whether you have interviewed people for years or you are interviewing for the first time, the video interview is very different than meeting the candidate in person. Here are some helpful tips to remember:

1. Be on Time – It is easy to tell someone to wait an extra 5 or 15 minutes in your office waiting room or offer them some coffee, but you can’t do that on video. They have probably been waiting at least 5 minutes (or more) and may question the technology on their end. If you are going to be late, make sure to get a message to them, but remember they will likely have their email and phone turned off.

2. Look at the Camera – It may be hard to do, but the candidate will be looking at you exclusively and needs the reassurance of you paying attention through eye contact (it is human nature). Print their resume or pull it up on a 2nd screen so you can focus on the candidate but have the video application open as the same monitor as the camera. Also, make sure they can see you clearly (face and shoulders). Half faces, ceilings, or messy desks can leave a bad impression with the candidate.

3. Avoid Distractions – If you have a busy location with a lot going on around you, try to use headphones or find a quiet spot to have the interview. Distractions will stress the candidate, as much as they will you.

4. Sell the Company – Despite a more open labor pool, employers still need to impress candidates with the company culture, successes, history, and opportunities. It is easier to introduce them to co-workers and show them the office and its amenities in person. On video, you have to do all of it without the in-person visuals. Don’t forget this step, as it could lead to candidates choosing another employer or rejecting an offer. Sending information before or after the interview can have a big impact, too.

5. Be Prepared – Whether in person or video, make sure to have read the candidate’s resume and have questions prepared. It can be a lot harder to “wing it” without non-verbal cues and talking to someone on a screen.

Although video interviews can be challenging, they do allow for a more efficient process (especially for out of town candidates) and eliminate many of the biases that can occur. As an interviewer, it is important to remember that ultimately you want to select the person that will fit your opening the best while overcoming any technical challenges from video interviews. Building your team with the right people is critically important to your future success.

The Bradley Partnerships (TBP) has worked with organizations to provide training and coaching for leaders to conduct all types of interviews (video, in person, combo) along with formalizing interview processes, recruiting, and selection. Contact us today so we can help your organization! We can be reached at (724) 799-8170, email: or our website

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