As the world becomes more global by the day, companies of every size are finding that sourcing the best candidates means looking beyond traditional geographic boundaries. Advances in technology have made video conferencing an accessible, economical, and practical solution for interviewing job candidates.

Be sure to get the most out of video interviews.

Video conferencing is defined here as any Internet-based method that allows two or more individuals to communicate via voice and video. In this case, I will share some best practices for employers looking to get the most out of a video interview.

In general, the same rules apply to a video interview as they would to a face-to-face. The candidate should be properly dressed, make appropriate eye contact and gestures, and be prepared to answer questions. In addition to common interview checkpoints, I ask myself a few additional questions:

  • Did the candidate prepare? Did s/he find a quiet place with an appropriate background? Signs of poor preparation include background noise and other distractions  such as kids running around, pets on laps (no really, this happens), sitting outside for the interview, or sitting in front of an inappropriate poster.
  • Where is the candidate looking? In order to effectively make eye contact on video, a person has to look right into the camera, which can be a bit awkward; however, it shows a level of preparedness if the candidate tends to make eye contact in this way. While it's fine if s/he looks down at the screen or at notes here and there, in general, eye contact is still a necessity.
  • Is the candidate tech savvy? When a candidate hasn’t practiced connecting to a video conference or is new to video conferencing, it's an indication that s/he may not be technology savvy. It’s especially telling if the position you're filling requires tech skills. If the candidate doesn't have a webcam and an appropriate voice connection at the time of the call, this could be grounds for disqualification.

It’s all about connecting with candidates.

Video interviews can provide the necessary information to decide what next steps will be taken with a candidate. Follow the standard HR protocol for interviewing and be alert and observant to other factors that can clue you into finding the best candidate. This is even more important if your next steps require costly travel arrangements to meet in person.

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